When the executive board members of Vanderburgh County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) met early this year to brainstorm ideas for their annual soirée, they came up with a theme that allowed them to walk their walk and talk their talk — literally. On Aug. 3, CASA and Shoe Carnival present their first-ever footwear fashion show to raise funds and garner attention for CASA’s mission: to aid physically or sexually abused, neglected, or abandoned children 18 years old and younger.
Suzanne Draper, CASA’s executive director, says the nonprofit organization’s new partnership and back-to-school theme was a perfect fit. “I grew up with Shoe Carnival,” she says. “They are a true staple company of our community.”
At the Casino Aztar Executive Conference Center, guests will mingle with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres before watching nearly 30 models — board members, volunteers, children, and families — flaunt Shoe Carnival’s fall trends in kids, men’s, women’s, and athletics footwear. “We want each model to be affiliated with CASA, and we’re going to present how we’ve helped them,” says Draper. “It’ll show the importance of what we do for the kids of the community.”
Since its inception in 1984, Vanderburgh County CASA has served more than 5,000 abused and neglected children in need of legal services from the local juvenile system. Currently, more than 130 volunteers advocate for nearly 330 children.
“This is an evening to tell our story,” Draper says. “We anticipate making it an annual partnership with Shoe Carnival.”