CASA of the Midlands, an organization that provides Court Appointed Special Advocates to child victims of neglect or abuse who may be wrapped in court, will host several fundraisers at the Dodge County Courthouse throughout the year.
The Dodge County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the fundraisers during its meeting Wednesday morning. The fundraisers include bake sales on March 27 and Nov. 13, and root beer floats sold on June 12 and Aug. 14.
CASA of the Midlands is a relatively new organization — the CASA program was originally run by the County Attorney’s office, but it branched off into its own non-profit, with plans to expand into Washington and Saunders Counties. And while it operates as its own entity, it has an office on the fourth floor of the Dodge County Courthouse.
The fundraisers will likely take place right by the entrance of the courthouse, just before the security clearance. They’re necessary to help the group maintain funding now that it’s not a county-run entity.
“The funds that we’re using are all grant dollars, there aren’t any county dollars,” said President Meggie Studt at Wednesday’s meeting. “So we need these fundraising opportunities to earn money so we can support [Executive Director Happy Aldana’s] position, also the volunteers.”
CASAs are volunteer workers who help advocate for a child during court hearings to ensure that their needs are met. And while the work is provided by volunteers, it costs $28 per CASA volunteer to be entered into the organization’s database, which documents their work, Aldana told the board. Other expenditures come from office supplies and court reports.
Casa of the Midlands will also soon be featured on the official Dodge County website, as part of a separate decision made by the board on Wednesday.
The board voted to give the County Clerk’s office discretion to include links to non-county offices on the county government website.
The decision was spurred on by requests from two area organizations to be included on the website: CASA of the Midlands and the Nebraska Extension Office.
“The whole point of that website is it’s a public service to give out information,” said County Clerk Fred Mytty. “I think you can expand it any way you want.”
The board also briefly discussed whether organizations would have to come before the board if they want to be added to the website, or if Mytty could have “carte blanche to load links as requested,” as chairman Bob Missel said.
They ultimately agreed that there would be nothing wrong with giving Mytty discretion in deciding whether to include links as requested.