Gillian Trask with Kobo Gallery Ends 2020 on a High Note with Substantial Donation to Savannah/Chatham CASA
Written by Joy Dunigan • Photos by David Kaminsky
Kobo Gallery has officially wrapped up its annual holiday fundraising initiative, in which it is extremely proud to announce it has made a donation of over $1,200 to Savannah/Chatham CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). Savannah/Chatham CASA recruits and trains volunteers to advocate for the best interests of children who have experienced abuse and neglect.
With this donation, Kobo has truly made a difference and filled in the last bit of funding Savannah/Chatham CASA needed to reach its annual giving goal. That means they can now serve 100% of children in foster care in 2021.
“This donation will allow us to provide critical staff support to more than 160 CASA volunteers that serve over 300 children in foster care in Chatham County,” said Kate Blair, Executive Director. “Our volunteers are highly trained, and they work hard to provide stability in a child’s life that they might not otherwise have. They stay incredibly involved in their lives and serve as their voice in a system that is highly complicated to make sure decisions are made in their best interests.”
“We love that this was a creative fundraising partnership and that it has had such a positive impact. Through our work, we are always trying to better connect children with art organizations and music, so that they may learn to fully enjoy life and express themselves creatively.”
All twelve Kobo artist members donated hand-made, one-of-a-kind holiday ornaments that were sold just inside the gallery window on Barnard Street and online at kobogallery.com. From colored-fabric trees by Doris Grieder, felt and ribbon dangles by jeweler Nancy Boyd, to painted wood ornaments by Angela Burson and Daniel E. Smith, the ‘CASA tree’ as it became known was a hot feature during the shopping season. One-hundred percent of all sales went directly to Savannah/Chatham CASA.
For the past six years, Kobo has selected a non-profit organization to support during the holiday season. Needless to say it has been a year like no other, and when the Gallery went looking for the perfect non-profit partner, Kobo artist Gillian Karatassos with Gillian Trask Jewelry immediately suggested Savannah/Chatham CASA.
"There are many kids out there who need someone to be their voice through the foster care process, and CASA does an amazing job for those who need it most. When Kobo was trying to select a non-profit, CASA was the first organization that came to mind." Karatassos said. "Gillian Trask Jewelry supports and aligns with CASA's cause in empowering others. Typically, when artists are asked to rally to a cause, they put forth a huge, whole-hearted effort to make it a success, and that is exactly what all the artists at Kobo did.”
ABOUT SAVANNAH/CHATHAM CASA
Since 1991, Savannah/Chatham CASA prides itself on recruiting, training, screening, and supervising volunteers to provide individualized advocacy for children who have experienced abuse and neglect. Savannah/Chatham CASA volunteers provide a “voice” for children by collecting and delivering objective information to the judges of the Juvenile Court. Trained CASA volunteers and staff work to understand the needs of the children and ensure that the child’s voice is heard and represented in the court system. Moreover, CASA respects the right for a child to remain associated with their families and other familiar relationships in their lives.
Gillian Trask Picked as Ambassador of NYC Metal & Smith 2020 Show
What is one of your most exciting moments in your career?
For me, the crack of turning on my torch is something I am super grateful for and look forward to each and every morning. Getting recognized for loving what I do? What better way for validation that Gillian Trask is on the right path.
Honestly- I tell people that ‘I finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up!’ While I hope to never REALLY grow up (I mean, what is creation without child-like wonder?) achieving this Ambassadorship makes me realize that maybe, just maybe, I’m able to give others the feeling of empowerment through my creations.
Want to know something else? Without @halsteadbead, @flourish_thrive @dougordway, @visualsage, Lauren Reynolds, @way2gowendy, @scadjewelrydept, @kristenbairdjewelry, @maya.ashes, @satanickate, @mothtoaflamejewelry, @christophercarpentino, @frogprincepaperie, @nathanscojewelers and of course, @coe_hhi, and all of my friends and family who have supported me though this crazy dream of Gillian Trask, I would never have been able to sit outside on this gorgeous Saturday and write this gratitude. Thank you, @metalandsmith. I’m beyond honored.
Gillian Trask Placed Top Ten Nationally
Gillian Trask placed in the Top Ten for the Halstead Grant 2019 Annual National competition. She says, 'I am beyond excited to be a part of the Halstead Grant finalist family! This application process itself isn't for the faint of heart, but through its completion I now have a 1,000 foot perspective of my business and all the details in-between. Thank you @halsteadbead for your faith in my business and in me. I can't wait to see what the future brings! Congratulations to all of the finalists and to @emmaelizabethjewelry. I know how much hard work you all put into this, and the recognition is so well-deserved. You guys are rockstars!'
The Halstead Grant started in 2006 and has helped many talented jewelry artists gain a foothold in this challenging field. Past winners agree that receiving the award was a turning point early in their careers when they were wavering on whether or not the jewelry studio was the right place for them. Being singled out by the grant program affirmed their choices and gave them a push to make their business dreams a reality. The Halstead Grant is a special annual award given to jewelry designers and makers who are in their first three years of business.
'It's an exciting way to start my first year of business, for sure!' Gillian says. 'I am so honored to be a part of this special group of talented jewelry designers. I can't wait to see what the future will bring. Hopefully it's more strong empowering pieces.'
Since the 2019 competition, Halstead Bead has extended the application process to the first five years of business for designers.