Bon Temps for CASA
- story by Lisa Monti
In just six years, the Krewe of CASA Mardi Gras Gala has become a can’t-miss fundraising event known for great food and entertainment for a great cause.
The 2017 gala will be January 28 at the Community Center in Bay St. Louis. The patron’s party is from 6 to 7 p.m. and the gala runs from 7 to 11 p.m.
Editor's update: As of January 11, two tables and lots of general admission tickets are still available! Call the CASA office at (228) 344-0419.
“People look forward to it all year round. It’s really become an event that the whole county gets behind,” said CASA of Hancock County director Cynthia Chauvin. “Its success is based in large part because people love the event and come back every year.”
Talk of the Town
The gala benefits the children’s advocacy organization that is part of the nationwide Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children program. CASA recruits, trains and supports citizen volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in courtrooms and communities. Volunteer advocates — empowered directly by the courts — offer judges the critical information they need to ensure that each child’s rights and needs are being attended to while in foster care.
The goal of the event is to raise $50,000, nearly all of which is used to train and utilize volunteers.
Reigning over this year’s gala are Queen Elise Deano, the Hancock County Youth Court judge, and King Myron Labat Sr., a loyal CASA volunteer.
“Jimmie usually has a huge menu with tons of sides,” Chauvin said. “They really go out of their way to make it a great meal for little or no cost.”
Entertainment is always topnotch, too, with the Dave Mayley Band opening for Category Six. “We’ve never had more than one band and we’re excited about the opportunity,” she said. Mayley served as king at the 2015 gala.
Also new this year: signature Mardi Gras cups that can be used all night. The gala is a BYOB event, but beer will be sold.
This year’s theme is Sweet Child of Mine, and the hall decorations will reflect it with sweet references to Candy Land. There’s also a silent auction with between 100 and 150 items to bid on, adding even more fun to the evening.
Unlike some traditional Mardi Gras krewes, CASA’s doesn't have a strict dress code. Coastal cocktail attire is fine. “Anything other than jeans,” Chauvin said.