CASA Up Close | April 2019
Welcome to another edition of CASA Up Close Monthly. Please feel free to contact CASA for more information about anything you read. And, as always, thank you for your continued support! Use these quick links to get involved.
In this Issue

  • April Proclamations
  • Casablanca
  • Welcome New CASA Volunteers
  • Training Dates
  • Join us for Burgers
  • Birdies for Charity
  • Information Sessions
  • Continuing Education
  • Help Us Pave the Way
  • Cars for CASA
  • Events Benefiting CASA
  • Community Support
Letter from the Executive Director
April is National Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month and CASA will promote the month with the color blue . What does it mean to "Go Blue " in April? For me, it is about not letting the issue of child abuse be ignored. It is a topic not talked about enough, until it makes headlines when it involves tragedy. In April, I want the color blue to stand for something positive - communities showing that we will work together to protect our children.
    Our local Counties and Cities will commit to the fight against child abuse by signing their own proclamations recognizing the month. I encourage anyone who can attend their local signing to do so. See the calendar below for dates and times of proclamations in your community.
     As an individual, I ask you to think how you can recognize April as Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month. Wear the blue child abuse prevention bracelet, invite CASA to come speak to your church group, attend Family Court one morning to observe and understand how abuse is occurring in your own community, or talk to your children about being nice to the new kid in their class who has just joined them after being placed in a foster home because they were no longer safe in their own home.
     As a business owner, celebrate the month by asking your employees to wear blue on Fridays, announce the month on your marquee, invite a CASA representative to speak to your employees, or decorate your office with blue  ribbons.
     Our dedicated volunteers here at CASA work year round to protect the children. It is fitting that we also celebrate these great people during National Volunteer Week, April 7 - 13, and the children they serve will be recognized during National Crime Victims' Rights Week April 7 - 13.
     This April, take a stand, speak your voice, and Go Blue .

Norma Castilla-Blackwell
CASA of Central Texas
Executive Director
Here's Looking at You Kid!

CASA of Central Texas Annual Fundraiser
April 12, 2019

    CASA will honor long-time supporters, Barry Williams, Regional President, Prosperity Bank and Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe , Commissioner, Precinct 1 – Hays County.

Get ready to bid on a huge variety of auction items donated by local establishments!

Raise your paddle for vacation getaways to Palmetto Bluff, SC (4N, 4BR/8ppl), Watersound, FL (4N, 3BR/6ppl), and Newport Beach, CA (4N, 5BR/10ppl)! 

Don’t miss the Willie Nelson signed guitar, Rocking Chairs with the State of Texas Seal and a beautiful Americus Diamond pendant! 

Go home with a National Finals Rodeo (NFR) vacation package in Las Vegas. Known as the “Super Bowl of Rodeo,” this is the most prestigious rodeo in the world!  Rodeo tickets are for two nights, first weekend December 6th & 7th. Includes two nights at MGM Casino & Hotel.

You’re in for a fun night at CASAblanca!

Thank you to our sponsors:



Kate & Ken Marx


Broadway Bank
Colette Wollenberg-Keller Williams Realty
Greater Texas Credit Union
JoAnne Germer
Marla Wells
Paula Vacek
Rodger & Maria Broderick

Airforce Turbine Service
Corridor Title
Felicia James, Realtor, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services
John Manthey
J&R Gymnastics/cheer/dance
Justin Meadows
The Kyle Law Firm
Mike & A.J. Keyser
Michael Britt
Millennium Medi Spa
Property Professionals, Inc.
Susie Russell
Texas Lehigh Cement Company
Welcome New CASA Volunteers
Seven new volunteers were sworn in on March 28th. Each volunteer completed 5 weeks of training, background checks, courtroom observation and is now ready to advocate for children in court. We are now enrolling for May training courses. See dates below.
Picture (l-r): CASA Board Member Frank Pereira, CASA Board Member JoAnne Germer, CASA Staff Member Joyce Yannuzzi, CASA Board Member Susie Russell, CASA Executive Director Norma Blackwell, Jackie Bourland of Hays County, Erin Bowlin of Hays County, Vivian Caldwell of Travis County, Judge Melissa McClenahan, Brandi Raschke of Comal County, Kay Merket of Comal County, Christine Martin of Comal, County Robby Hymel of Comal County and CASA Staff Member Layla Coleman.
Become a CASA Volunteer
Upcoming Training Dates

Wednesdays - San Marcos   
May 8 - June 5
1 - 5 p.m.

