On Saturday night, the crowd at the Commons in downtown Columbus jammed to the 5th annual Crooners for CASA, a fundraiser supporting Advocates for Children.
At this event, teams of competitors perform musical numbers in karaoke style to a crowd of local residents who support the agency with contributions in the name of their favorite performers.
Eight groups put on stellar performances, garnering rave reviews from the crowd and from the panel of judges, but when the dust settled it was The Zambonis, a trio composed of Eric Neal, Brian Clark, and Doug Roese, who stole the show. Their act swept up both the People's Choice Award (for most money raised) and the Judges' Choice Award (for best overall performance).
Altogether, the event proved to be the most successful to date, raising over $50,000 in support of Advocates for Children's work on behalf of local victims of child abuse and neglect.
"We're incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support from this community," said Rick Scalf, the agency's Community Outreach Coordinator. "In the wake of the epidemic facing our State, more children than ever before have found themselves in the child protection system. That means more children than ever are in need of qualified advocates to help them achieve the best possible outcomes. It's good to see so many people who have recommitted themselves to that mission."
Last year, Advocates for Children served more than 900 victims of child abuse and neglect in Bartholomew, Decatur, and Jennings counties. With nearly 350 more children currently on the agency's waiting list, the need for dedicated advocates persists.
"We're committed to providing an Advocate for every child in need," said Scalf. "Supporters like these will help us meet that commitment."
Photo Credit: Phierce Photography by Keith Griner