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To CASA: #FromBataviaWithLove is a city-wide initiative the group hopes will both bring awareness to CASA as well as inspire everyone in the community to help provide the organization with the resources it needs to help children thrive and live the life they deserve.

April was chosen for the campaign because it is Child Abuse Awareness Month. Not only will CASA’s planned events, such as Hands Around the Courthouse on Thursday, April 9 be promoted, several Batavia-specific events will take place.

What started as a desire to give back and create awareness about child abuse has grown to a Batavia-wide campaign planned for the month of April.

Mary Marconi Popiel, owner of Special Occasions on the Avenue in Batavia, first reached out to CASA Kane County to ask about collecting items in her store for the children they serve. When she discovered more about the program, including the fact that 22 children in Batavia were helped by the nonprofit in 2019, Mary proposed a larger campaign that all of Batavia could contribute to.

“I was initially shocked that children here needed court representation, and then I was inspired to find a way to help,” Ms. Popiel said. “A small idea of collecting the luggage that these children need in my store has exploded into a monthlong effort that involves every branch of this incredible town.”

As she alluded to, the idea among community leaders she reached out to was enthusiastically embraced, acted on, and titled #FromBataviaWithLove.

The core planning committee has representatives from the City of Batavia, Batavia Chamber of Commerce, Batavia MainStreet, Batavia Public School District 101, the Batavia Retail Merchants Group, and Batavia Woman’s Club. Mary Marconi Popiel serves as the chairperson, with Alan Condon serving as co-chair.

This campaign took off because Batavia is a community that cares. The #FromBataviaWithLove committee is hopeful that through these planned acts of kindness, the children served by CASA Kane County can grow new roots and create a better life in the process. Gloria Kelley, Executive Director of CASA Kane County is appreciative.

“When you think about the real difference makers, you think about the doers,” stated Ms. Kelley. “The City of Batavia and the local businesses have embraced CASA Kane County to help serve the abused and neglected children in the Juvenile Court system, right here in our very own community. 

“This special committee is raising awareness of child abuse and neglect and providing CASA Kane County the resources needed to help children thrive with their heartwarming message ‘From Batavia With Love’,” she continued. “That message says it all and we are beyond grateful for their time and resources to implement such a special campaign.  On behalf of our CASA Board of Directors, Staff, CASA/GAL Volunteers and the children we serve we thank you for helping us change a child’s story.”

About CASA Kane County:

For over 30 years, CASA Kane County has been recruiting, training and supervising community volunteers who serve as Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) and the Guardian ad Litem (GAL) for children in court due to abuse, neglect or private guardianship. The CASA volunteer acts as the eyes and ears of the judge to help make the best decision for a safe, caring and permanent home for each child. The organization serves 100% of all abuse/neglect and private guardianship cases in the 16th Judicial Circuit of Kane County and has been doing this since 2000.  CASA Kane County’s staff of 20 and more than 225 active CASA/GAL volunteers advocate for nearly 500 children annually! Want to learn more? Contact them today at www.casakanecounty.org or 630-232-4484.


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