Thursdays - New Braunfels
May 9 - June 6
4:30 - 8:30 p.m.

For more information on training courses, contact Layla Coleman at 512-392-3578, 830-626-2272, or by email. 
One-hour pre-training interview to occur at least one week before start of each training cycle. Mandatory 10-hour online class to be completed during the training cycle.

Application deadline prior to each cycle is two weeks before start of training.
Submit your volunteer application here .
"Voices" Information Sessions
Want to learn more about the role of a CASA Volunteer?

Come to our one-hour information session and hear how our volunteers advocate for children who have been abused and neglected.

San Marcos
Wednesday, April 17th, noon 
Historic County Courthouse, 1st floor conference room

New Braunfels
Wednesday, May 1st, noon
CASA office

CASA staff and volunteers will be on hand to share their stories and answer your questions. 

Please RSVP to Eloise Hudson by email or at 830-626-2272. 
Continuing Education for Volunteers
On March 25th Phylis Offerman, local Attorney and Mediator, discussed with our advocates the purpose of mediation, CASA’s role, and how to prepare for mediation. The purpose of mediation is to avoid trial or limit issues and to allow conversations; however, mediation means that no participant will get everything they want. 

Phylis highlighted the importance of listening skills, as well as the usefulness of our court reports - which are extremely helpful in preparing for mediation. She advised advocates to consult with their supervisor on how to approach each mediation and to consider what CASA would most want and what CASA would finally accept.

She said advocates should know the permanency options prior to mediation and confirm positions right before mediation to get a firm understanding of where each party stands.
She reminded advocates to work their case, communicate with parties throughout, and establish relationships. Phylis also provided some great insight to our advocate’s questions on their personal experiences within their mediation sessions so they can be better prepared for the future. But truly, you can never be fully prepared for mediation as mediation differs depending on your mediator and each party’s willingness to compromise. 

Thank you to McKenna Events Center for providing the venue!
Cars for CASA

 Have an old car taking up space in your driveway? Donate it to CASA of Central Texas! CASA partners with CARS on a vehicle donation program. We accept most cars, trucks, trailers, boats, RV's, motorcycles, off road vehicles, heavy equipment and other motorized vehicles. 

Making a donation is EASY ! It's as easy as filling out an online donation form here or picking up a phone and speaking to a live operator at 855-500-7433 seven days a week.
Why donate your vehicle to CASA?
* Avoid the hassles of selling a car * No need to pay hefty repair bills * Free up space in your garage * 100% tax deductible *
Events Benefiting CASA

CASA of Central Texas welcomes community initiatives to help promote awareness and funding for our program. By taking on this type of project, event organizers assume the responsibility of creating a successful event without a significant level of assistance from CASA. All special events and fundraising efforts conducted to benefit CASA are run by financially responsible and reputable organizations and individuals motivated by a genuine desire to help CASA. If you are interested in hosting a third-party fundraiser to benefit CASA, please review these guidelines .
CASA Movie Hero Run
Saturday, June 8
Stars and Stripes Drive-in Theater
New Braunfels

5K and Kids Run to benefit CASA of Central Texas. Every child needs a hero but abused children need Superheroes!
Presented by Athlete Guild. All proceeds to benefit CASA of Central Texas.

Community Support
San Marcos Lions Club
CASA of Central Texas, Inc. | 830-626-2272 | |