Charles Lafitte Foundation Hosts 11th Annual Charity Golf Classic

Proceeds will benefit Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of NJ

BRIELLE, NJ – The Charles Lafitte Foundation (CLF) will host its 11th Annual Charity Golf Classic on Monday, June 30 at the exclusive Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, NJ.

All proceeds from the event will benefit Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of New Jersey, a non-profit, volunteer-based organization that assists the court and child welfare systems to ensure the safety and well-being of children who are removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect.

“More than 13,000 children in New Jersey are living in foster care. That is why the mission of CASA and the services it provides are so vital in our community. CASA volunteers work tirelessly to ensure every child has a caring environment where they can grow and thrive,” said Jeffrey Citron, co-founder, The Charles Lafitte Foundation. “Every child needs someone to advocate and look out for them. We can help make that happen.”

Suzanne and Jeffrey Citron, CLF founders, will match each donation from the golf outing, dollar for dollar. Last year’s event raised a record $730,000 for the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide. Over the past 11 years, the Charity Golf Classic has raised more than $5 million to improve the lives of countless individuals.  

CASA currently reaches about 3,000 children a year. Its volunteers work to ensure the safety and well-being of New Jersey’s most vulnerable citizens – abused and neglected youth in placement. After being assigned to a case comprised of either a single child or a family of children, CASA volunteers advocate exclusively on behalf of a child’s best interests in court.

Specifically, the funds raised at CLF’s Charity Golf Classic will support the implementation of CASA’s Peer Coordinator Model, an organizational change that will exponentially increase the number of children served. The model uses seasoned volunteers to support, coach and supervise advocate volunteers without having to significantly increase staff and budget. The goal is to increase retention by building stronger relationships between all of the organization members – paid staff, unpaid staff and advocates – as well as provide a CASA advocate for every child in foster care.

 “CASA of New Jersey is honored that the Charles Lafitte Foundation has selected us as this year’s beneficiary. Proceeds will give us the resources to serve significantly more children, and will help increase public awareness of the issues they face, the work of CASA and the child welfare and court systems charged with protecting these children. We look forward to our partnership with the Foundation and the positive, widespread impact it will have on CASA services to foster children across New Jersey,” said Rita Gulden, MSW, Executive Director, CASA of NJ.

CASA volunteers work alongside attorneys, social workers, teachers, therapists, doctors and family members in the child’s life to provide regular updates to the court. And, they remain on the case for as long as it takes until the child in placed in a safe, permanent home.

Donations of any amount are welcome and will be matched by CLF. For more information, including sponsorship opportunities, ticket and donation information, visit http://charleslafitte.org/events/2014golfclassic or contact Jennifer Vertetis, CLF President, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

About The Charles Lafitte Foundation  
The Charles Lafitte Foundation (CLF) supports innovative and effective ways of helping people help themselves and others around them to achieve healthy, satisfying and enriched lives. The Foundation supports organizations working in four main areas: education, children’s advocacy, medical research & issues, and the arts. The Foundation underwrites programs that can become self-sustaining with long-term commitment and measurable impact.  In determining grants, CLF looks for solutions that lead to independence and self-empowerment for individuals, and to the establishment of effective, long-standing programs and organizations. For more information about the Charles Lafitte Foundation visit www.charleslafitte.org.

About CASA of NJ

CASA of New Jersey, Inc. is part of a national network of community-based, non-profit programs that advocate for children removed from their families because of abuse or neglect.  CASA of NJ promotes and supports a unique statewide network of CASA Affiliates which recruit and train community volunteers to conduct fact-finding investigations and to advocate for children removed from their homes due to abuse and/or neglect.  CASA is the only program in New Jersey that uses trained volunteers to work one-on-one with children, ensuring that each one gets the services needed and achieves permanency in a safe, nurturing home.  CASA programs currently operate in all 21 counties in New Jersey and served 2,977 children last year.  Visit www.casaofnj.org or call 609-695-9400 for more information about CASA of New Jersey or to find a local CASA program in your county.