Since 1993, our center has served hundreds of children from hard places each year. We have continued to evolve and develop to meet the growing and changing needs of our community’s most vulnerable children.
During a strategic planning session in 2016, the board and staff began to dream of a larger facility. Over the next several years that dream began to take shape and include the vision of a facility where we have room for all of our staff and services, as well as room to co-locate with our multidisciplinary team members from CPS, law enforcement, prosecution, medical and mental health. As the number of children we were asked to serve increased dramatically over the next few years, the need for the new facility also grew.
In 2017, we formed a Facility Task Force that started the process of finding our new home. This team of board, staff and community members toured several other CASA and Children’s Advocacy Centers in the north Texas area to learn what features we would want in our new place. Preliminary drawings for our new place were drafted up, taking into account all we learned and dreamed about. Our team checked out existing buildings and searched for land that would be suitable for our new place. We made several asks and offers for about two years, but nothing worked out. In hindsight, we see that it was a blessing that none of other land deals came to fruition.
In December 2019, we received a wonderful donation of land from Roy and Jan Reimer. The land is about 8 acres in all, at the southeast corner of Lee and Albert Broadfoot in Bonham. It’s just south of the old golf course and east of the Bonham High School baseball field. It’s a great location, near two schools and centrally located in our town.
In February 2020, we purchased a small lot that is adjacent to the donated land. In June 2020, Hammett Excavation donated their services to demolish the condemned house on this corner property.
In early 2020, we began the search for an architect to help us bring our dream to life. The start of the pandemic briefly paused our efforts, but by July 2020, we selected MJMC Architects, PLLC and the planning process started. The architecture plans are now 95% complete.
In February 2021, the board set a goal of raising $10 million for this project. We developed a written plan of how to raise the needed funds and fundraising efforts started.
On June 24, 2021, we hosted a kickoff celebration at our future site. There, we publicly announced our big, bold goal to raise $10 million. We also were excited to report that we have already lined up $1.7 million towards the project.
Lead challenge gifts include $50,000 from the Glaser Family Charitable Foundation and $50,000 from Bonnie Donaghey in memory of her late husband Lewis. These challenge gifts will match, dollar for dollar, other gifts from the community.
Other lead gifts include:
- more than $800,000 from the estate of Dr. Henry Spies
- $25,000 from Fannin Bank
- $10,000 from the family of Joyce McGehee, who was our first and long-time CASA Program Director
- $11,000 in memory of Dana and Kevin Clemons from their friends and family
- $10,000 from the women of Chi Lambda
- $15,000 in memory of John and Joanne Richards, parents of our Executive Director Sandy Barber