The Belton Journal

Mike and Sarah Dent from Temple held the CASA Classic Golf Tournament, raising $60,000 for child advocacy services, for children in foster care in Bell and Coryell counties.

Presenting a check for this amount to CASA board members and representatives on Thursday, June 6, the Dent family set a new record for a single donation.

The funds were a result of the fourth annual CASA Classic Golf Tournament, held at Sammons Golf Course in Temple on May 20, attracting 188 golfers and over 30 sponsors.

In four years, the Dents; vision for a premier golf event in Central Texas has gone from a dream to reality.

The impact of this support has been notable, with CASA breaking records, bringing in new volunteers, and even expanding its staff in 2023 due to proceeds from the tournament.

The primary goal behind creating the event, as stated by Mike and Sara, was to enable CASA to reach and serve more children.

Mike Dent expressed his motivation for sponsoring the event, emphasizing the crucial role CASA volunteers play in supporting kids in foster care during challenging times. Reflecting on the tournament’s growth, he remains convinced that people are moved to lend their support to CASA due to the organization’s impactful work.

CASAs (Court Appointed Child Advocates) have taken an oath to be a voice for kids in the welfare system.

They are dedicated to serving every at-risk child in the foster care system in Coryell and Bell counties.

Volunteers serve as the “eyes and ears” for the judge in child welfare cases, and speak for the child.

The generous donation from the Dent family is an important step towards fulfilling their mission of supporting vulnerable children in the area. CASA is a National non-profit organization, with a crucial mission focused on recruiting volunteers to advocate for children placed in foster care in Bell and Coryell County. Dedicated advocates undergo comprehensive training to support children who are in state care, specifically those who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. Serving as guardians ad litem, these advocates play a vital role in legal proceedings, representing the best interests of the children they serve. Volunteers typically handle one or two cases at a time, ensuring focused and individualized attention for each child.

The donation from this year’s golf tournament means CASA can add another supervisor and 30 new volunteers. Volunteers advocate for many kids every day. Workloads prevent advocates from having more than two cases a year. The complexities of the foster care system can take a year or longer to adjudicate. Every year thousands of kids enter the court system because of abuse or neglect. An advocate gets appointed to a child to see them through whatever they need. Judges rely on advocates to be the voice of the child. They are given many tools, such as investigating the family, finding a temporary placement, and much more.

Kevin Kyle, Executive Director for, Bell & Coryell Counties says there are about 1,400 cases in the system. There are many reported and unreported cases that have to be confirmed before they are placed in the court system.

“Our goal is to reunite families through education, behavioral and anger management, and substance abuse. Every child should be with their family if it’s a safe place for them,” Kyle said.

Mike Dent wishes this type of program was around when he was an abused child in his family. Dent experienced dark days of not understanding what was happening after he was placed in the court system.

“I couldn’t speak for myself, mostly because I didn’t know what it was like to live a normal life with a family,” he said.

Dent found a way to help hundreds of kids through his Wings, Pizza, N Things restaurant in Temple. He has been successful in organizing an annual golf tournament that keeps growing in the number of golfers and sponsors. So far, the donations have increased every year, Dent said.

CASA of Bell and Coryell Counties is located at 112 North Main Street, Belton.

Information is available by calling (254) 774-1881 or by email at:



CASA Board President Lee Ann Deal and CASA Executive Director Kevin Kyle accept a check for $60,000 from Mike and Sara Dent. The funds were raised at a recent golf tournament.