Join us for Light of Hope 2019! 

Friday, March 1st, 2019 at Maceli's

1031 New Hampshire St.

11:00 to 12:00 - Meet and Mingle (optional)

12:00 to 1:00 - Program and Awards Presentation

This is a FREE event! To RSVP, please email Autumn at

Guest Speaker: Former Jackson County CASA (KC,MO) Executive Director Marsha Gershun

Martha Gershun is the author of Care & Custody: A Novel of Three Children at Risk, detailing the plight of three siblings in the child welfare system and the CASA Volunteer who fights valiantly to find them a safe, permanent home. In 2017 Gershun retired as Executive Director of Jackson County CASA (Kansas City, MO), one of the largest CASA agencies in the country, advocating for more than 1,250 children each year. She also served as a Board member of the Missouri CASA Association and the National CASA Association.

Gershun has over 35 years of leadership experience with non-profit organizations, start-up ventures, and Fortune 500 corporations. She served as Executive Director for Reach Out and Read, a national non-profit that helps bring books and a love of reading to children living in poverty in all 50 states. During her tenure, the organization was honored with Fast Company’s Social Capitalist Award as one of the nation’s most innovative, entrepreneurial, and effective non-profits. Today she consults to a wide variety of non-profit agencies in the arts and human services, helping with strategic planning, organizational development, and fundraising.

Gershun is a passionate, persuasive public speaker who speaks often about the dangers facing children in the foster care system. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Kveller, and The Kansas City Star.

Gershun earned an A.B. cum laude from Harvard University and an M.B.A. with First Year Honors from the Harvard Business School. She also holds a graduate diploma in Economics from the University of Stirling, Scotland, where she was a Rotary International Fellow. In September 2018 Gershun donated a kidney at the Mayo Clinic to a woman she met through a newspaper story.