CASA Up Close | November 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

  • Welcome New CASA Volunteers
  • Training Dates
  • CASA Training Center Update
  • CASA Classic Golf Tournament
  • Information Sessions
  • Champions Fore Charity
  • Payroll Deductions
  • Continuing Education
  • Events Benefitting CASA
  • Community Support
Letter from the Executive Director
Gathering with friends and family during the holidays is a tradition most of us take for granted. But for so many of the children served by CASA, the holidays provide a painful reminder that they are different from their peers - separated from parents, siblings, pets and close friends as they reside in foster care and other safe placements to shield them from further abuse and/or neglect.

While you and I decide where we will spend our holidays, these children and youth wait for safe, permanent homes. The holidays can be a lonely time.

Fortunately, this can be a time for caring members of our community to step forward and offer help. It is this outpouring of concern and generosity that makes me very thankful. Just when our volunteers and staff are overwhelmed by the tragic reality of new abuse and neglect cases in Caldwell, Comal, Guadalupe and Hays Counties, the phone rings or my email inbox reveals a caring individual or group ready to extend a helping hand.

This meaningful support is what makes our community special. Your financial donations to CASA, your in-kind contributions, your volunteer hours, and your creative and meaningful offers to share your time and resources truly make a difference.

With your help, we are making a difference one child at a time. As you gather with your loved ones this holiday season, please know that your generosity is truly appreciated, and your gifts are providing hope for the children served by our dedicated CASA volunteers. Your contributions exemplify the heart of giving, and we are thankful.

Wishing you and yours a very happy holiday season,

Thank you, 
Norma Castilla-Blackwell
CASA of Central Texas
Executive Director
Welcome New CASA Volunteers
October 16 was our biggest swearing-in of Court Appointed Special Advocates in 2019, with 16 trainees from four counties represented!

Thank you to all these wonderful community members who completed an intensive 42-hour training and stepped up to be a voice for children in the court system.

CASA is now enrolling for our 2020 training courses. See dates below.
Pictured L to R: Norma Jean Cano of Comal County, Nicole White of Comal County, Jazmin Pantoja of Comal County, Christine Drotts of Comal County, Shelley Michelson of Caldwell County, Bethany Estrada of Caldwell County, Elizabeth Gibson of Comal County, Dagny Cosgrove of Comal County, Mary Walter of Comal County, Crystal Tonne of Guadalupe County, Judge David Junkin, Maria Chandler of Comal County, Judge Bruce Boyer, Commissioner Donna Eccleston, Dina Haines of Comal County, Melissa Brewer of Hays County, Mallory Grau of Hays County, Rachel Baker of Hays County, Kelly Dickson of Hays County, and CASA Board Members JoAnne Germer, Susie Russell, and Frank Pereira.
Become a CASA Volunteer

Get ready for 2020 Trainings

January 8 - February 5
5 - 9 p.m.

January 9 - February 6
1 -5 p.m.

January 25 - February 8
9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Seguin Public Library
Application deadline prior to each cycle is two weeks before start of training. Submit your volunteer application here .
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. 
Training and Support Center
We now have a firm foundation in San Marcos! On October 24th, the foundation was completed. Next step, framing!

Engraved brick pavers will be installed along the entranceway and courtyard of the new facility.

Personalized pavers are a great way to honor a friend, volunteer, staff member or group; memorialize a loved one; encourage your favorite CASA volunteer; or show your family’s appreciation for CASA and our children, while leaving a lasting tribute in your name.
We hope each and every CASA supporter will buy in to this unique opportunity and pave the way for impact!
Click here   for complete details.
Thank you to our project partners
CASA Classic
Monday, October 28th, was the perfect day for the 3rd annual "Hole Lotta Love" Corridor Title - CASA Classic Golf Tournament!

Golfers teed off at Kissing Tree Golf Club in San Marcos. The event was made possible by a crew of volunteers and event staff led by CASA Board Member Frank Pereira and Laura Dupont of the event presenter Corridor Title.

