North Central News

Hikers raise funds for foster advocates

Members of 11Summits: Altitude with Advocacy and Maricopa County’s Voices for CASA Children gather at the North Mountain Visitor Center on June 8 to celebrate a nearly $100,000 donation to CASA programs in Arizona and Colorado (submitted photo).

A group of hikers behind the 11Summits campaign returned to Phoenix’s North Mountain on June 8 to present a check for more than $96,000 to Valley nonprofit Voices for CASA Children.

The presentation, attended by Voices for CASA Children Board President Victoria Strayer, brought attention to the needs of the thousands of Valley youth in foster care.

“To have seen this support from beginning to end, this has been extraordinary. I can’t say enough good things when it comes to the effort of the 11Summits family,” Strayer said.

11Summits: Altitude with Advocacy began with Jim Steg (an Arizona resident) and Kim Ferraro, who met in Denver over Kim’s construction project remodel. Over the last year, Jim has learned of Kim’s role as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) in the Denver area, and wanted to help. CASAs are advocates for children in foster care, ensuring their best interests are met while living in out-of-home care, often dealing with the most at-risk situations. Hearing the stories, Jim wanted to take action in a way that made a big impact in both Jim and Kim’s communities.

Between May 4 & 5, around 20 hikers scaled O’Leary, Humphreys, Kendrick and Eldon mountains in Flagstaff, and Dobbins, Camelback, Squaw Peak, North Mountain, Shaw Butte, Lookout Mountain and Shadow Mountain in the Phoenix area — all to raise money for CASA programs in Phoenix and Aurora, Colo.

The nearly $100,000 donation will be split between Maricopa County’s Voices for CASA Children and Aurora’s Advocates for Children CASA.

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