Tickets available for There’s No Place Like Home
October 13, 2016
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The Guardian ad Litem Foundation of Florida’s First Coast, Inc. is thrilled to announce its inaugural fundraising event, There’s No Place Like Home, on Nov. 4, 2016. The event will be held in a place as unique as Oz itself – the new Duval County courthouse. All proceeds from the event will go toward the volunteer recruitment and training for the 4th circuit Guardian ad Litem program, which serves Clay, Nassau and Duval counties.
The new Duval County courthouse has never before opened its doors to a charity for an evening fundraising event. However, because the impact of the voice that the volunteer Guardians ad Litem give to the children in the dependency court system, the courthouse is now home to this signature event.
Nancy Mahon, Honorary Chair of There’s No Place Like Home, said that she hopes support for this event will help the First Coast move toward giving a voice to every one of the more than 1,000 abused and neglected children fighting the “real monsters” in their lives.
“Unlike Dorothy, these children do not have that happy moment where they get to wake up and discover it was all a bad dream,” said Mahon. “It is critical that we give each one of these children a committed voice that will stand up on their behalf in court. Every child deserves to have the comforting feeling that there is no place like home.”
The Duval County Courthouse’s third floor atrium will be transformed into an Emerald City for There’s No Place Like Home, highlighted by behind-the-scenes guided tours. The event kicks off with a Sponsorship Reception from 5:30-6:30 p.m. and doors open to all ticketed guests at 6:30 p.m. Due to security restrictions, courthouse entry will end at 7:30 p.m. The event will also include hors d’oeuvres, a live and silent auction, a champagne drawing and the swinging sounds of The Chris Thomas Band.
Melinda Brown, Circuit Director for the 4th circuit Guardian ad Litem program, said it can cost upwards of $3,000 to recruit and fully train each Guardian ad Litem child advocate.
“Guardians ad Litem volunteer their time and passion to help our children. The training process is so important because their impact is so profound,” said Brown. “If we can bring more trained voices to the children in our dependency system, we not only help their futures, but the entire community’s as well.”
About the new Duval County Courthouse
The current Duval County Courthouse is located at 501 W. Adams Street in Jacksonville, FL. Construction on the $350 million project began in 2009 and was completed in 2012. The 800,000-sq.-ft. architectural landmark was designed by KBJ Architects and features seven stories of concrete framing with a concrete and glass façade. It has 51 courtrooms, more than 70 judicial offices and space for court administration, clerk of courts and corrections.
About Guardian ad Litem
Founded in 1979, the Guardian ad Litem program is the exclusive advocate for children in the Clay, Nassau and Duval County court systems. Volunteer guardians ad Litem are court-appointed special advocates (CASA) whose sole job is to serve as the voice of the child. The Guardian ad Litem Foundation of Florida’s First Coast, Inc. supports the program through volunteer recruiting and training and provides simple necessities like shoes, clothing and school supplies. To learn more about Guardian ad Litem, donate or become an advocate volunteer, visit www.galfirstcoast.org.