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LEAWOOD, Kan. — For more than a decade, CASA has hosted its annual fall event to raise awareness and funds for children in foster care.

Sunday’s fundraiser was hosted by the CASA of Johnson and Wyandotte counties, and they say the work is vital. 

“There are currently over 1,000 children in the foster care system in Johnson and Wyandotte and right now we’re serving about a third of them” said Natalie Julien, President & CEO of CASA of Johnson and Wyandotte county.

Kids—who through no fault of their own—are put in a system they want no parts of. Organizations like CASA try their best to give these boys and girls hope.

“They need a reliable, consistent adult who is there for them, someone who shows up and figures out what is in their best interest,” said Julien.

Sunday’s event ‘Hops and Barley,’ is the first step in helping to give real resources to those attempting to change and turnaround lives with a huge lending hand from the community.

There were activities for the guest, food,​ drinks and most importantly ways to give back, including an auction.

“We want more people to know what CASA does to get involved, either to volunteer or to give financial support so that we can just multiply that impact,” said Julien.

The guest shared stories of the times CASA intervened and helped change the outlook of a kid’s life, not only with consistency, but in some cases finding those children’s forever home.

The organization, which is only able to serve a third of the more than 1,100 kids neglected and abused across Wyandotte and Johnson counties, said being able to spread their resources and assist more kids is vital.

“So, it’s so important for us to be able to expand our services so that we can meet the needs of all of those children,” said Julien.