Tag Archives: service hours

CASA Announces New Fundraising Effort: Searching for the Stars!

If you loved the Gong Show, if you miss Star Search or you’re a fan of America’s Got Talent then you’ll LOVE CASA’s Searching for the Stars!  Payne County CASA is searching for stars to help in its mission to advocate for abused and neglected children!  CASA is searching for groups and individuals who are interested in showcasing their talent for a good cause.  CASA is now accepting audition entries for the first phase of its Searching for the Stars fundraiser.  The talent auditions will be held on July 30, 2011 at
6 pm at the Stillwater Community Center.  Auditions are open to anyone who would like to perform and have the chance to move forward in the fundraising event.  The entry fee is $25 and must be included with the entry form which will be available on Payne County CASA Association’s Facebook page and at
www.casaforkids.com or can be emailed upon request by contacting info@casaforkids.com.  The deadline for entries is July 15, 2011 by 5 pm.  The audition performances will be scored by a panel of three judges based on stage appearance and personality, originality and creativity, audience response, delivery and overall performance. 
The entry form can be found at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/56419405.
Entries will also be accepted via YouTube until July 15, 2011 by 5 pm.  All performances both live and video, must be two minutes or less.  For YouTube submissions simply email a link to your YouTube entry to info@casaforkids.com.  Your video submission will not be considered until your entry form and fee are received in the CASA office.  All YouTube submissions will go through a pre qualifying panel made up of Payne County CASA Fundraising Committee members.  The chosen YouTube entries will be shown at the live auditions on July 30th to the panel of three judges and the audience and given the same opportunity for a chance to advance as one of the six finalists.
The top six finalists and three alternates will be announced at the end of the auditions.  The six finalists will then perform at the 12th Annual Hearts Go Out for Children Gala Fundraiser on February 4, 2012 at 6 pm at the Payne County Expo in front of 300-350 guests.  Finalists will collect pledges on their behalf as a portion of their scores.  The six finalists will have three months to prepare for their final performances and their individual pledge campaigns which will kick off on November 16, 2011.  The overall winner of CASA’s Searching for the Stars will be determined by adding 50% of the finalist’s points determined by funds raised with 50% of the scores given by the panel of three judges.  The six finalists will compete for CASA’s Searching for the Stars trophy and prize package sponsored by local businesses. 
The auditions on July 30th will be open to the public, first come first serve, for the first 700 guests.  The auditions are general admission.  The cost is $5 for adults.  Children under 12 are free.
For more information please review CASA’s Searching for the Stars Entry Form or call 405-624-2242 or email info@casaforkids.com.  Entry forms will be accepted via email, fax at 405-624-2250, by mail or in person at 315 W 6th, Ste 205, Stillwater, OK  74074.  Payne County CASA is a 501 (c) 3 not for profit agency and all pledges/donations are tax deductible.  Payne County CASA is a United Way agency. 

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Relay for Life Needs Volunteers (Payne County)

Payne Co. Relay for Life needs 10-15 dependable volunteers August 19, 2011 to help set up the event 12 noon – 5 or 6 p.m.  We need your name and hours you can serve. Relay contact is Joe Toth with Stillwater Newspress, 372-5000, x286.
If interested call Joyce Montgomery at 405.744.5145 at the Service Learning Volunteer Center to register as a volunteer for the event. 

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Sudan: What’s next for Abyei?

Sudan (orthographic projection)

Image via Wikipedia

*This blog was written by Noah Gottschalk, Senior policy advisor for humanitarian response at Oxfam America.*

As humanitarian organizations and the UN strive to meet the immediate needs of displaced people, Oxfam is calling on the UN Security Council to ensure that the new peacekeeping mission in Sudan makes protecting civilians from violence its top priority.

Tensions are running high in Sudan, where an upsurge in violence in the border region of Abyei has displaced tens of thousands of people and raised fears of a return to all-out war.

With just over six weeks to go before South Sudan becomes the world’s newest country, the world’s focus has largely been on the incredible accomplishments of the largely peaceful referendum held last January to determine the future of Sudan. The results of that vote, which was a key provision of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended more than two decades of conflict, were overwhelmingly for secession, and southerners have been readying themselves for what they had hoped would be a peaceful independence day.

Yet with the violence in Abyei – an area roughly the size of Connecticut that was one of the worst-affected areas during the war and has long been seen as a key flashpoint of conflict –the security situation is on a knife-edge. The conflict in Abyei comes at a time when southern Sudan is facing its most violent year since the end of the civil war in 2005. Not including these recent events, over 1,400 people have been killed in southern Sudan so far this year – already more than in the whole of 2010 – and at least 117,000 have fled their homes, as violence has dramatically increased in recent months.

