CA with tag line 

 525 N. State Street · Suite 4 · Alma, MI 48801 
(989) 463-1422

People always say "choose your battles" in parenting. 
Let's choose peace, instead.
After all, our children aren't our enemies, and childhood shouldn't be a battleground.

-L. R. Knost

In This Issue
About Us 

Child Advocacy is a non-profit agency with a mission to improve the welfare of children and their families through education, training, and support for the prevention of substance abuse and child abuse and neglect.

 Our Staff
Audra Stahl 
President & CEO 
Pam Mahin
Office Manager

Staci Bigelow
Event/Volunteer Coordinator

Ty Warczinsky 
GCSAC Program Director

Chelsie Kastl
GCSAC Coordinator

Sara Krebs 
GCSAC Prevention

Kelsey Wooten
 GCSAC Prevention Educator

Morgan Rooy
CAN Program Director

 Richelle Davis 
CAN Prevention Educator
Michelle Zombeck 
 CASA Program Director    
Danielle Schmidtman
CASA Recruitment Coordinator
Heather Therrien  
CAC Program Director

Jennifer Stambaugh
CAC Victim Advocate
Nicole Showers
CAC Case Manager

Mallory Harrier
CAC Intake Coordinator
Board of Directors  

Carolyn Studley
Community Represenative
Vice President 
Matt Schooley
City of Alma Transportation

Sara Bonacci
Sara Bonacci Photography

Colleen Davis
Prosecuting Attorney's Office 
Jim Dubey
Garr Tool

Rob DuHadway
DuHadway Dance Dimensions 

Tammy Halfmann
Mercantile Bank

David Justin
 Alma School Board
Jennifer Leppien

John Morey

Mike Morris
Detective/Sgt. Gratiot Co. Sheriff's Dept. 
Alison Morrison
Dept. of Health and Human Services 
Jamie Richardson
Doehring Schultz Insurance Agency

Jennifer Siefker
Tri Lakes Petroleum
Steve Vernon
 Gratiot Integrated Health Network

Wes Wickes
Central MI Youth for Christ

Mark Williams
Alma Police Depart.

Joe Yourchock
Community Representative


Seat Safety


Did you know that at Child Advocacy we can install and provide a safety inspection for your child safety seat?  Child Advocacy has a nationally certified safety seat technician available!
To make an appointment call
 or 800-552-4489
Permanent Prescription Drug Drop Off
Gratiot Co. Sheriff
226 E. Center
open 24 hrs./day
7 days/week
Alma Police Dept.
525 E. Superior St.
8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
Monday - Friday
Breckenridge Police Dept.
 104 E. Saginaw St.
8:00 a.m.- 5:00  p.m.
Monday - Friday
St. Louis Police Dept.
108 W. Saginaw St.
Mon. 7 - 3 
Tues. - Fri. 8 - 4 
These sites accept
prescription pills and patches.
Program Needs

Gas Cards 
to help cover the cost for medical travel to Grand Rapids or help with transportation of foster children.

Gift Cards to Walmart and Meijer to purchase the specific needs of a child. 
Drawing Paper
New Children's Books
Games for younger children to play
Capri Sun Juice Boxes
Bottled Water

Baby Pantry
Diapers: Newborn, size 4 
Preemie Clothing
Girls Clothing:
Sizes: 3-6
Summer Shoes
Purple Can Gentle Formula


Community donations help the quality of our programs and are greatly appreciated. Donations can be made directly at Child Advocacy or by contacting our office. (989) 463-1422

Your Feedback!

"Dear Mrs. Davis,
Thank you for teaching us how to protect our self. The one thing I learned that you are the boss of your body"

Protect Yourself Student who completed the series with teacher Richelle Davis.

Quick Links

Join Our Mailing List

We invite you to attend the  "Telling Their Stories" art show opening night and our annual Child Advocacy Banquet. Both of these events are being held this month, full details below. We hope to see you there. 

Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter,
Staci Bigelow
Volunteer/Event Coordinator 
Check out our website .
Upcoming Events

Telling Their Stories
Please join us opening night May 2, 2018 from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. to celebrate and support children from Gratiot County schools & the CASA program who are Telling Their Stories through artwork.
May 2-18, 2018
Monday - Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Friday 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Alma College Flora Kirsch Gallery

Light refreshments will be served opening night. For more information, please contact Child Advocacy at

Mom 2 Mom Sale
New and gently used children's clothes, toys, games, books, and large items available at this twice annual community event. Admission is $2, and proceeds benefit CMYFC and Child Advocacy.
May 12, 2018 
10:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Donald L. Pavlick Middle School - Alma

Child Advocacy Banquet
Join us as we celebrate those who advocate and care for children and for those who strive to improve the welfare of children and their families! 
Wednesday, May 23 
12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.   
Central Michigan Youth for Christ - Alma
Please call the Child Advocacy office at (989) 463-1422 to purchase tickets in advance.
2018 Alumni Basketball Game

Thank you everyone for an incredible night! We raised $5171.18 from the game for Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention. These funds help us continue our work to improve the welfare of children and their families! 

Thank you to our Sponsors, the Players, DuHadway Dance Dimensions, Allison Snearey and the Middle School Volunteers, Alma High School for allowing us to use the gym, Alma Sports Boosters, Eric Huff, Abigail Zerbe, Topher Goggin, Doug Yarnell, Kiley Kochensparger, Nate Brown,  the staff at Child Advocacy, and everyone who came out to support us!!! Thank you!!!!

