Local CASA organization receives $10,000 101 Women grant

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(Photo courtesy JENN MacDONALD) CASA members are pictured at 101 Women’s spring meeting.

A non-profit organization that trains volunteers to represent and advocate for abused and neglected children recently received a $10,000 grant award from 101 Women, Sandpoint.

Court Appointed Special Advocates or CASA, won the grant award at 101 Women’s most recent membership meeting. The group received more votes than the other two finalists — Sandpoint Nordic Club and Pend Oreille Pedalers to bring home the $10,000 award.

CASA is a non-profit organization working in North Idaho to provide child victims who are separated from their parents due to neglect or abuse with their own trained advocates. The advocate’s role is to look-out for the best interest of the child throughout the child’s court case.

“With the grant from 101 Women, we will recruit, screen and train 15 plus new Advocates to serve the increasing number of child protection cases,” said Kristin Ludwig, CASA’s Director of Development. “We had 97 children assigned to court appointed special advocates in Bonner County last year. Only 28 active volunteer advocates served all of those cases.”

The grant will help the group increase their number of trained volunteers so that the needs of abused or neglected children in North Idaho can be met. Studies show that when a CASA volunteer is assigned to a child victim, that child is much more likely to find a safe, permanent home than if the child is processed through the court system without a CASA volunteer.

The $10,000 grant to CASA is provided through the generous donations of 101 local women. 101 Women, Sandpoint donates two $10,000 grants each year to Bonner County non-profit organizations. The group’s funding includes a wide focus area with only religious and political groups excluded.

101 Women Sandpoint’s new grant cycle is currently open and the group encourages all Bonner County non-profits to fill out the simple online application at www.101womensandpoint.com before the spring grant cycle ends September 1, 2019.

Three finalists will be chosen from those that apply through a vetting process and site visits. The three finalists will then be asked to give a short presentation at the group’s spring meeting in late September.

During the most recent grant process, the other two finalists included the Sandpoint Nordic Club and the Pend Oreille Pedalers.

The Sandpoint Nordic Club is currently focused on raising funds to build a recreation center at the Pine Street Woods – a community forest property adjacent to Sandpoint that will be open to the public for non-motorized recreation use. The Pend Oreille Pedalers is raising money to build the 4.5 mile Uleda Ridge Trail Loop that is accessible from both Schweitzer Mountain Resort and from trails that begin in the lower Schweitzer Basin and the city’s Sand Creek Watershed.

To learn more about 101 Women Sandpoint’s two other non-profit finalists or to donate to these organizations, go to their individual websites.

• Sandpoint Nordic Club, sandpointnordic.com

• Pend Oreille Pedalers, pendoreillepedalers.org

To learn more about CASA or to donate to the organization, go online to northidahocasa.org or call 208-255-7408.

To find out about upcoming 101 Women Sandpoint’s grant opportunities or to learn how to become a member, visit 101 Women Sandpoint’s website at 101womensandpoint.com.

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