ROCKY MOUNT (WSLS 10) – The rain didn’t stop people from running in Rocky Mount Saturday morning for the Johnny CASA 5K/5 miler. More than 160 people registered for the 11th annual event and it was well attended by elementary school children as well. The theme was super heroes so you saw a lot of costumes in the crowd! WSLS 10’s Jenna Zibton emceed and ran in the race.
The Southern Virginia Child Advocacy Center is expanding into Pittsylvania County. The community volunteers are appointed by a judge to speak up for children in court. They lost about one third of the budget money after state cuts and changes in grant formulas last year. That meant cuts to programs and staff. They are looking at the possibility of more cuts as Virginia works to come up with a plan for the budget defect this year as the need for CASA services increases.
“We’ve seen an increase in mental illness diagnosis of children and caretakers as well as substance use. Those and inevitably impact almost 100% of the cases. If it’s not both it’s one of those conditions,” said Joyce Moran, CASA Executive Director.