Celebrity waiters serve up tips for CASA

Mackenzie Freund, City Editor

Celebrity waiters and waitresses helped raise money for the Court Appointed Special Advocate Association, or CASA, Saturday at the Brick House Bar and Grill.

Dale Wolf, a member of the board of directors, said this is the second year that the CASA has hosted this fundraiser.

Wolf said he asked members of the community if they wanted to be the celebrity waiters and waitresses.

Some of the celebrities included Reggie Phillips, a state representative, Dale Righter, a state senator, and Brandon Combs, the mayor of Charleston.

Andrea Applegate, a human resources representative from Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Service, was a celebrity waitress.

“I never think twice about helping out with children,” Applegate said. “They don’t get to pick their lives.”

Mattoon’s Williams Elementary principal Kris Maleske, another waiter, said he has a personal connection with some of the kids involved with the CASA.

Maleske is also a board member of the CASA, and has been for about a year.

“It’s all for the kids,” Maleske said. “That’s what we’re about, stepping out and trying to help.”

Christy Idleman, a senior communication studies major and a cocktail server at the Brick House, said she loved working with the celebrity waiters.

Kristen Bertrand, the executive director for the CASA office, said that this year the Brick House allowed one of the two celebrity waiters to be behind the bar during the hour they worked.

“They’re bartending and serving drinks, so they’re kind of awkward at first,” Idelman said. “It’s actually really humorous to see, but they’re really friendly people.”

Idleman said she thought it was awesome that people who did not know what the CASA was donated to the organization.

Wolf said the CASA acts as advocates for children in the court system so the children can be properly represented.

“(The volunteers) see them in their homes and go with (to court) to make sure the children’s rights are not being abused,” Wolf said.

Wolf said the main point of the fundraiser is to help train their volunteers.

Bertrand said the proceeds from the fundraiser helps generate the funds for the training classes that advocates go through.

Bertrand said the advocates go through 30 hours of training before they are sworn in by a judge and assigned to a child.

“(The advocates) will follow that case as long as the parents have to keep coming to court,” Bertrand said. “Right now there are 13 children who still need an advocate.”


Mackenzie Freund can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]