CASA Up Close
CASA of Central Texas advocates for abused and neglected children in the court system by recruiting, training and supporting community volunteers.

     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.
Letter from the Executive Director  

Excerpt from
Part ten of our 12 part-series: A Year in the Life of CASA See this entire entry and previous entries in my
Executive Director Blog

Financial Support:
Where and how CASA gets funding to continue serving the community and helping the children 
     CASA of Central Texas is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that has been fundraising and operating locally for 32 years. As you saw in my blog last month, the need for more CASA volunteers is projected to increase over the upcoming years.  
     As the Executive Director, one of my main roles is to ensure CASA has diverse funding so that in any economic environment, we continue to provide quality advocacy for the children. Our primary strategic development goal is to achieve long-term stability through funding diversification and growth in contributions from public and private organizations, foundations, corporations and individuals. Our Fund Development Plan increases first-time individual donors and cultivates repeat donations, as well as researches new funding prospects.
     First and foremost, I rely on individuals who have trusted us with their financial support. Whether it is a one-time donation or a commitment to regular giving, these donations show that when a community comes together, it can add up to something big. If you wish to make an individual contribution to CASA with a reoccurring donation, or through a retirement account, real estate or life insurance policy, please visit
    Read more about where CASA of Central Texas receives funding in this month's ED Blog here
     As the year is coming to an end, so is this blog series of walking through the year in the life of CASA. Next month, learn about the ways a case sees a conclusion in A CPS Case Closes: Various case outcomes for children and youth - safe, stable and loving homes.
Thank you,  
Norma Castilla-Blackwell
Executive Director  
Rosa Hernandez Day 
Rosa with Mayor Lew White of Lockhart .

     The City of Lockhart proclaimed, October 17th, 2017, as Rosa Hernandez Day!  Rosa has been a CASA of Central Texas Volunteer since 1997, advocating for the best interest of 35 children who had experienced abuse and neglect.  
  Rosa has also served children and families as a volunteer with Lockhart Victims Assistance Team, Hays-Caldwell Women's Center, and as a substitute teacher in the Lockhart ISD for 18 years.  
Rosa (center) with CASA staff, board, advocates. 
     CASA is very honored to have such an upstanding citizen and advocate serving our children for these past 20 years. She is a true inspiration and we are fortunate to have her as part of our CASA family!
Welcome New CASA Volunteers

Welcome to the newest class of volunteers, sworn in on October 3rd. Pictured l-r are: Sheryl Calhoun of Comal County, Karen Wolda of Comal County, Lynn Watson of Hays County, George Rios of Comal County, Sallie Harborth of Hays County and Loraine Fries of Comal County, sworn in by Judge Melissa McClenahan.

Permanency Lunch  

     On October 16th, CASA honored 21 advocates in reaching permanency on their cases within the last six months. The celebration was held at Kent Black's BBQ in San Marcos.  
      Advocates were honored for their dedication, time, and efforts as they served a case until it was dismissed or the Department of Family and Protective Services was granted Permanent Managing Conservator. 
   Staff supervisors shared how each volunteer was vital to their case. Comal County District Attorney Jennifer Tharp also attended to thank advocates for immersing themselves into children's lives and "being the heart" in these cases.
     Thank you to CASA's dedicated advocates who were honored: Steven Bazan, Tanya Brewer, Clare Duffy, Jane Freestone, Ann Hendrix, Janice Hooper, Peggy Jones, Kathleen Knoll, Betty Leto, Ruth Martin-Cain, Traudi McDonald, Lisa Metzler, Mary Navarrette, Lynette Paris, Songa Ploeger, Dianna Price, Sharon Skrocki, Ray Spencer, Juanette Winscott-Sides, Nancy Zahorski and Ted Zahorski.
Golfers show a "Hole Lotta Love" for CASA  
      Monday, October 30th, was a beautiful sunshiny day and was the perfect temperature for the inaugural CASA Classic Golf Tournament!
     Golfers teed off under Blue skies at River Crossing Golf Club in Spring Branch.   We had an awesome crew of volunteers and event staff led by CASA Board Member Frank Pereira and Laura Dupont of the event presenter Corridor Title.   
Congratulations to the top winners!
1st Place (Net):  Chris Little, Ed Barron and Don Henderson (Perry Homes team)
1st Place (Gross):  Jeff Moeller, Cory Elrod and Shane Klar (Corridor Title team)
2nd Place (Net):  Lon Shell, Donald Rains, Don Wallace (ECM International team)
2nd Place (Gross): Marty Sorell, Carl Browning, Steve Ables (Marty Sorell team)
3rd Place (Net): Robert Sudela, Scott Hohensee, JR Lee (Downhole Chemical Solutions team)
3rd Place (Gross): Cory Brooke, Patrick Rose, Jason Chesser (Corridor Title team)
Closest to the Pin #2: Joe Hayden (Herald-Zeitung team)
Closest to the Pin #12: Michael Stewart (Farmers Insurance - JP Kesserling team)
Closest to the Pin #18:  Rick Cheshier (GVTC Foundation team)
Longest Drive, Ladies: Tiffany Saucedo (Enterprise Fleet Management team)
Longest Drive, Men: Chris Little (Perry Homes team)
Several players came VERY close to a hole-in-one at #7...we'll try again next year! 
Thank you to our sponsors!

