St. Michael’s donates $5,000 to CASA from MedFest proceeds

Judge Kent Walston, board president for CASA, accepts St. Michael’s donation.

Each year since it started, the St. Michael Mediterranean Festival, affectionately known throughout the community at MedFest, draws in more attendees with the promise of delicious Greek cuisine and delightful cultural exhibitions. Festival Chairman/Coordinator Georgia Vasilakis said that at the most recent festival in May 2016, approximately 7,000 people showed up to sample the fine fare and enjoy the various displays.

The community’s enthusiastic response to the annual event generated thousands of dollars, and now St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church is returning the money to the community, benefiting a local charitable organization with the goal of empowering abused and neglected children and giving them a chance for a bright future.

Sept. 13, the church presented a check for $5,000 to CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Southeast Texas. CASA Board President Kent Walston accepted the donation on behalf of the charity.

“We are grateful and humbled to be a recipient this year of the benefits of the festival,” Walston said upon acceptance. “It is with great enthusiasm I am board president of CASA. … Their only focus is the children.

“Sometimes it is very painful to see how people treat their children. It takes a lot of effort and it takes a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of dedication from these volunteers, who are not paid, to go out and advocate for these children. … The people who do this are very, very special people. We are very grateful for being a benefactor of the Mediterranean Festival.”

“We are truly blessed with the magnitude and popularity that the festival has gained over the last eight years, and we are excited to make a contribution to CASA of Southeast Texas,” said Vasilakis. “Children are our future, and we are happy to assist in CASA’s mission to advocate for abused and neglected children in the pursuit of safe, permanent homes.”