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CASA fundraiser brings creativity to the table

April 28, 2016
By Katrina Fuller ( , Westfield Republican

Creativity was on display at the eighth annual Come to the Table event hosted by Court Appointed Special Advocates of Chautauqua County recently.

The event held at the Chautauqua Suites in Mayville drew a large crowd for a good cause.

Tables were sponsored by a variety of local businesses and community members to be auctioned off to benefit CASA.

With 28 tables to bid on, a basket raffle and more, the biggest fundraiser of the year for CASA kicked off without a hitch, said Victoria Patti, board president and co-chair of the event.

"This year's event is bigger and better than it has been in the past," Patti said, adding they had recruited more people and asked previous table donors and designers to return. "This is our major fundraiser for the year. Being a small nonprofit, this is a really big event for us."

She said she is always amazed at the support the community gives CASA during the event.

"It's amazing to have people who have come out to see what we're doing new this year," Patti said. "They're really willing to dig down deep into their pockets to support CASA."

Sarah Bigney, board vice president and co-chair for the event, said she was thrilled to see so many creative ideas for tables.

"We have a good variety this year," Bigney said, adding there were more tables geared toward men, children and a variety of activities. "I am constantly amazed that people come in with these creative ideas, and put in all the time and effort all so it can be auctioned off."

A popular table, winning the most whimsical award, the Suessapalooza featured a Dr. Seuss-themed picnic table, a truffula tree, Dr. Seuss books, table settings, gift bags and other goodies for the lucky winner. Other tables focused on different foods, local businesses, gardening, tools and more.

A service auction was also held which asked bidders to donate funds to support the CASA mission. According to Bigney, $125 would supply a month of CASA advocacy for a child or a week at summer camp; $50 to provide a Lifebook for a child, which is a storybook that holds special memories of children in the program; and $15 supplies an hour of CASA advocacy for a child.

Andrew Campbell acted as the live auctioneer for the evening, while Cynde Breneman, CASA volunteer, was the mistress of ceremonies.

Breneman said the tables at the event this year were highly impressive.

"They really do a great job with the table choices and the value it brings to the community," she said. "I think (the tables) are all really cool. It varies from Hollywood glam to tool tables there's so much."

Breneman said the fundraiser provides much needed support for the organization, adding there are 57 children in Chautauqua County that still need a CASA volunteer.

Patti said the organization is always in need of volunteers to work with children, help with events or become board members.

The event was sponsored by Chautauqua Suites Meeting and Expo Center; Pharmacy Innovations; The Trophy House; Jamestown Awning Inc.; Arkwright Printing Company Inc.; Rhoe B. Henderson Insurance Agency; Slone Melhuish Insurance; Fessenden, Laumer and DeAngelo Attorneys at Law; The Resource Center; Floors at Your Door Inc; Lind Funeral Home; Fred Farms; Affinity One Credit Union; Southern Tier Auto Exchange; SKF Aeroengine North America; Phil-N-Cindy's Lunch; and Peterson Funeral Home.

For more information on the event or CASA, visit or find them on Facebook.



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