Crooners generates $45k for Advocates For Children

The singers crooned and the donors swooned.

And the annual karaoke-style Crooners For CASA fundraiser Saturday generated more than $45,000 for the nonprofit Advocates For Children, according to organizers.

A duo calling itself The Broom Tree Two (sisters Mandy Padgett and Katharine Czinke) won the competition. The sisters sang an impressive rendition of “Rolling In the Deep,” by Adele. The last time the event was held in-person was in April 2019, with planned events in 2020 and 2021 held virtually and cancelled, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event raised just over $45,000 in support of Advocates for Children, which provides trained volunteers known as court-appointed special advocates — hence the acronym CASA — for abused and neglected children. In 2021, the organization served 731 area children who were involved in the court system as a result of abuse and neglect. A total of 76% of the children served were under the age of 12.

Approximately 250 people enjoyed the live performances of four groups performing karaoke, as well as testimonials offered by foster/adoptive mother Serena Jordan, foster parent Jonas Howell, and long-time CASA volunteer and supporter Bud Herron.

“What a great pleasure it was, getting to participate in raising money for Advocates for Children,” said singer and adoptive mom Mandy Padgett. “As an adoptive mom, I know firsthand what a tremendous impact these services have on the lives of children enduring the challenges of foster care.

“I’m so thankful to the community of people who supported our Broom Tree team, and so excited to see the strong support of the larger community for the event as a whole. It just doesn’t get much better than a fun evening among great people supporting a powerful cause.”

Cruz Baisa, president of Advocates for Children’s board of directors, served as emcee.

“We are so excited to be back in-person this year,” Baisa said. “Crooners for CASA gives us the chance to raise awareness of the need for child advocates locally, while having a great time with friends and neighbors. We send heartfelt thanks to the people and local businesses who came out to give and invest in a better future for our kids. We are proud to serve and couldn’t do it without them.”