On Saturday evening Wee Willy’s in Marblehead was packed and lively.
The community came together to honor their mayor, Jackie Bird, her late brother Tom Bird and to raise funds for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). Mayor Bird will be competing in CASA’s Dancing with the Stars event on Nov. 17 at Camp Perry.
Over $1500 has been raised for Mayor Bird and CASA through the event and donations so far, and more is to be tallied, according to Norm Welser and Willy Steinbrick of Wee Willy’s.
Rosalyn Barnhill, CASA volunteer, spoke to the gathered contributors of the work of CASA, and of her own experiences. Barnhill works with three families, and said that at times she needs to “read the body language of the youngest children who can’t yet speak to make sure the child is in a safe place.”
Mayor Bird thanked everyone for coming out and said, “This is truly overwhelming. It is for a very important cause. I hope to bring the trophy back to Marblehead.”
Bird said that when she was first asked to participate in the CASA event, she was hesitant, but her brother Tom encouraged and supported her and picked out the song she is dancing to on Saturday. Tom died suddenly on Oct. 21. He had planned a surprise birthday party for Jackie at Wee Willy’s. Though it was difficult, Jackie decided to go forward with the competition and turn the birthday party into a CASA fundraising event.
“Willy and Norm did it all,” said Bird, of the arrangements for Saturday evening’s event. “Thanks to them and to my family and everyone for the support for me and for a wonderful cause.”
CASA is a group of highly trained volunteers that advocate for the best interest of children involved in the court system in Ottawa County.
Dancing with the Stars will be held at the Camp Perry Conference Center on Nov. 17. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the dancing begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 each and include hors d’oeuvres. A cash bar is available. A few tickets remain and can be purchases at the CASA office at 419-301-0224 or at NBOH Oak Harbor and Port Clinton offices.
This year’s event will be co-hosted by the Honorable Kathleen Giesler and Chief Bob Bratton. DJ Jerry Wittman of the band Legacy II will spin the tunes. The stars are Jackie Bird, Cole Hatfield, Bert Fall, Connie Moore, Marie Wittman and Curt Cochran. There will be special performances by local dancers, a silent auction, a live auction and raffles.