Daybreak and CASA event recognizing child abuse awareness and prevention month a huge success.
The story in pictures appears in a photo album. Daybreak and CASA teamed up to host an event in Johnson Park honoring child victims of abuse and neglect. The ceremony began after the Colors were posted by local Boy Scouts from Troop 284 and Cub Scout Packs 2338 and 196 led by Garrett and Marshall Jett, with the audience pledging allegiance to our flag.  
Kristen Harris, CASA's Executive Director led the ceremony with quiet moments of thought and prayer, punctuated by single taps of the Rotary bell by Judge Garrett, CPS worker Teresa Greenburg and CASA volunteer Faye Payne.
The audience then took long-stem red roses to the waters of Backbone Creek, a tributary of Lake Marble Falls, and placed them on the water -- one rose for each of the children currently being served by CASA for the Highland Lakes.
CASA serves Burnet, Blanco, Llano, San Saba and Lampasas counties and is currently advocating for 198 children across those counties, 77 in Burnet County alone.
A moving talk was given regarding a small child who herself was the victim of abuse and neglect, whose siblings turned to drugs and crime, but who overcame that start to become a beautiful, professional woman with a happy family. She credits a CASA volunteer and foster parents for showing her a way to stop what is often a multi-generational cycle of neglect. This writer was pleased to be asked share a few thoughts about how "ordinary" people can fill the gap -- the gap between the plight of an abused or neglected child and a normal, healthy and happy life.
The event was custom designed by the planners and is thought to be unique.  "The idea for the bell-ringing ceremony actually originated from a candlelight ceremony script that many CASA programs use.  We wanted to make the program fit our community though, and felt that a ceremony during the daylight hours would be more feasible for attendees. We developed a committee to work on a plan for this ceremony and after some discussion it was decided that a Bell Ringing Ceremony would be perfect. The rest of the ceremony just fell into place after that and people from CASA, Rotary and the County Attorneys Office all stepped up and made the event happen! The ceremony itself went great and it was a success because of the collaboration of these groups" according to Kristen Harris. A balloon release was considered originally but the flowers on the water was felt to be ecologically more appropriate, and safer for wildlife. The ducks in the creek were ecstatic!
Sponsoring this event is part of the Daybreak Rotary mission to help spread the word about the need for foster homes in Burnet and contiguous rural counties.
The solemn, and sobering, event drew area dignitaries including District Judge (and Rotarian) Allan Garrett, Burnet County Judge James Oakley,Andi Ball representing Congressman Williams, District Attorney Sonny McAfee, Burnet County Attorney (and Rotarian) Eddie Arredondo, Llano County Attorney (and Rotarian) Becky Lange, Mayors George Russell from Marble Falls and Gary Wideman from Burnet, Constable Chris Jett, Burnet County Commissioner Joe Don Dockery, Sheriff W.T. Smith of Burnet County, Judge Don Adams, and Granite Shoals Police Chief (and CASA board of Directors member) JP Wilson