We hope you’ll join us for a meaningful evening at Dallas CASA’s Champion of Children Award Dinner Thursday, November 14, at the Omni Dallas Hotel. We’ll share more about the transformational impact a Dallas CASA volunteer can have on the life of a child, honor those in Dallas who work tirelessly on behalf of vulnerable children and – hopefully – inspire more people to join us in our fight against child abuse and neglect.
Dallas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) trains community volunteers to advocate for the best interests of children who’ve been removed from unsafe homes and are navigating an overburdened child welfare system. In 2018, 1,420 remarkable child advocates served 3,332 Dallas County children.
Together with Janice and Richard Davis and Virginia and Edward Schaefer, we are chairing this year’s Champion of Children Award dinner and invite you to join us to support Dallas CASA and stand up for child victims of abuse and neglect.
We’ll be awarding the 2019 Judge Barefoot Sanders Champion of Children Award to Jessica and Dirk Nowitzki, a couple beloved in our community.
While most of us know Dirk Nowitzki as the modest and principled cornerstone of the Dallas Mavericks for 21 years, Dirk has also played a critical role behind the scenes supporting children in the local community. Since the beginning of his professional basketball career, Dirk has made the lives of children impacted by poverty, abuse, neglect and illness a priority. His personal involvement with children at Children’s Medical Center earned him the nickname “Uncle Dirk,” and his Dirk Nowitzki Foundation has empowered many organizations serving disadvantaged children. Together, Jessica and Dirk are helping our children find a pathway to health and well being, education and success.
Our guest speaker for the evening will be Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, the Michigan circuit court judge who allowed more than 150 abuse survivors to testify in court against former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar. Judge Aquilina gained national attention last year for providing time and space for victims to speak publicly prior to Nassar’s sentencing.
Many survivors thanked Judge Aquilina after the sentencing for the opportunity and encouragement to speak out and confront their abuser.
We hope you’ll join us for this special evening as we honor the Nowitzkis, thank our advocates and officials and show the children of Dallas we’re here for them.
* Photo provided by Dallas CASA