Columbus East Senior Raises Nearly $2,500 with Year's Best Patch at "Night of a Thousand Jacks"

Event totals nearly $22,000 to support local victims of child abuse and neglect

A student from Columbus East High School has topped the competition and earned the designation of "Year's Best Patch" for her submission to Advocates for Children's annual Night of a Thousand Jacks event.

Avery_Otto.jpgCompetitors in the event submit groups of Jack-o'-Lanterns, playfully referred to as "Pumpkin Patches," and compete to raise funds in support of the agency's work on behalf of local victims of child abuse and neglect.  The teams are allowed to raise the money any way they choose up to the October 31st deadline, and every dollar they raise counts as a vote towards their "patch."  In addition, visitors to the event add to the total, casting votes for their favorite Jack-o'-Lanterns.

Avery Otto, who took the fundraiser on as her Senior Project, a capstone activity required by the high school, planned and executed a 5k race, called "Dash for the Patch," which took place the morning of Night of a Thousand Jacks.  The race itself raised nearly $1,500.

"It was great to see Avery take hold of this event and run with it," said Advocates for Children's Community Outreach Coordinator, Rick Scalf.  "She planned and executed her own event, collected sponsors and created her own t-shirts and promotional material.  She really did a phenomenal job all around."

All together, Otto raised $2,460 dollars in support of Advocates for Children.

Otto wasn't the only participant.  SIHO Insurance Services and Columbus City Utilities were also strong competitors, raising $782 and $664 respectively for their submissions.

This marks another strong year for an event that has quickly become a staple of Columbus' fall calendar.  In spite of adverse weather conditions, and a last minute relocation forced by oncoming thunder storms, this year's event still brought in nearly $22,000 in contributions in support of the agency's mission.

About Advocates for Children

Advocates for Children, the agency supported by Night of a Thousand Jacks, provides Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers who work closely with local victims of child abuse and neglect, providing them with a stable adult influence and a powerful voice in the child protection system.  Already in 2015, Advocates for Children has served over 550 such children, with another 297 currently on the waiting list in need of volunteers in Bartholomew, Decatur and Jennings counties.

Anyone interested in learning more about Advocates for Children or becoming a CASA volunteer is encouraged to contact the agency at (812) 372-2808, or visit the agency's website at

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