Red Shoe Party

Happy 30th Birthday CASA Nashville!

What a treat! I was able to spend an overnight in one of my favorite cities for one my favorite reasons: Nashville and CASA! It’s where I spent a few years working as a reporter and back-up weather person at WTVF-News Channel 5…affectionately known as, “The Big Nickel.” And it is where a couple of my best friends and many favorite people still live. (One of those dear friends is Michelle, who was my roomie back then and so she was my escort for the evening.)

I flew in for the 15th annual CASA “Red Shoe Party.” As CASA believes: “There’s no place like home,” or a safe home for children. What better reason to buy some red shoes? The affair was complete with a yellow brick road to lead us in to a decked out room at Rockeville that was straight out of “The Wizard of Oz.” It had ruby red heels and a backdrop of the Emerald City!

With the CASA Nashville Executive Director Jane Andrews. Don’t you love her red sequined cowgirl boots?”

Michelle and I are ready to do some damage at the auction tables! Watch out people!

Michelle and I spent a great deal of time perusing the tables of tempting auction items including boots signed by Reba McEntire. While hundreds of us wound our way around the tables, I had an incredible time meeting many CASA volunteers from Nashville and Davidson County. It gave us a chance to talk with each other about our experiences, challenges and cases as advocates. 

Many seemed so surprised I was actually actively involved so it was a bonus for me to be able to explain what makes the International system so spectacular. I was also introduced to several board members and able to thank each for their support, which helps CASA and children in dire need of someone to watch over them on behalf of the courts who make life saving decisions for them. All of those conversations probably saved me (and my husband) from placing bids on every single item.

Sorry honey, it’s for a very good cause!

I had already placed bids on a pearl necklace and framed handwritten lyrics by Amy Grant when I spotted a must-have: a sign made with license plates from around the country. It simply HAD to be mine. These plates are from states where I have lived or traveled to this year. And it is so true, especially for me as Mrs. International, “Dreams Really Do Come True.” Now, I am NOT a dirty player. I play by the rules as guilt is overwhelming and what is the point of winning if you cheat? So it just about killed me as I made sure I very S-L-O-W-L-Y signed my bid number and wrote my offer as a woman waited to out-bid me during that final (and very lonnggg) minute before the table was closed. So guilty, I even explained to her what I was about to do and apologized as I even upped my own bid again during the countdown. Guilt will cost you! Horrible. I know. But I won the sign.

Cool, right?

After surviving that ordeal, we were able to enjoy dinner and listen to the story of a young woman (who I shall not name) who had bounced through over a DOZEN different foster homes before she turned 17 years old. A dozen? She is now becoming a CASA herself. And I am sure she will one day hold a major role in CASA for her tenacity and I will be the first to nominate her. She is such an inspiration and an example of how your past does not have to define your future.

This year was one of their biggest successes in Nashville! And it is a terrific idea to bring to other CASA programs in need. So I thank CASA Nashville and congratulate them on this 30th anniversary, “…and many more!” I will see you all soon in Texas at the national CASA convention. But now, I must carry this 5-foot long sign all the way home on planes and through airports, ha! It will be quite to the conversation starter.

Be the change!

Amy Gregorio 
Your Mrs. International


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