One of the top magicians in the country will perform in Neosho next month as he helps the Neosho Rotary Club raise funds to help some deserving children.

One of the top magicians in the country will perform in Neosho next month as he helps the Neosho Rotary Club raise funds to help some deserving children.

“We would like to get the word out about the quality of the show,” said Rotarian Cary Norman.

“Because this is a Las Vegas-quality show, but it’s family-friendly. In fact, two years in a row he was voted the No. 1 family-friendly show in Las Vegas,” Norman said.

“Garry Carson’s Magical Mystery Show” was the opening act at the MGM Grand, and has performed 8,000 shows for that Las Vegas venue.

Norman found out about Garry Carson by catching his act while on a cruise. In addition to being entertained by “the best quality magic show I had ever seen,” Norman said he learned of the possibility of bringing that same show to Neosho, all with the intent of raising funds to help the children who are served by New-Mac CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates).

Norman said Carson made an announcement after the show that he was available to do free performances for worthwhile causes. As a member of the CASA board, Norman said the organization needs a good fundraiser, and added, “Interestingly enough, he had mentioned CASA as one of his favorite causes. So, I went out, talked to him and filled out a card he gave me, and he in turn started getting in touch with me.”

Norman said the CASA board was at first intimidated by the size of the undertaking, needing more manpower. Knowing that Rotary was looking to do a major project to benefit a worthwhile cause, Norman brought the proposal to the club and said, “Rotary jumped all over it.”

Howard Birdsong, Rotary president, said the service organization has been looking to expand its sphere of influence in Neosho.

“To get the Rotary name out and do one big event each year to benefit some local charitable organization - more than just the nickel and dime – we want a big splash,” he said. “We’re hoping this becomes an annual spring event for Rotary Club to benefit locals; and that’s the whole intent.”

Birdsong explained that Rotary raises small amounts of funds through the Dogwood Tour and their Chili Supper, “But when groups like CASA come along and they’re in dire need of more than just $100, then this is a way to go about doing it.”

Rotarian Nina Eads said New-Mac CASA provides advocates for children when they get involved in the court system, “through no fault of their own, and need someone with them in front of the judge with them to help advocate for their situation. In most cases,” said Eads, “these are cases that their parents are involved in, and the child, through no fault of their own, gets stuck.”

In many of these cases, she said the judge may have to make determinations for the proper home and care for the child.

“With an adult advocate that can speak to some of the issues and concerns,” Eads said, “the judge may be able to gain a more thorough understanding of what the child is experiencing.”

Norman added that the judge in some cases may have to weigh a decision that the best move for the child may be to be put up for adoption, adding that typically they are abused and neglected children.

New-Mac CASA now has 18 active volunteers and has served 135 children to date within the 40th Judicial Circuit Court serving Newton and McDonald counties. Information on their website states volunteers complete a national training program locally and undergo background checks before they are sworn in by a judge to advocate for children. They are then assigned to one case at a time to work with that child or children until the court makes a permanent home placement.

“It becomes a very special relationship,” said Eads.

Norman continued, “Some of these volunteers get more involved in the child’s life than others do. Some of them even will have lunch with the child from time to time, and go to their sporting events. Many times, those children find that volunteer is the only person ever in their life who has truly taken an interest in them.”

Eads said the area is extremely underserved.

“There are only a small percentage of children that actually are fortunate enough to get an advocate and get the help they need. There’s a huge need for more volunteers, and more financial support for the organization,” she said.

A brochure from the organization states that 60 percent of the children in the system have no access to a CASA volunteer, leaving 400,000 children across the nation without the hope a CASA volunteer can bring.

Information from, states that Garry is one of the few magicians working where you can laugh with your whole family, believing you can be funny, clever, insightful and tasteful. It’s why he is so sought after, appearing on major stages in over 40 countries and has made many television appearances around the world. His most recent is for FOX’s “Masters of Illusions” series. The show promises a performance with a woven combination of music, magic, comedy, along with exotic animals and larger than life grand illusions.

Garry and his wife, Mihaela Carson, set aside several months a year to go on fundraising tours that benefit children. Carson Entertainment provides an event that any organization can afford to produce. They know that whenever they help organizations meet the needs or lift the spirits of others – especially a child – something magical happens! Their turn-key fundraising program featuring their family clean entertainment has helped hundreds of organizations.

Eads said the “Garry Carson Magical Mystery Show” really involves the audience.

“Absolutely his focus is on entertaining the young kids,” she said. “It’s still interesting for the adults, but this is a show for the kids. And that’s really how Rotary is going about this, really focusing on making sure we can get enough of our area kids here.”

She said the Rotary Club has close to 1,100 tickets to sell for the “Garry Carson Magical Mystery Show” performance, scheduled for Saturday, April 19 in The Civic in downtown Neosho.

“We want The Civic to be packed,” said Eads. “We want this to be a big event, a fun event, and something we can do again.”

Eads expresses “almost surprise” at the generosity of some local groups who want to donate tickets so that CASA kids, and possibly some others in the area, “Can come to an event that they might not otherwise even be able to dream of being able to attend.” She wants to ensure each of those kids get two tickets, so they can hopefully have an adult bring them.

For that reason of wanting to pack the house, Norman said tickets have been priced at just $10.

“We wanted to make it affordable for folks to come,” he said. “Mr. Carson left it completely up to us at what price we price the tickets, because he gets nothing from the ticket sales,” said Norman.

All proceeds will go to New-Mac CASA.

Tickets are available at the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce 216 W. Spring St. office, and additional locations will be announced later. Tickets will also be available at the Rotary booth during the Business and Industry Review in the Neosho High School Cafeteria  from 5 to 8 .m. today and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m