CASA To Hold Annual Pirate Party

CASA To Hold Annual Pirate Party
Volunteers serving as pirates and raising money for the local CASA program are pictured at Sunset Grille during last year’s event. File Photo

BERLIN — The 6th Annual CASA Pirate Party could be the biggest yet and has already secured more volunteers than ever before.

The pirates will be taking over Sunset Grille in West Ocean City on May 16 to raise money for CASA. The party is the agency’s primary annual fundraiser and responsible for meeting the majority of their grant matching funding. Each “pirate” volunteer is responsible for raising at least $500 and this year marks the record for the most buccaneers to have ever participated.

“It’s going well. We’re up to 17 pirates … this is the most we’ve ever had,” said Brigitte Southworth, CASA director.

In addition to the pirates, four sponsors have signed on as well, each pledging to raise at least $1,000. Donations will also come from guests at the door as well as through special raffles and activities during the party. The goal is to beat the $17,000 raised last year, which Southworth believes is attainable

“The other thing that we’re doing new this year is selling tables,” she said. “It gets packed at Sunset and it’s hard to find a place to sit and eat and drink. We’re calling it the Pirate’s Cove and it’s in the pool area.”

Besides being a major fundraiser, the Pirate Party is also a chance for all of CASA’s staff, volunteers and supporters to unwind and channel their inner swashbuckler. There will be live music from the band Animal House, lite fare, drinks, prizes and a cruise on the “Duckaneer” before the party. Everyone is encouraged to come dressed like a pirate with a devil-may-care attitude to match. Last year the event attracted about 360 guests and Southworth hopes to beat that total as well.

All of the funding raised will be used as a matching contribution to the grant funding that keeps CASA running. Standing for “Court Appointed Special Advocates,” CASA has been advocating for abused and neglected children in Worcester County for more than a decade. According to a summary posted on the Worcester Youth and Family Counseling Services (WYFCS) website, CASA has fought for more than 150 local children since coming to the shore in 2003.

“Our goal is simple – to speak up for every child’s right to a safe, permanent home,” read the summary. “Appointed by judges, CASA volunteers typically advocate for one child at a time and commit to staying with the child until placed in a safe, permanent home. While others may come and go, CASA volunteers provide that one constant that children need in order to thrive.”

The Pirate Party will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, May 16. For more information visit WYFCS on Facebook or call 410-641-4598. CASA is still seeking donations and donated prizes for the event. Vote for your favorite pirate at