CASA horse raffle returns after successful first year

For the second straight year, the local rodeo committee is helping sponsor a raffle for a colt to benefit the Court Appointed Special Advocate Organization.

For the second straight year, the local rodeo committee is helping sponsor a raffle for a colt to benefit the Court Appointed Special Advocate Organization.

CASA is authorized by the South Dakota Legislature and is active in the community as a way of providing people to serve as an advocate in court for the benefit of children who are alleged to be abused or neglected.

The 36th annual Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo kicks off today with the Midcontinent Rodeo Golf Classic, a two-person golf scramble at noon at Lakeview Golf Course.

CASA, which was started by the Davison County Child Protection team in September 2000, is based out of the Davison County Courthouse. To become a member of CASA, a person has to undergo 32 hours of training and takes on one case at a time for a neglected or abused child and represents them in court.

CASA represents the counties of Aurora, Davision, Douglas, Hanson, McCook and Sanborn.


Brenda Schulte, the executive director for CASA, said $4,300 was raised last year from the raffle.

"It went really well last year. We got a little later start this year and the colt was born a month later. He's a little smaller this year and we might do things a little different as far as making appearances with him. We'll have him at the chili cookoff on Sunday and at the parade in some sort of trailer."

Tickets have been available for the raffle at County Fair and Coburn's in town and tickets will also be sold at the chili cook-off on Sunday at the rodeo grounds. You can also purchase a ticket through CASA by calling their office at 996-1212.

Tickets go for $5 for one, $10 for three and $20 for 10.

Rodeo committee chairman Lance Carson said the raffle was a big success last year. The drawing for the colt will take place on Sunday night at the rodeo grounds.

"CASA does a lot for the community," Carson said. "They do a lot for single-parent families. It's pretty important that somebody cares about these kids. CASA was looking to give a colt away last year and that's how we hooked up with them."

Last year Zachary Schrank, 10, Salem, won the raffle. The colt is donated by I.J. Carey, who lives just south of Mitchell. Schulte, who has been the CASA executive director since June 2004, said having the raffle coincide with the rodeo was a good idea.

"The rodeo committee has been just awesome and we couldn't have done this without them," Schulte said. "The raffle fits so well with the rodeo. It's one of the biggest events in the area."


Carson said he has seen the colt and was very impressed by it again this year.

"The colt they're giving away this year is a good-looking colt," Carson said. "CASA was extremely happy with the amount of money that was raised last year. They have to raise all their own funds to man their office."

The raffle and the rodeo seem to be a good match. The Corn Palace Stampede has always drawn thousands on spectators, a lot of whom who will be interested in a young colt.

"I think CASA feels it was worth their time to be involved," rodeo committee member Dave Sietsema said. "We certainly feel it was a worthy project as a committee. It gave us the opportunity to help raise funds for a worthwhile cause."

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