SOMERS POINT — CASA for Children of Atlantic and Cape May counties held its biggest fundraiser of the year Thursday, hoping to raise enough money to retain two of the organization’s seven staff members.

CASA, the Court Appointed Special Advocate Association, held silent auctions and raffle-style prize drawings, hoping to raise $60,000. Executive Director Angie Waters said without banking that total, the court appointed special advocates group would not only lose staff members, but they would have enough funding to represent only 200 children next year as well.

“This year we’re hoping to serve 340 children,” Waters said at the event, which took place at Greate Bay Country Club in Somers Point. “It’s kind of a big night.”

Waters said she was confident the organization would meet its goal and, as of 6:30 p.m., was in “good shape” in terms of donations and financial support.

The organization celebrates its 10th year acting as advocate for abused and neglected children in family court in both counties.

She said about 200 people were expected to attend the event and the amount of sponsors increased compared to last year.

Waters said she was surprised that, in a time when so many other nonprofit organizations have seen a dip in funding, the organization has not been affected. She speculates it is because people love to help children.

“We are the epitome of a grassroots community organization serving the neediest population in our community,” she said.

Karen DeRosa, director of community development, said the attendance and the steady flow of donations was reflective of how important they are to the community.

“I really think it speaks to the mission of the organization,” she said.

Those in attendance Thursday agreed.

Elin Clements, an operating room nurse for Shore Medical Center, said she thought Thursday’s event was a great opportunity to give back to the community and meet new people.

“It’s really very casual,” she said of the event. “You don’t feel intimidated.”

Clements said it is important to contribute to the organization because it provides the extra support needed for children who need it most.

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