When Austin-based singer Cory Morrow agreed to trek up to North Texas to perform for Dallas CASA‘s Champion of Children on Thursday, October 27, he had a double purpose. In addition to entertaining the crowd at The Rustic, the father of four boys and a daughter was well aware of the need for Dallas CASA’s mission “of getting kids out of bad situations.” Here’s a report from the field:
Dallas CASA’s Champion of Children returned to The Rustic this year with an outdoor performance by Cory Morrow, an Austin-based singer-songwriter with a heart for children.
Friends in Austin introduced Morrow to CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and the mission appealed to him, so when Dallas CASA came calling, he happily said yes.
“My heart is all in for getting kids out of bad situations,” he said.
A board member at an Austin charity which aims to get kids out into nature, Morrow shared with the audience that he had five kids at home, four boys and a girl ages 5 to 11, which got a loud “whoop” from presenting sponsor, Dallas CASA Board Chair and Dallas Mavs CEO Cynt Marshall. Morrow also shared that he thinks long and hard before accepting engagements that take him away from his wife and five kids, but that he had to say “yes” because of the difference Dallas CASA volunteers make.
“We want children to know they are cared about, and that’s what tonight is all about,” Marshall said to the crowd before making her plea for “money for the honies.”
For Dallas CASA CEO Kathleen LaValle, evenings like Champion of Children are really messages to the children served by the agency. “We want to make it possible for all children to fulfill their full potential and dream those big dreams.”
LaValle also called out Marshall, who just published her first book “You’ve Been Chosen: Thriving Through the Unexpected.” Signed copies of the book were available at the event, with proceeds going to Dallas CASA. LaValle said she read it over one weekend and found it “more inspiring and more authentic than any memoir she’s read” as well as “completely Cynt.”
After dinner, Morrow kept the crowd including Gina and Randall Porter with T. Mason Porter, Sherry Thurman, Gayle Sands, Lauren Sands and Nikki Nolan rocking with original songs as well as covers, some sing alongs and a call and response, which got Jackson Walker L.L.P’s and Retta Miller’s table rocking. Guests came dressed for the perfect weather and the entertainment, with boots, cowboy hats and jeans the look of the night.
Special friends of Dallas CASA in attendance included Judge Clay Jenkins (accompanied by his daughter, Madeleine), Judge Scott Beauchamp and Dallas County Child Welfare Board Immediate Past President Marcellene Malouf, along with former, current and future Children’s Council presidents Beth Cholerton, Hannah May, Gina Porter and Nicki Stafford.
Dallas CASA board members in attendance included Corey Anthony, Margaret Cervin, Janice Davis, David Krahe, Dave Kroencke, Laura Losinger, Greg May, Woody McMinn, Chance Monroe, Paige Richey, Nicki Stafford and Linda Swartz, along with advisory board member Bill Smith.
Guests enjoyed appetizers of deviled eggs, cactus fries and meatballs before a full dinner of center-cut ribeye, drunk chicken, wood-grilled broccolini, jalapeno spoon bread and more. Guests ended the night roasting their own marshmallows for S’mores and perhaps even remembering their own childhoods.
* Photo credit: Ray Carlin ** Photo credit: Rosanne Lewis