2023 Heart of CASA: We Are Stronger Together

by | Dec 12, 2023 | News

CASA of Kent County held its annual Heart of CASA dinner on October 19, 2023. Familiar faces and new friends gathered at The High Five GR, an exciting new venue, to honor award recipients and garner support for CASA’s mission for the coming year. Delicious food and twinkling lights helped set the evening’s tone.

The CASA community celebrated “Rookie of the Year” Marni Vyn and “Advocate of the Year” Pat Grabenstein for their dedicated advocacy. Kay Bylenga, a long-time CASA supporter, current volunteer, and former staff and board member, was presented with the well-deserved 2023 Heart of CASA award. Kay’s acceptance of the award and her moving speech that followed brought a standing ovation.

Later that night, guests heard the story of a CASA child, Desirae*, who safely reunited with her mom thanks to support from her CASA, Nancy, and foster care caseworker, Ashley. Desirae’s story came to life through a first-person reading by friend of CASA, Adalynn McAvoy, and a moving interview with Nancy and Ashley themselves.

The CASA community proved we are indeed stronger together through generous gifts of time and money. We are so thankful to everyone who contributed to a wonderful Heart of CASA event this year!

Total attendees                240

Guests interested in becoming CASA Volunteers               25

New monthly donors                    9

Total Raised                      $58,286


Thank you, sponsors!

Tom and Kay Bylenga


West Michigan Community Bank

Key Bank

Celebration Cinema

Gilmore Catering

Andy Rent and Susie Gordon

The Boutelier Family

Creston Industrial Sales

Devries Dental

Neil Siebert with First Community Mortgage

Patrick and Katherine Mullen

Pioneer Construction

Success Realty West Michigan

Churchill Mortgage

The High Five GR


Save the Date – CASA Luncheon 2024

Thursday, April 25, 2024

11:30am – 1:00pm

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park


Thank you to our event photographers, Deborah Hoag and Micah Hill (photo backdrop)!

This story was featured in the Winter 2023 edition of CASA Connect, CASA of Kent County’s quarterly newsletter. Click here to view a pdf version of this newsletter.


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