Eat out and help CASA all at once

POLK COUNTY — Polk County CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates) wants to provide an adult advocate for every foster child in the county by 2018.    On Tuesday, you can help Friends of Polk County CASA meet that goal simply by eating at local restaurants during the second annual “Dine Out for CASA.”    Advocates — or CASAs — are adult volunteers charged with looking out for the interests of foster children in the court system until they find a permanent home.    “Right now, 70 percent of children in Polk County in foster care do not have a CASA,” said Elaine Ferguson, Friends of Polk County CASA board secretary.    CASA is working hard to close that gap, growing from eight volunteers to 40 in the last year.    Ferguson would like to see that number double.    “If we could get 40 more, we would almost be there,” she said, referring to the 2018 goal.    This year, 18 local restaurants are part of the fundraiser, donating a portion of their Tuesday sales to CASA for recruitment and volunteer training costs.    The participating restaurants are:    •?DALLAS — El Pique, Papa Murphy’s, Courtyard Coffeehouse, Taters Café, Pressed and Figaro’s.    • FALLS CITY — Boondocks.    • INDEPENDENCE — Lion’s Share Bakery, San Antonio Mexican Restaurant, Mangiare Italian Restaurant, Chase Bar & Grill and the Pink House Café.    • MONMOUTH — Dairy Queen, New York Bagels, Main Street Pub and Crush Wine Bar.    • WEST SALEM — Odd Moe’s Pizza and La Hacienda Real.    For more information: 503-623-9268, ext. 1301.    


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