2024 Luncheon Recap: Here Comes the Sun!

by | Jun 14, 2024 | News

The sun was shining on the CASA community on April 25 when volunteers, donors, board members, staff, and guests came together for lunch at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. A record-breaking 345 guests gathered to learn more about CASA of Kent County, to view student artwork, and to network.

The addition of student artwork this year brought a bright and lively atmosphere to the event. Local art teachers Mandy Blair, from Vista Charter Academy, and Danielle Benson-Fennell, from Mona Shores High School, helped their students interpret the theme Here Comes the Sun. CASA shared the student pieces with luncheon guests through a photo backdrop piece and an art gallery display. CASA of Kent County is grateful for their willingness to share their talents with our community! High school students from the Mona Shores Art Club even attended the event to see their work on display.

During the program, guests heard from the Honorable Patricia Gardner, who emphasized the importance of shedding light on child advocacy. She even graced the audience with a brief yet moving rendition of “Tomorrow” from the musical Annie. Next, current CASA volunteer Jessi Manning took the stage to share how, in her role as an advocate, she is essentially “working herself out of a job” as her CASA child prepares to be reunified with her mother. The program concluded with the story of six siblings who are on the waiting list to be assigned a CASA volunteer.

This year’s luncheon demonstrated the impact that a CASA can have on a child’s life and emphasized the importance that all children deserve the opportunity to shine.


Total attendees 345

Total individual/household and corporate donors 209

First-time guests 140+

First-time donors 90

Amount raised $71, 316


Thank you to our sponsors!

The Jeff & Cheryl Baker Family Foundation

Blackwell Insurance Services

West Bend Insurance Company

The Boutelier Family

Creston Industrial Sales

HR Collaborative

Nienhuis Financial Group, LLC

Patriot Realty

Stratus Psychological Services

West Michigan Community Bank

Brush Studio GR

Savvy Seniors


This story is featured in the Summer 2024 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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