Capital Area Court Appointed Special Advocate Association received a $5,000 grant from the Baton Rouge State Fair Foundation’s Worthy Cause Program.

The grant will fund training for new CASA volunteers.

CASA volunteers advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected youth living in foster care to help them reach safe, permanent homes, a news release said. Before being assigned to a case, each CASA volunteer must complete a comprehensive training process.

The grant will enable CASA to continue serving every child in East Baton Rouge Parish who needs a voice. Capital Area CASA Association thanked the Baton Rouge State Fair Foundation for its continued support.

The objective of the Baton Rouge State Fair Foundation’s Worthy Cause Program is to “promote educational, cultural and other opportunities for children and young people in the greater Baton Rouge area who have demonstrated achievement or who may be in need,” the release said. The program funds projects sponsored by nonprofit volunteer organizations.

To learn more about becoming a CASA volunteer, call (225) 379-8598, email or visit

Youth event promotes HIV/AIDS awareness

Outstanding Mature Girlz Organization, L.A.C.E Institute, Southern University Student Affairs, Amerihealth CaritasLA, Dr. Tom Rathmann, Clay Young Enterprises, attorney Marty Maley, AIDS Healthcare Foundation and residents are all teaming up to bring HIV/AIDS awareness to another level, to young women ages 10 and older.

The Outstanding Mature Girlz Conference, held in honor of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, is set for 9:30 a.m. May 30 on the campus of Southern University in the Student Union Ballroom.

Girls age 10 and older can register for the free event online at www.omgyouth

The O.M.G Youth Conference will feature breakout sessions, guest speakers and entertainment. Free HIV testing will also be available on site.

International HIV/AIDS activist Hydeia Broadbent will be the featured keynote speaker.

For more information, email Sashika Baunchand at

YMCA hosts swimsuit drive

The YMCA is hosting the eighth annual Swimsuit Drive to provide swimsuits to children in need this summer.

Residents are asked to donate any new one-piece swimsuit for girls and swim trunks for boys of all ages.

All nine YMCA locations will accept donations through May 31.

The Y offers several opportunities for children to learn how to swim through community splash programs, BREC pools, YMCA Swimming Lessons and Swim Safety Classes.

For information about the drive, contact Kristen Hogan at or (225) 923-0653.

Contact Southside Advocate Editor Darlene Denstorff by phone, (225) 388-0215 or (225) 603-1998; or email Deadline: 2 p.m. Friday.