Thank you to all of the teams, sponsors, and individuals! Congratulations to the top winners of the tournament and prizes! See photos from the event, courtesy of Jim Flynn Photography, here .
1 st Place  Moeller & Associates - Cory Elrod/Shane Klar/Jeff Moeller/Chris Owen
2 nd Place D & VD - David Davis/James Davis/Doug Van Dusen/Rick Griffith
3 rd Place Standley - Mason Standley/JP Kesselring/Michael Stewart/Jeff Fletcher
Longest Drive (Men’s) - Shane Hines
Longest Drive (Women’s) – Laurie Gosda
Closest to the Pin - Chris Owen
Helicopter Ball Drop - Bob Sudela
Thank You to our Sponsors!
Ace Sponsors:
Front and Back Nine Sponsors:
19th Hole Sponsors:
Birdie Sponsors:
Helicopter Ball Drop Prize Sponsor:
Hole Sponsors:

Beth and Karl Hittle - Carol Wright Distributing - Davidek Law Firm, PLLC - Gene and Becky Lake - Grady Burnette Builders - Guadalupe Family Health, PA - Innovative Retirement, LLC - Jim Flynn Photography - Kitchell Contractors - Physical Therapy of San Marcos - Redding Company - Sadler Concrete - Taste of New Braunfels
Player Prize Sponsors:
Cooper Henk - David Pfeifer - Melinda & Gene Rapp
Raffle Sponsors:
Hilda V. Carpenter - Vaaler Creek Golf Club - Law Office of Nick Sisoian - Frank Pereira - Kissing Tree Golf Club - Dupont Cabinetry & Design - Cemex - David Junkin
Hole-in-One Prize Sponsors:
Huisache Grill - San Marcos Dodge Jeep - Woods Cycle Country
Player Goodies Sponsors:
Great American Products - Paula Vacek - Utility Engineering Group
Food Sponsors:
David Peterson - Gennaro’s La Cucina Italiana
"Voices" Information Sessions

Learn more about CASA at one of our upcoming Information Sessions

Monday, November 4th, 6:30 pm
Schertz United Methodist Church

Wednesday, November 6th, 9:15 a.m.
Wimberley Café

New Braunfels
Wednesday, November 6th, noon
CASA office

San Marcos
Wednesday, November 20, noon.
Historic County Courthouse, 1st floor conference room

Monday, November 25, 6:30 p.m.
Mammen Family Public Library
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.

CASA staff and volunteers will be on hand to share their stories and answer your questions. 
Please RSVP by email or at 830-626-2272 
Champions fore Charity
Here you have the perfect opportunity to give 107% to CASA! ThroughChampions Fore Charity, not only will CASA receive 100% of all pledges for every birdie made at the Valero Texas Open, but Valero will match back 7% of all contributions made to CASA.

The Valero Texas Open has helped numerous local non-profits and schools over the past twenty years. Last year, over $4 million was raised! Champions for Charity can be described as “golf-a-thon,” much like a walk-a-thon. Donors make a pledge such as 1 cent or 5 cents for every birdie made at the Valero Texas Open.
If you are interested in making a pledge for CASA for all birdies made from March 30 - April 5 of 2020, you can pick up a pledge form in our CASA offices or follow this easy link HERE .
Payroll Deductions for CASA
SECC logo
CFC logo
State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC)
CASA of Central Texas Code  
#475017 (Capital Area)
#475030 (San Antonio Area)
Combined Federal Campaign
CASA of Central Texas
Continuing Education for Volunteers
Education Advocacy
October 21

CASA Supervisor Tim Judkins and advocate Tanya Brewer emphasized the importance of being persistent, being professional, and being patient when “breaking into and staying in the school system.”

When making initial contact, advocate may need to educate the school about being Guardian ad Litem since all CASA programs do not have that designation. As Guardian ad Litem, CASA volunteers have access to all the child’s records to the same extent as a parent, including educational records. Volunteers should provide a court order, certificate of acceptance, and badge scanned as one attachment to send to the principal, counselor, and registrar.

The registrar is key when CASA needs access to the online portal, where notifications of failing grades and absences are provided. Additional goals of initial contact are to inform the school of the student’s status with CPS (perhaps parents have access restrictions in place), to find out the student’s special education status, and to get on the notification list for ARD transfer and/or annual meetings. Being present for these meetings is important - it shows a child that they are important. 
CASAs should rely on the child’s psychological evaluation as it relates to educational recommendations and assessment needs. If a child needs to be assessed for SPED services, a written request from the Department to the school needs to be made. To learn more about the process of becoming an educational decision maker for your child, Tim and Tanya recommend that advocates complete surrogate parent training via CASA College. 
All in all, educational advocacy is a requirement (at least once every three months and between each hearing), and CASA adds an appreciated dimension to the process!
All CASA of Central Texas volunteers are required to complete 12 hours of continuing education annually
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 .
Community Support
CBE Companies
New Braunfels
CASA of Central Texas, Inc. | 830-626-2272 | |