Judy Ruedlinger's most important job is protecting abused and neglected children.
Her job Saturday was a bit lighter. Ruedlinger spent the afternoon passing out helium-filled balloons to more than 100 area children who attended the Casa for Casa party at the Dillons, 3000 W. Sixth.
"I've had the party in mind for at least the past five years," she said. "I'm delighted that we had the crowd we did and that it wasn't raining."
The crowd came to see entertainer Sandy Brown, Baby Jay and to sign up for a chance to win a Jayhawk playhouse. The playhouse is part of CASA's annual fund-raiser and is donated by local architects, builders and interior designers. This year's home was the fifth one built and was put together by architect J. Stephen Lane, the Lawrence Home Builders Assn. and Barb Heck Interiors.
"Our national motto is 'Every child deserves a safe home,' and we feel like this is indicative of that," Ruedlinger said.
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteers protect the interests of abused and neglected children who are involved in the court process.
"A lot of work went into this house by a lot of volunteers," Ruedlinger said, from inside the two-story structure. "And all the money raised goes to the Douglas County CASA."
Lawrence resident Dave Olson was on hand for the drawing.
"It's a good donation for a good cause," he said.
It was not Olson's name that was pulled from the registration cards.
That honor went to Michele Johnson, who was not there for the celebration.
Olson remained undaunted and said he would try to win again next year.
For more information on CASA, call 841-7700.