(Sheridan, Wyo) – April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and that means it is time for the annual Light of Hope Breakfast to benefit the Child Advocacy Services of the Big Horns and their CASA program. The breakfast is free but attendees are asked to make a donation to support the hard work of local child advocates.
Organizers of this year’s Light of Hope breakfast intend to focus on the positive impact that a CASA volunteer can have in a child’s life. Children who have been removed from their parent’s custody interact with all kinds of adults with differing agendas, but a CASA is legally bound to protect the interests of the child whom they represent. They act as a voice for some of the most vulnerable members of our community.
The issue of child abuse has gotten publicity in Sheridan recently because of theneglect trial which resulted in a guilty verdict against Michael A. Tibbets and Donna Gifford. Details of the case revealed during testimony proved difficult for many members of the community to come to terms with, and, as a result, the trial brought some much-needed attention to an important issue.
According to Susan Carr, the executive director of Child Advocacy Services of the Big Horns, the Tibbets/Gifford case was far from an “isolated incident.” While physical abuse of children is often unmistakable, signs of neglect may be more elusive. Volunteers who work as Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) report dealing with neglect more than any other form of abuse.
The Light of Hope Breakfast will take place at the Holiday Inn-Sheridan Convention Center on April 22nd. Doors open at 7:00 am and the program will be from 7:30 am-8:30 am. RSVP were due by April 15. For questions, contact, Tifany at 307-675-2272.