CASA fundraiser

Dealer Georgia Beddow deals cards to Chris Ann Szep, of Cecil College Foundation; Sarah Colenda, of Habitat for Humanity; and Matt Mullen, vice president of Chesapeake Bank, during a soft opening of table games at Hollywood Casino Perryville in 2013. A Casino Night fundraiser will bring blackjack and other table games to the Wellwood on Sept. 7.

CHARLESTOWN — CASA of Cecil County will present their Casablanca Casino Night fundraiser at The Wellwood Club on Saturday, Sept. 7, to support children transitioning out of the foster care system.

The event will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Wellwood restaurant in Charlestown. Tickets will be $60 per person and will include a Wellwood dinner, a cocktail hour from 6 to 7 p.m. with beer and wine, a silent auction and money for table games. Tickets can be purchased at

According to Giulia Hodge, CASA of Cecil County’s executive director, the Wellwood held a contest asking local organizations to submit a letter as to why they should be chosen for a Wellwood-sponsored fundraiser for their group. The Wellwood selected CASA of Cecil County as the organization they would support.

A portion of the proceeds from the Sept. 7 fundraiser will go toward a program CASA is hoping to start in January 2020 to help children who are aging out of the foster care system find independent housing and move into life as productive adult citizens, according to Ruth Bilas, a volunteer advocate with CASA of Cecil County.

“When our children transition into independent living, they’re in need of housing and we will assist them with that,” Bilas said. “They also need life skills to survive, and those are things that they have not learned along the way because they’ve been in foster care for so long.”

“Every child that we serve is in foster care due to no fault of their own,” added Kristen Connors, a program manager with CASA of Cecil County.

The event will feature various table games, including poker, blackjack, craps and roulette, as well as a wheel of fortune and a 50/50.

The menu will include tossed salad with house vinaigrette; baked penne marinara with basil, artichoke hearts and fresh vegetables; baked salmon with lemon-dill sauce; herb roasted rotisserie chicken; a beef carving station; whipped potatoes with butter and a vegetable medley; and an ice cream sundae bar.

Silent auction items feature a weeklong stay in the Caribbean at a condo in St. Maarten; season passes to Cecil College’s Milburn Stone Theatre; beer, wine, coffee and Italian baskets; various gift cards and more.

Bilas said many foster children find permanent homes, but some do not.

“Not all children who go into the foster system leave the system,” she said. “Not all children are reunited with their families. Not all children are adopted or even go into guardianship. Those children stay in foster homes, if that’s possible. They’re in therapeutic foster homes and they’re in treatment centers.”

By purchasing a ticket to the event, Bilas said attendees will be helping children obtain the necessary life skills they need to live on their own as adults.

“When you are in a situation such as that, you give up a lot of the abilities to know how to make a decision because many decisions are made for you,” she said. “When you turn 18, you don’t know how to go about getting a job or paying the rent or finding stable housing. That’s what we need to give to our most vulnerable population in this county.”

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