Tommy Mann Jr.

For The Record

An organization for its reputation of providing assistance to children in the court system is holding a major fundraising event this weekend.

The organization known as Court Appointed Special Advocates presents its 3rd Annual CASA of the Sabine Neches Region Murder Mystery Dinner from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 10. The event will be held at Sunset Grove Country Club, 2900 W. Sunset Drive in Orange and tickets are $50 per person.

This year’s event will feature a 1970’s theme as the murder mystery dinner theater production is called “Death to Disco.” Also, for the third consecutive year, the Port Arthur Little Theater will be overseeing the production.

“The Port Arthur Little Theater has done this the past two years for us and it’s been great,” said Kayla Bishop, CASA program director. “And it is totally interactive with the crowd. We encourage audience participation. This year the crowd even gets to guess who the ‘murderer’ is before that person is revealed at the end, so it should be a lot of fun.”

The main purpose of the event is to serve as a fundraiser for CASA of the Sabine Neches Region and provide much needed funds to allow the organization to continue to serve children in the child protection system.

“We raise 50 percent or more of annual budget through fundraisers,” Bishop added. “And we continue to do this murder mystery dinner theater because it is something different from typical fundraisers and its really fun for the guests and those involved in the production. We just want it to be fun for everyone.”

This year’s production, “Death to Disco,” has been described as a “PG-13” type of event. The theme for the event will be 1970’s, so the decor for the vent will be period related and guests are encouraged to dress in ’70s attire.

Along with the dinner theater fundraiser, CASA of the Sabine Neches Region has other fundraisers throughout the year to help provide the necessary funds for the operation of the organization. Other fundraisers include a rodeo-style event, “Roping for the Kids,” as well a spring gala.

“We have our spring gala fundraiser every year, and we were getting ready to do it this, but that is when the spring floods hit,” Bishop explained. “So, we didn’t get to do that and we have been playing catch up ever since. That makes this fundraiser even more important.”

According to its official website, the mission of Texas CASA is to support local CASA volunteer advocacy programs and to advocate for effective public policy for children in the child protection system. The non-profit organization consists of trained volunteers who advocate for abused, neglected or abandoned children by being “their” voice in court.

Texas CASA is an inclusive, welcoming and affirming organization and is committed to its goal of ensuring the highest quality advocacy possible for all children in the protection system.

In Texas, there are 72 local CASA programs with nearly 8,500 volunteers serving nearly 26,000 foster children in 213 counties. The CASA of the Sabine Neches Region serves Hardin, Jasper, Newton, Orange, Sabine and Tyler counties.

CASA of the Sabine Neches Region is located at 2120 Gloria Drive in Orange. Contact the CASA office at 409-886-2272 for more information.