James Jones, Butch Ellis roasted at CASA event

The fourth annual CASA Roast was a huge success, raising more than $30,000 for the Court Appointed Special Advocates of Shelby County.

The event, which was full of fun and laughter, was held at the Pelham Civic Complex.

More than 200 friends and business associates gathered to roast and toast Sheriff James Jones and former state senator and county attorney, Butch Ellis.

Those who lined up to take a stab at the two were Pelham Mayor Bobby Hayes, former Chief Deputy Tom Smitherman and Rep. Mike Hill (R -Columbiana).

Judge Patti Smith, founder of the CASA program in Shelby County, presented special gifts to the two, and Beth Chapman, creator of the annual fund-raising event, made a special presentation on behalf of the CASA Board of Directors.

Masters of Ceremony for the evening were Probate Judge Patricia Fuhrmeister and County Commissioner Lindsey Allison.

Dubbed at last year’s roast as the &uot;Lucy and Ethel of Shelby County,&uot; the dynamic duo hosted a lively evening.

Roasters were hard-pressed to say anything too harsh about Sheriff Jones, who has served as Shelby County’s sheriff for the past 11 years and has announced his plans for retirement at the end of this term.

Chapman said all negatives against the sheriff have been reserved until he leaves office and no longer has the ability to make arrests or write traffic tickets. There was some mention however to a likeness of Barney Fife, she said.

As for Ellis, many political stories of the past came back to haunt him. Several skeletons were pulled out of his political closet and the crowd loved it.

In return, he concluded the evening’s event with a rebuttal that would make Perry Mason and Ben Matlock look like law school dropouts.

Emily Armistead and Carol Hill were responsible for the decorations for the evening. They created a sea of red, white and blue throughout the room, using patriotic centerpieces to celebrate the many years of public service given by the two honorees.

Host sponsors for the evening were Alabama Power Company and Protective Life Corporation.

Board members enjoying the event included: Armistead, Hill, Scott Armstrong, Corley Ellis, Guardian Ad Litem, Cindy Sirmon, Juvenile Court Judge Smith, Rux Bentley and Lil White.

The CASA Roast has become an annual &uot;Who’s Who&uot; event in Shelby County and has been labeled by attendees as the most fun and successful event of its kind.

During the past three years it has produced an income of more than $150,000 for the Court Appointed Special Advocates program in Shelby County.

CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Shelby County is a nonprofit organization that recruits and trains volunteers to go through the court process with abused and neglected children.

CASAs advocate for the best interests of the children they serve. CASAs are a child’s &uot;voice&uot; in court.

For more information on CASA, please call 669-4305