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CASA of Los Angeles Holds First Annual “Evening of Dreams Gala”

Dax Shepard of NBC’s Parenthood to Host Fundraiser Benefiting Foster Children of Los Angeles to Kick Off National Foster Care Month

Los Angeles, CA April 15, 2013 — CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Los Angeles will hold its first annual “Evening of Dreams Gala” to honor business leaders and community activists who have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to foster children on Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel. The event will be hosted by actor Dax Shepard, star of the NBC drama Parenthood, and will include international dining stations, wine tastings, auction, and a performance by the unique installation artist and musician, William Close and the Earth Harp Collective. The evening will also mark the presentation of the Bob Frandzel Memorial Award, Robert Morrison Community Service Award and the CASA Lifetime Achievement Award. James M. Rishwain, Jr. Esq, Firm Chair of Pillsbury Winthrop, Shaw, Pittman, LLP. serves as the Dinner Chair for the evening.

The Bob Frandzel Memorial Award will be presented to Allison and Frank Addante. Allison Purtell Addante is an active volunteer for CASA, serving as a Court Assistant. Frank Addante is a member of CASA’s Board of Directors. An engineer turned entrepreneur, Frank has successfully launched a number of companies. He was an early pioneer of digital advertising technology and is now a thought leader in the advertising industry. As the Founder and CEO of the Rubicon Project, a six-year-old engineering-driven company that is automating the buying and selling of digital advertising all over the world, Frank’s vision is becoming reality. That’s why the Rubicon Project is one of the fastest growing advertising technology companies in history.

The Robert Morrison Community Services Award will be presented to NBC4, and will be accepted by President and General Manager Steve Carlston. Serving the Los Angeles community since 1949, NBC4’s news operation has received nearly every industry award bestowed on local news, including numerous Los Angeles Emmy and Golden Mike Awards, as well as two national Edward R. Murrow Awards and a Peabody Award.

CASA Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient, Jan Brice, has just completed her 28th year as a CASA Volunteer. Jan has spearheaded and coordinated the Children’s Court Assistant program, served as an advocate for individual abused children, and served on the Glamour Gowns and Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon committees, among other roles. Xiomara Torres Mattson, now Assistant Attorney General in the state of Oregon, and a former CASA youth for whom Jan advocated, will present the award to her.

“Jan leads by example and shows that one person can make a huge difference in the lives of many,” said CASA/LA Executive Director, Dilys Garcia. “It is a privilege to work with someone as dedicated and zealous about serving the community.”

CASA volunteers provide one-on-one advocacy for abused and neglected children in the foster care and family court systems. Appointed by a judge, CASA volunteers fight for and protect a child’s right to be safe, to be treated with dignity and respect and to learn and grow in the safe embrace of a loving family.

The Evening of Dreams will feature international dining stations, wine tastings, an exciting live auction and a silent auction featuring a wine wall donated by Montesquieu Wine Group. All proceeds of the event will benefit CASA’s programs of advocacy and support for abused and neglected children in Los Angeles County’s foster care system. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling 310.370.7676.

William Close is an installation artist and musician who has developed over one hundred new types of musical instruments. Designed and built by William in 1999, the Earth Harp is the world’s largest string instrument. Its name derives from the very first installation where the majestic strings stretched 1000 feet across a valley transforming the earth itself into a musical instrument. Wearing violin rosin covered gloves, the players run their hands along the strings creating beautiful cello like tones.


Founded in 1978, CASA of Los Angeles is a community-supported 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that trains and supports volunteers from the community to serve as advocates for children in the highly-overburdened foster care system of Los Angeles County. A CASA volunteer is a committed, highly-trained everyday citizen volunteer assigned by a judge to a foster child in Los Angeles County’s Juvenile Dependency Court system who advocates for the best interests of the child. CASA volunteers bring the voice of the community into a child welfare system that is often overly-bureaucratic and legalistic. Studies have shown that children with CASAs receive more assistance and support than children without, are more likely to be adopted, and are less likely to reenter the child welfare system. For more information, please visit the CASA of Los Angeles website: