Columbia, SC (WLTX) - More than 900 children in Richland County are victims of abuse and neglect every year, andthe people who fight for those children in and out of the court system were recognized Tuesdayat a special lunch atthe Capital City Club in Columbia.

I had the pleasure of emceeing the event today.

This year's Champions of Children Luncheon was hosted by Richland County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).

CASA is celebrating 30 years of service in a program that ensures every child inDepartment of Social Servicescustody has a volunteer guardian who speaks just for them in court.

"WithoutCASA, these children--who are taken from their homes because someone that they trust has abused or neglected them--they don't have a voice and so the guardian ad litem program is so important to these children," said Jennifer Hollingsworth, the CASA Chair.

More than 200 people attendedthe luncheon. News19's Darci Strickland served as the emcee.

If you're interested in becoming a volunteer and serving as the voice for abused children in court, you can go to the CASA website for more information. (