Patrick Henry Hughes to headline CASA dinner

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By Stephen Thomas

SHEPHERDSVILLE – The Bullitt County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program hopes a big name from reality television will really benefit their fundraiser.

Louisville resident and nationally-known entertainer Patrick Henry Hughes will perform during the second annual “Summer’s Night Out” dinner and auction, taking place Saturday, Aug. 8, at Paroquet Springs Conference Centre.

Hughes, who was born blind, appeared with his family on the show “Extreme Home Makeover.” He became famous on a national level after joining the University of Louisville Marching Band with assistance from his father, Patrick John Hughes. He also appears annually on the WHAS Crusade for Children.

Bullitt County CASA is a non-profit organization that recruits and trains community volunteer to represent the best interests of children in the local court system by no fault of their own.

Local CASA director Cindy Prestigiacomo said this year’s event, including dinner and a live auction, might be the organization’s biggest yet.

“We’re really excited about it, our board and our volunteers.” she said.

The CASA board was convinced that Hughes would be a popular draw and are very pleased with his decision to help. Prestigiacomo said Hughes agreed to perform at no cost to the organization.

“We though he’d be a good draw,” Prestigiacomo said.

In anticipation of the big draw, this year’s “Summer’s Night Out” event was moved from Hawk’s View Gallery to Paroquet Springs Conference Centre.

Prestigiacomo said a buffet dinner will include items such as turkey and gravy. Dinner begins at 6 p.m.

More than 50 items will be included in the auction, including mini laptop computers.

“We’re looking for bigger and better all around this year,” she said.

Prestigiacomo said Hughes would have items for purchase at the event, including his recordings and writings.

“Summer’s Night Out” tickets are $30 for an individual, $60 per couple and $240 for a table of eight. Reservations are accepted through the Bullitt County CASA office, 543-4554, through July 31.

All proceeds from “Summer’s Night Out” benefit Bullitt County CASA.

The Bullitt County CASA program began with its first official volunteer, Glenda Heath, in February 2005.

A recent training completed with seven new volunteers, bringing Bullitt County’s total to 41 representing 108 children.

“We really need a lot of volunteers to represent these children,” Prestigiacomo said.

CASA volunteers must be at least 21 years of age, showing good moral character. Two background checks and references are required, along with 30 training hours.

Prestigiacomo said another training would be scheduled in about six weeks. Anyone interested may contact Bullitt County CASA at 543-4454 or at P.O. Box 1025, Shepherdsville, KY 40165.