CASA of Clackamas County to host annual golf tournament

SUBMITTED PHOTO  - CASA of Clackamas County will hold its fourth-annual charity golf tournament at Oregon Golf Club Aug. 29. Sign up now to play.

Child Advocates Inc., also known as CASA of Clackamas County, is hosting its fourth-annual charity golf tournament Aug. 29 at the Oregon Golf Club in West Linn. The pro-style event will begin at 11 a.m. when the driving range and check-in open, and the tournament will start at 1 p.m. After the tournament, guests will enjoy a barbecue dinner and raffle drawings.

“You don’t need to be an expert golfer to participate,” said Bradley Dunkin, Child Advocates Inc.’s board chair and vice president of Nuclear Business Development at Vigor. “Just have a heart for helping local kids in the foster care system and the desire to have a great time. We encourage companies throughout Clackamas County to sponsor the event. It’s a fun teaming-building activity and a great opportunity to promote your business.”

Dunkin said this year’s event, which is the organization’s major fundraiser, promises to be bigger and better than ever.

“The course is difficult and definitely challenging,” Dunkin said. “Each guest gets a $50 gift certificate to spend with the vendors, who will be offering wholesale prices at the event. Try out some new clubs, and then use your gift certificate to lower the price even further.”

Vendors will offer golf clothing, shoes, clubs and other equipment.

There will be prizes for longest drives by men and women golfers, mulligans for purchase and a hole-in-one contest with the prize still to be determined.

“We may have a car as the prize,” Dunkin said. “We are still working on that.”

Funds generated are used to support CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Clackamas County. CASA is a national organization, with chapters in each state, separated by county. CASA of Clackamas County is the only program in the county that recruits, trains and supervises volunteers who are authorized by the court to advocate for children placed in foster care because of abuse or neglect. In the state of Oregon, Clackamas County has the fifth-highest number of children in foster care.

The State of Oregon mandates that every child in the foster care system be assigned a CASA volunteer. These advocates have the same status as lawyers, and provide judges with an unbiased opinion of what is best for the child.

“Judges can’t look at every case and neither can attorneys, and attorneys are looking out for their clients, not the children,” Dunkin said. “CASA volunteers have one or two clients and meet with the children at least once a month, more likely every two or three weeks. They are often the one stable presence in a child’s life and can offer an unbiased point of view of what is truly in the child’s best interests.”

CASA volunteers are what Dunkin calls “average people” who have time to devote to a child. They receive no payment for their services and are not reimbursed for mileage or other expenses.

CASA of Clackamas County Development Director Katherine Gorell says that currently only 43 percent of foster children in the county have CASA advocates. Though CASA representation is mandated, the State of Oregon only supplies 25 percent of the program’s needs. The rest comes from individual donations and some corporate funding. Funding is needed to provide more staff to train and support CASA volunteers.

“We need help to sustain and build the program,” she said. “Our goal is to serve 100 percent of the children by 2020, and hopefully sooner than that.”

The best practices model calls for one staff manager for every 30 advocates. The work is stressful, and experienced CASA coaches and supervisors are needed to help advocates provide the best service to the children.

“This is important work,” Dunkin said. “We need people at the golf tournament. Put a foursome together to play, and then stay for dinner and open your hearts and wallets.”

Guests are also welcome to donate directly to CASA or just attend the dinner without playing in the tournament.

Players and sponsors can register online at, or call Dunkin at 503-781-6575, Gorell at 503-723-0521 or visit The Oregon Golf Club is located at 25700 S.W. Petes Mountain Road in West Linn.

Contact Barb Randall at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 503-636-1281 ext. 100.

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