20th Anniversary

CASA CELEBRATES 20 YEARS OF CHILD ADVOCACY

CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) was established in Rockwall County in May of 1992.

Tish Verde was already a busy advocate with Dallas CASA when she recognized the need for a program in Rockwall. Through her efforts and those of other concerned community members came the formal organization of CASA of Rockwall County, Inc. In the spring of 2004 CASA of Rockwall County amended its Articles of Incorporation to formally change its name to Lone Star CASA. Lone Star CASA now advocates for the children of Kaufman and Rockwall Counties. Volunteers have provided outstanding advocacy for the children they have served and have established for future volunteers an organization that is respected and admired. A local Board of Directors governs CASA program. It is a non-profit organization as are all CASA programs in Texas. Funding and financial support comes from federal, state, and county grants, local organizations and donors, and fundraisers.

During these two decades CASA Volunteers have devoted many hours, driven many miles, and found themselves in some unique situations—some pleasant and some frightening—but all rewarding. Through all this CASA Advocates have touched, and in most cases changed, the lives of more than 350 kids! We’re proud of this achievement but we’re not going to relent until we can provide an Advocate for each child in need here in Rockwall and Kaufman counties.

Today, after Twenty Years of Advocacy, Lone Star CASA has achieved some other successes. We have added to our staff; the headquarters in Rockwall is more than adequate for the present level of activities; and we’ve opened an office in Kaufman County. We are regularly adding to our complement of Volunteer Advocates, now numbering about 60, as we strive to attain our goal of 100 Volunteer Advocates by 2014, so as to be able to provide a CASA for every child in need. Our Board of Directors, now numbering fifteen, continues in the tradition of working to support the diligent staff and Volunteer Advocates in their service of “Speaking Up For Kids”.

At the 20-year anniversary celebration, Casework Supervisor Patti Galloway presented the Tish Verde Volunteer Advocate of the Year Award to David “Buddy” Beaulieu, who has been an active volunteer advocate for two years and has been assigned to three cases.

Program Director Vickie Nettleton recognized Volunteers for their advocacy for the children. The following volunteers were recognized for their two years of service as volunteer advocates: David Beaulieu, Mary Duffey, Stephanie Summers, Mary Myers, Lynn Renner, Kelley Armstrong, Sheila Armstrong, Kaylee Blythe, Lacey Cloud, Melody Doudney, Judy Fain, Aranda Johnson, and Pam Potter. Mike Candler, Ron Larsen, and Pam Smith were recognized for five years of service as volunteer advocates. Tish Verde was recognized for 20 years of advocacy with Lone Star CASA.

Executive Director Lucille Bell recognized all board members in attendance from the beginning board to the present board. She presented the Board Member of the Year Award to Dave Hambley, who is in his second year of service on the CASA Board and is currently serving as Treasurer. As a member of the Metro East Division of the Home Builders Association of Greater Dallas, Dave has been instrumental in the tremendous success of the Cars for CASA event held each May.

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