Northland business KCI Auto Auction — the largest corporate donor in Jackson County CASA history — will be honored April 9 at Kansas City’s biggest fundraising breakfast with nearly 1,200 expected to attend. KCI Auto Auction will be honored at the Light of Hope benefit for Jackson County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), which will be held from 7:30-8:30 a.m. with networking beginning at 7 a.m. at the Sheraton Crown Center, 2345 McGee.To date, KCI Auto Auction has donated $51,979 to Jackson County CASA to help abused/neglected children under court protection. CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteers advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the family court system. Through contact with the child, family members, and other interested parties, a CASA volunteer provides critical information to the Judge, so the best possible decisions can be made regarding where that child should live and what medical, educational, and therapeutic services they need. For 2012 and 2013, 95 percent of the more than 1,000 children with a CASA volunteer had not re-entered the Jackson County court. Yet, that’s only one third of the children in the system. CASA’s goal is for every child under court protection to have a CASA volunteer. “Through our KCI Cares program, we joined with our employees and dealers to support programs in our community that are making a positive impact,” said Doug Doll, general manager and owner. “We invited a number of area non-profits to present information to a 13-member committee comprised of all our department managers plus several interested employees. The committee selected Jackson County CASA as one of three nonprofits that they strongly believed deserved our support the past two years.” In addition to KCI Auto Auction’s management donating a portion of their profits, funds were raised through employee payroll deduction, special events, and donations from dealers including Lee’s Summit Dodge, Olathe Dodge and Zeck Ford. KCI Auto Auction also donated proceeds from one day’s auction to each cause they supported while dealers held events on site to raise money. “It is deeply gratifying to have so many wonderful people coming together to support our work – we are truly blessed,” said Jackson County CASA executive director Martha Gershun. “Owner/general manager Doug Doll and his good-humored leadership helped motivate everyone involved. We also received significant support from owner Gregg Boswell and Jennifer Leocardi, KCI Auto Auction assistant general manager of sales, who coordinated the company’s entire efforts on behalf of CASA, was terrific. You haven’t seen energy, enthusiasm, and customer focus until you’ve met Jennifer.” Over the past four years, Jackson County CASA has helped more children — a 30 percent increase — and recruited more volunteers than at any time in its history. Yet, the number of child abuse cases continues to spiral upward. While more than 1,000 abused/neglected Jackson County children had CASA volunteers by their side as they navigated the child welfare and court system last year, more volunteers are desperately needed to serve the children who had no CASA volunteer. For more information, visit casakc.org or call 984-8208.