Seventh annual CASA roast a flaming success

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 15, 2005


The Seventh Annual CASA Roast was a flaming success. If seven is the magic number, then this was the magic year.

Helena Mayor Sonny Penhale and Calera Mayor George Roy took cover on Nov. 8 as rockets of wit, humor and political shots were fired their way.

The annual event produced $45,000 for Court Appointed Special Advocates, an organization which serves abused and neglected children through the court process.

Master of ceremonies, Pelham Mayor Bobby Hayes, was in rare form. His quips and tall tales about lifelong friends, Penhale and Roy, kept the crowd anticipating the next big wave of laughter.

Longtime friend of Penhale, Billy Harris, also shared stories of Helena and Penhale about their early childhood years.

Penhale was a &8220;politician&8221; even then, Harris said, pulling stunts and pranks that were always geared toward making any task easier for him than for his friends.

Penhale is a quiet man and it was said, &8220;If silence is golden, then he must be sitting on Fort Knox.&8221;

He was also described as, &8220;A man of many words &045; about 10 a year.&8221;

Mayor George Roy was labeled as the Santa Claus of Shelby County &045; always smiling, happy and jolly.

He was given the title of the &8220;Wal-Mart Mayor.&8221;

He’s such a nice guy, he couldn’t even get anyone to roast him or say bad things about him, except of course, fellow friend and Mayor Bobby Hayes and that was enough, according to roast organizer Beth Chapman.

Originator of the annual fund raiser, Chapman made her seventh appearance as the queen of CASA comedy.

She kept the audience of 225 donors feeling that their donation was well worth the investment from a charitable and comedic perspective.

The state Auditor and Shelby County resident, who also serves as executive director the county’s CASA program, was also the only person who was able to give back to Mayor Hayes everything he dished out on the two honorees and various other members of the audience.

Former state senator, Butch Ellis, represented the two honorees at their request.

At the end of the evening the joking and roasting subsided and kind words were said about both Penhale and Roy.

Both have made momentous accomplishments during their more than 60 years of combined service, Chapman said.

Political figures who turned out to roast their fellow public servants included Mayor Tony Petelos of Hoover; Shelby County commissioners Joel Bearden, Lindsey Allison, Dan Acker, Jon Parker and Dr. Robbie Hayes; Probate Judge Patricia Fuhrmeister, Supreme Court Justice Patti Smith; Shelby County Judge Juvenile Court Judge Jim Kramer;

District Attorney Robby Owens; Sheriff Chris Curry; State Sen. Hank Erwin; State Rep. Cam Ward; and Circuit Clerk Mary Harris.

CASA is a nonprofit organization which recruits and trains volunteers to go through the court process with abused and neglected children. Their goal is to ensure that every child has a safe and permanent home. For more information on CASA, please call 669-4305