Marihuana, Our Community,
and Our State
Submitted by: Chelsie Kastl
GCSAC Coordinator
The City of Alma has made considerable changes to the medical marihuana facilities draft ordinance after the first public hearing was held on March 12th. As it currently stands, the ordinance is drafted to allow the following facilities within city limits:
  • 3 Dispensaries
  • 2 Grow Facilities
  • 2 Processing Facilities
  • 2 Secure Transporter Licenses
  • 2 Safety Compliance Licenses
Additional changes to the ordinance were also added including odor control, zoning districts, and the general vetting process that determines who could obtain licenses. The City Commission has scheduled a second public hearing to take place on Tuesday, May 8th at 6 pm at Alma's City Hall to again listen to public comments on the revisions made to this ordinance.

Another imminent issue that is prevailing over both our community, as well as the state of Michigan in general, is that of the official legalization of recreational marihuana. The push to legalize recreational use of marijuana is not a surprise for our state legislators - it has been a hot topic of discussion since the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act passed in 2009. Michigan residents have been gaining traction over the last nine years for this recreational legalization vote, and the time has finally come to face it head on in this year's November election.

It is no secret that marihuana is a challenging topic to openly discuss not only between individuals, but also among the state and federal government. Progress for clarification on the substance and its uses and affect has been slow to none; research on this drug is still illegal to conduct due to it still remaining classified as a Schedule 1 drug at the federal level. Opinions are strong for all sides of this argument, but we as a community must remember the reason and impact of the decision we have to make.

Our community is applauded for its collaboration, support, and love it offers all residents, inside and outside of it. I believe we have a chance to exemplify all of that with this issue in the way that we come to make a decision on the ordinance. Ensuring that collaboration between our businesses, residents, community organizations, and local government is made we have the ability to set ourselves up for success regardless of what the marihuana legal future holds. As someone who has grown up in and experienced this community first hand, I know we are more than capable of it. At the end of the day, individual interests aside, the commitment to making this community the best it can be is where our priorities lie.

Welcome Jennifer Stambaugh
CAC Victim Advocate

My name is Jennifer Stambaugh, and I'm excited to transition to a new role on the Child Advocacy team.  I have been a Child Advocacy Board member and Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Committee member for several years now.  As a board member, I have always been proud of the work that is accomplished by the Child Advocacy team and have enjoyed sharing their successes and opportunities with others in the community.  I'm pleased to now be able to share an even greater role as the Victim Advocate for the Children's Advocacy Center (CAC) at Child Advocacy.  In this position, I will be providing information, support, referrals, access to other resources, and ongoing follow-up services to families that are involved with the CAC.
Prior to joining Child Advocacy, I worked in the human services field for more than 20 years providing support and advocacy for children, adults, and families.  I have a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's degree in administration both from Central Michigan University.  Fire up Chips! 
As a resident of Gratiot County, I feel fortunate to have such outstanding service agencies in this local community that work together to make an impact for families. Having worked statewide for many years, I'm glad to now be working in, and giving back to my local community.  I'm looking forward to my new role on such a collaborative team!

More Voices for Children in Need
Submitted by: Michelle Zombeck
CASA Program Director

To become a CASA volunteer it takes an investment of time, energy and heart. To become a volunteer, it takes...

Generosity: a willingness to give your time to others.
Understanding: because their lives might be very different from your own.
Empathy: an ability to put yourself in someone else's shoes and feel what they must feel.
Compassion: to truly care about making someone else's life better.
Patience: because the process doesn't always go as smoothly as we would like.
Dedication: to stick with it through thick and thin and see it to the end.

I am delighted and thrilled to introduce you to a person who matches this description to a T. Nina Guerrero heard about the CASA volunteer opportunity while sitting next to a good friend of many years and when the presentation was over her friend turned to her and said this sounds perfect for you.
Through training I had the privilege of getting to know Nina in a way few people ever do. We worked through tough topics that many people shy away from and strengthened our passion for the course ahead.
Nina was born and raised in Gratiot County so her roots run deep. She has been in some type of a customer service position for over 15 years with the last 12 working with Mercantile Bank of Michigan. Nina is very involved with her family and lights up when talking about the children. Nina volunteers and is the President for the Kiwanis Club of Alma, a member of the Mid Michigan Foster and Adoptive Coalition board and has recently been involved in the City of Alma Zoning board of appeals.

When Nina was asked why she wanted to volunteer she shared that "I have been around kids my entire life having a very big family. I love all the things kids have to offer, the beauty that comes from their minds, the kindness that comes from their hearts, and the truth that they speak. The thought of children losing that precious spirit because of the actions of others is heartbreaking. I would like to do my part to help protect children so they may get the chance to grow in a caring environment."

When people talk about Nina they use words such as caring, devoted, passionate, energetic, giving, approachable, motivated and strong.

To learn more about CASA or to sign up for an upcoming information session call Danielle or Michelle at Child Advocacy 989-463-1422.
Scheduled Classes

Foster/Adoptive/Relative Care Support Group
Tuesday, May 8
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
East Superior Christian Church - Alma

Please call our office to RSVP at (989)463-1422 or email

Gratiot County Substance Abuse Coalition Meeting
Monday, May 14
1:00 p.m.
YFC - Alma
Please call Sara at 989-463-1422 with any questions
The Baby Pantry
Every Wednesday
11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Wilcox Non-Profit Building - Alma

For more information about the Baby Pantry please contact Morgan Rooy at (989)463-1422.

I would like to personally thank all of you who participated in our "Wear Blue Monday's" campaign for Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month.  We truly appreciate all of your support, kind words, and Facebook love that you gave us. 

I would also like to thank everyone who participated in our Charity Basketball fundraiser at Alma High School.  It was a very fun night and we look forward to the 10th annual game next year on Friday, April 12th, 2019. 

Please join us at our annual Child Advocacy banquet on Wednesday, May 23rd.  Everyone is welcome!

Audra Stahl
President & CEO