Family Advocates fundraises for child advocacy

Family Advocates fundraises for child advocacy

Family Advocates held its final fundraiser of the year at the La Porte Civic Auditorium on Saturday, October 22. The event was a formal ball, complete with heavy appetizers, a cash bar, live music, and the Fund-a-Need Paddle Raise which was hosted by La Porte’s Mayor, Mayor Tom Dermody.

Family Advocates Masquerade Ball 2022

Family Advocates Masquerade Ball 2022 39 Photos
Family Advocates Masquerade Ball 2022Family Advocates Masquerade Ball 2022Family Advocates Masquerade Ball 2022Family Advocates Masquerade Ball 2022

Family Advocates is an independent nonprofit agency that has been part of the community for 32 years. Jackie Dermody, CEO of Family Advocates in La Porte, expressed the effect that fundraisers such as this one have on the children in the community.

“We’re here tonight to raise funds to continue to advocate for all of the children in La Porte County that we serve,” Jackie Dermody said. 

What makes Family Advocates unique are the programs it offers the community.

“We are one agency with three programs,” Jackie Dermody said. “We have our Court Appointed Special Advocate program, our Community Youth Advocate program, and our Harmony House Supervised Visitation.”

Family Advocates are impacting children's lives and giving them the voice they deserve through trained advocates. The nonprofit is funded through donations made by the community as well as sponsors, and grants, and also receives some funding through La Porte County. 

“We are always looking for people who are interested in giving back,” Jackie Dermody said. “While not everyone has the financial reasons to donate, they have the time to volunteer.”

Every year, Family Advocates hold three fundraisers, however, next year will be a little different.

“Next year, we will a trivia event and the Battle of the Badges Wiffle Ball Tournament," Jackie Dermody said.

 “We are taking a little hiatus next Fall.”

Jackie Dermody hopes to collaborate with other nonprofit organizations in the future, to reach a financial goal together. “There are a lot of nonprofits competing for a lot of community dollars,” Jackie Dermody said. “La Porte is a small community with a lot of resources. I’m focused on seeing how we can reach our goals together and do it more efficiently.”

Senior judge, Nancy Gettinger, noted the importance of raising awareness of supporting the children in the community.

“I am a career-long advocate of the Court Appointed Special Advocates,” Gettinger said. “They are very special people. They work hard and they have a critical role in the juvenile court and the child welfare system.”

Doreen Martinson, marketing director for First Trust Credit Union, expressed her excitement to be a sponsor for this event.

“Part of my job is looking for ways that I can get involved in the community,” Martinson said. “First Trust Credit Union’s philosophy is people helping people. We’re happy to get involved and be one of the sponsors for the event to help out.” 

The Fund-a-Need paddle-raise was held by La Porte County Mayor, Tom Dermody. The goal of the night was to attempt to raise $20,000. That goal was exceeded by almost $9,000. 

“There are 70 children on a waitlist that need advocates,” Mayor Tom Dermody said. “It costs $1,000 per child per year and they were able to raise at least enough money to have advocates for 20 children.” 

Mayor Tom Dermody expressed his gratitude to the work of Family Advocates as well as other nonprofits whose mission is to make the community even better.

“To have all of these nonprofits that make a difference in families' lives, adults and especially children's lives, to keep them safe is so important,” Mayor Tom Dermody said. 

“This is what makes La Porte special; All of the different organizations, and groups that are always trying to help our residents. We’re going to continue to see more of that in the future.”

For more information about Family Advocates and how you can volunteer, visit,