The Sudan referendum happened peacefully, but violence has broken out in the border region of Abyei. Photo by Alun McDonald/Oxfam The Sudan referendum happened peacefully, but violence has broken out in the border region of Abyei. Photo by Alun McDonald/Oxfam

Abyei itself has been the site of conflict several times since the signing of the CPA. In May 2008, more than 50,000 people were displaced from Abyei, and much of the town was destroyed by fighting and subsequent looting. Just over two months ago, in March of this year, more than 150 people were killed and at least 25,000 people fled in fear.

Southern Sudan is already one of the poorest and least-developed regions in the world. Less than half the population has access to clean water and maternal mortality rates are among the worst in the world. There are barely any tarmac roads in the entire region, an area roughly the size of Texas, and during heavy rains many areas are cut off for months at a time, making the delivery of humanitarian aid almost impossible. Some 97% of women cannot read or write (overall illiteracy is about 80 percent of adults) and one in seven children die before their fifth birthday. Since the peace treaty was signed, the South has experienced violence, flooding, and drought, yet its people have made some remarkable strides with the help of the US and other international donors. Oxfam has worked in the south for 27 years, providing water and sanitation, responding to humanitarian emergencies, and supporting livelihoods.

Yet development gains can all too easily be wiped out by conflict, and so Oxfam is calling on the UN Security Council, which is currently reviewing the mandate of the peacekeeping operation, the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), to ensure the new mission makes protecting civilians from violence its top priority. This would mean having a mandate under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.

In the past, the UN peacekeeping mission has struggled and at times failed to protect people in southern Sudan from violence, but the Security Council now has a chance to put that right. Oxfam is calling for the new peacekeeping mission, which is planned to take up its mandate after independence, to deploy more troops to the most volatile “hotspot” areas, and ensure that they have the right training and equipment to be able to deter outbreaks of violence, and to respond rapidly as incidents occur. Peacekeepers should be able to carry out more long-range patrols and spend more time consulting with at-risk communities. Better monitoring by civilian staff of human rights abuses and potential areas of conflict is also needed.

In response to the latest outbreak of violence, humanitarian organizations and the United Nations are working to support the basic needs of the displaced people, many of whom fled with little to nothing. But the start of the rainy season could make efforts by humanitarian agencies to reach the displaced increasingly difficult.

In addition to meeting the needs of those affected by the violence, the international community must increase its efforts to prevent the situation on the ground from worsening. UNMIS does not have the capacity to physically intervene between the two parties, but it does have a mandate to protect civilians under imminent threat of violence.

Stay connected with us on Twitter and Facebook to hear the latest news and learn about ways you can help.

To support Oxfam’s response, click here to donate to the Sudan Crisis Relief and Rehabilitation Fund.


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Free Zoo Tickets for Blood Donors

FEEL STRONG this summer by donating blood with Oklahoma Blood Institute!
You’ll receive a voucher for two tickets to the Oklahoma City Zoo, a T-shirt and the satisfaction of knowing you saved three lives with your donation.
Photo ID Required.
Now through August, you can support The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society by forgoing the T-shirt offered in appreciation for giving blood. In turn, Oklahoma Blood Institute will make a monetary contribution of similar value to support The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

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Oxfam America: Fix the Broken Food System

Dear Joyce,
Soon there’ll be nine billion of us on the planet.
The food, water, and land we all rely on could be used up.
Starting today, Oxfam’s GROW campaign will work to change the way we produce, consume and eat.
Take the first step.
Your family goes to bed hungry every night. You scrape just enough money together each day to feed them, but today at the market, the prices of basic foods like rice have jumped. What do you do?
Give your kids less? Eat less yourself?
This dilemma is real. Food prices in recent years have hit record levels, causing riots in 25 countries. Farmers who are producing the world’s food can no longer feed their families.
Our food system is broken…but not beyond repair. Oxfam is launching a major campaign to take on the policies and corporations that control how much food gets produced, where it goes, who eats and who doesn’t – and we need your help.
Hunger isn’t about too many people and too little food. Our world produces enough food for all of us. So why does one in seven people still go to bed hungry each night?
A small handful of corporations control the vast majority of the food we eat. Local elites and frantic investors are grabbing up land we desperately need. Crops are being turned into fuel for SUVs. The causes are complex, but the solutions are pretty simple. And every one of us can make a difference, right now.
Together, over the coming months, we’ll push for a few simple but powerful changes to ensure our planet is ready to feed 9 billion people by 2050. Here’s how we’ll do it:
  • Demand that our leaders use crops for food, not fuel.
  • Pressure Congress to make sure ALL our food aid actually reaches those who need it most – right now, half never makes it.
  • Hold corporations accountable when they speculate on food prices, causing costs to spike and people to go hungry.
  • Push world leaders to help small farmers, who are facing more frequent droughts, floods and storms.
We aren’t saying it’s going to be easy. But together, we can make sure there is a place at the table for 9 billion people.
Vicky Rateau, Campaign Manager, GROW
Oxfam America

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CASA Special Summer Session Training June 21


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