CASA 16th Annual Retro Party

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CASA Children’s Intervention Services (CASA-CIS) had its 16th Annual Retro Party on April 25 at Harris Pavilion in Historic Downtown Manassas. Nearly 400 people braved the cold and rainy weather to support CASA’s work advocating on behalf of nearly 500 abused, neglected and abandoned children who’s family lives have brought them into the legal system.

“It is amazing to me that so many people came out in the discomfort of 40 degree temperatures, with wind and rain, determined to make the most of the evening so that child victims who have lived in pain, fear, shame and sadness will have hope for a better future,” said CASA CEO and Director, Charlyn Hasson-Brown. “This evening was not just a night of enjoyment where it was easy to come and give, these people came out, for the children, when it was miserable for them. They came, they stayed, they gave.”

Photos by Delia Engstrom

Guests were invited to “come as you were,” donning outfits from the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. Paola Olamar, of Olamar Interiors, retro-decorated the pavilion, turning the back of the stage into a Rubic’s Cube, and Pac Man could be seen chomping his way around the bottom of the stage. Cassette tapes hung from the rafters and the tables were adorned with ’50s soda glasses filled with candy and topped with a cherry colored fire ball rested upon 33 RPM records.

Rather than raffle tickets, for $25, guests could purchase a balloon to enter into a prize drawing. The 500 balloons represented the number of children CASA will serve this year.  Josie Geiger of BION inc. won the grand prize, a blue and white diamond pendant set in white gold and provided by Jewelry by Design. However, Bob Hanifin of Beacon Electric accepted on her behalf, as Geiger left the event early to welcome her new granchild into the world.

Chris Rash, patriarch of the Westrash Charities, presented CASA with a $10,000 check. The family holds their annual Westrash Charity Golf Tournament each April. For the past four years, they have donated funds from the event to CASA. QMT Windchimes and Ken and Sharree Ryder were the top sponsors of the evening.

Two local bands, Type A and Fringe Benefits rocked the night with retro music spanning the decades from the 60s to the 90s. The dance floor was filled with animated reflections of years past. There were bumps, pony tails, curlers, mullets and afros on heads that in many cases have long been devoid of follicles. Bell bottoms, tie dye, leisure suits, frilly “Madonna” and poodle skirts, mini and maxi dresses with Go Go boots, saddle shoes and platforms could all be seen.

The Osbourne Park High School JROTC under Lt. Commander Ogawa showed up in force at 8 am to set up the tents, tables and chairs. The JROTC has been helping CASA with two events each year since 1998. Each year, CASA gives JROTC a gift from the proceeds of the evening.

1998 also marks the start of Kris and Glenn Evans of East West Embroidery coordinating the bar for CASA events. They round up staff and friends, most often including Arlene and John Stewart, and their daughter, second generation helper Lauren Stewart, as well as Susan and David Balboni from Ashby Jewelers.

“I am grateful to every awesome person who was shivering in the cold, had big smiles on their faces and donations in their hands because the children who are hurting were more important to them,” said Hasson-Brown. She added that May is National Foster Care Month and that for every windchime purchased on its website, QMT Windchimes  will donate 20 percent of profits to help CASA children who are in temporary care to have safe and permanent homes. To learn more about CASA, visit



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