CASA's "A Harvest of Hope for Children" Event Recap

Bobbi Brown

On Thursday evening, October 25, 2012, the Harvest of Hope for Children was held at the Oregon Ridge Lodge in Cockeysville, MD.  The Harvest of Hope celebrates the outstanding volunteer work of Court Appointed Special Advocates – CASA – who serve vulnerable children who have been abused and neglected and removed from their natural parents’ care and are living in foster care or group homes. This evening was a time to both honor the volunteers and raise funds to support the continuing dedication of the CASA program. CASA strive to provide one constant, reliable, caring person who will always be there to speak up for a child when there is no one else in their life to do so.


The festivities began with a selection of drinks and hors d’oeuvres. Servers passed such enticing tidbits as Boursin cheese mousse spritzed atop leaves of Belgian endive and shrimp salad in petite pastry cups.  There were curried pumpkin soup shooters which were reminiscent of a gazpacho made with roasted corn and autumn flair. A skewer of jumbo lump crabmeat completed the presentation.  On the serving table were huge platters of assorted cheeses, charcuterie and grilled veggies.  The star of the appetizer selection was an amazing hot, creamy crab dip served with toast points.


A dinner buffet followed including such offerings as an herb crusted tenderloin served with mustard-horseradish sauce and roasted turkey breast complete with cranberry sauce. Side dishes of Irish cheddar mac and cheese, vegetable lasagna, garlic laced mashed red potatoes, fresh green beans with sliced almonds and a fall inspired salad with fresh Granny Smith apples and dried cranberries were also offered.  The cuisine for the evening was generously provided by Kooper’s Tavern.  You gotta love a place that is named in honor of a beloved family pet!


A silent auction was on-going during the entire event with the main attraction being a 2 foot by 6 foot replica of Abraham Lincoln’s hand-written pages of the Emancipation Proclamation.  Sports memorabilia’s abundant offerings included a Joe Flacco signed football and Ravens jersey, a Ray Rice signed shadowbox, a Cal Ripken Jr. autographed baseball and autographed photos of multiple Ravens and Orioles greats.  Alongside the standard restaurant, entertainment and vacation items were a few unique bits such as lawn mower tune-ups, treatments for dental whitening and even an acupuncture face lift. A few special items were auctioned off live including a jeweled woman’s necklace, an elegant man’s watch and a “Batman Surprise”!


Musical entertainment was provided throughout the evening by Someone Else whose selections included Neil Diamond and John Denver classics among many others. The entertainment highlight of the evening was a surprise flash mob song and dance performed by the volunteer servers.


The guest speaker for the Harvest of Hope was Monique Johnson, now an adult, whose life as a child was changed by the efforts of a CASA volunteer.  Ms. Johnson was a teenager in foster care along with her brother. Her moving speech told of her real life experience and emphasized the importance of having someone in her life that was always there for her no matter how she behaved or what events transpired in her life.  The on-going presence of her CASA provided a consistency in her life that allowed her to thrive in difficult circumstances.  Ms. Johnson shared a personal voice highlighting the true importance of the evening.


View additional photos from the event by clicking here

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