Hole-in-one sponsored by 

Birdie Sponsors: 
Fast Signs
McKenna Foundation

Perry Homes
Hole Sponsors:
  Beautiful Chaos Photography
CASA Volunteers & Staff
Comaltex Insurance Agency
CoWork Factory

David Pfeifer
Four Rivers Association of Realtors
Enterprise Fleet Management

Germer Farms

Gunderson Financial Services

The GVTC Foundation

Joyce & Frank Yannuzzi

Leapfrog Promotions


Prosperity Bank
Reliance Residential Realty
Texias LLC
  Utility Engineering Group
Dinner Provided by:
Gennaro's Trattoria
Hole-in-One Sponsors:
Bluebonnet: The Kahlig Auto Group
Gruene Harley Davidson  
Special thanks to
"Voices" Information Sessions Voices 

Want to learn more about the role of a CASA Volunteer?

Come to
ribbon 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.  

New Braunfels 
Wednesday, November 1st, noon 
CASA office

San Marcos 
Wednesday, November 15th,  noon  
Historic County Courthouse, 1st floor conference room

Please RSVP to Eloise Hudson by email or at 830-626-2272. 
Would you like to host a CASA Voices session in your town? Please contact us.
Lunch provided by Fox's Pizza Den in New Braunfels and Chick-fil-A in San Marcos. 
Painting with a Purpose 

Join CASA for a night of fun and express your creative side as you Paint with a Purpose. The host company, Painting with a Twist, is generously donating 50% of the proceeds to CASA of Central Texas.
 Participants will paint the above piece of art with the help of an instructor.
November 12th
2 - 4 p.m.
1551 N Walnut Ave #20, New Braunfels 
$35 Includes supplies and snacks and 50% goes to CASA!
Register here and share with your friends, family and neighbors!  
Continuing Education
Collaborative Family Engagement Tools
      On September 26th, CFE and PMC Project Coach Catherine Dooley of Texas CASA presented a continuing education for CASA of Central Texas Volunteers.
      Advocate Cyndie Segovia stated that these interactive tools would be helpful in connecting with CASA children, where "you're asking questions but making it seem like you're not asking questions." 

Advocate Jessica Celestino-Smith is engaging in "mobility mapping," as directed by Catherine Dooley.
     Thanks to Dominoes for providing pizza and Westside Community Center in New Braunfels for providing the learning space.

      Congratulations to Bev Hoffman for winning the door prize of a CASA laptop bag.
All CASA of Central Texas volunteers are required to receive 12 hour of continuing education annually.
Share your Stories  

     State Representative John Cyrier (Caldwell County) has accepted CASA's invitation to meet with advocates and talk about child abuse issues and the importance of advocacy for these children. All CASA Volunteers are invited and encouraged to attend. Watch for an email invite coming soon.  
November 7th, 10 a.m.  
Historic Hays Courthouse
111 E. San Antonio Street, San Marcos 
Support CASA Through Payroll Deduction     
     State and Federal employees may give to CASA of Central Texas through payroll deductions under the State Employee Charitable Campaign and the Combined Federal Campaign.
SECC logo
 State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC)
CASA of Central Texas Code   
#475017 (Capital Area)
#475030 (San Antonio Area) 
CFC logo
Combined Federal Campaign (CFC)
CASA of Central Texas Code  #60661
Sponsor a Child for the Holidays   
     This holiday season, CASA of Central Texas is collaborating with local organizations and individuals to provide gifts for children who have been abused, neglected or abandoned.
This annual project is a wonderful opportunity to extend the giving tradition to children in our community.  We hope you will join us in our goal to provide a gift to all of our CASA children.

   To sponsor a child, please visit our toy drive webpage which will be active November 6th.
Tickets for Wurstfest, Belk Sale, Benefit CASA  
On Monday, November 6th, gate ticket sales are dedicated to support the United Way of Comal County.  This year, UWCC partner agencies - including CASA - have an opportunity to share a portion of the funds raised.  Wurstfest has provided us with 100 tickets that we may sell ourselves.  And CASA could sure use your help with selling these tickets!
Tickets are $8.00 each and, for every ticket that CASA sells, $3.00 stays with CASA.  The other $5 goes to United Way of Comal County (which gives grant money to CASA).  Again, t ickets are valid for Monday night only - November 6th .
So, if you want to experience Wurstfest on a Monday night, take your friends, or share tickets with people you know - please buy them from CASA!!  Tickets are available at our front desk with JoAnn Overstreet. 
PS.  Also watch the newspaper for a BOGO coupon to take to the gate and get a friend in for FREE! 
Belk Charity Sale 
On Saturday, November 4th, The retail store Belk will hold a charity sale and part of the sales that day will be donated to local charities, including CASA! 
You can purchase a charity sale ticket at the CASA offices for $5.  Present the ticket at the register during the sale and receive a $5 off discount. tickets are available at our front desk in New Braunfels and San Marcos. 
Viva Ole!     
   Mark your calendars for April 20th, 2018, at the Chandelier of Gruene in New Braunfels
     You are invited to CASA and Los Compadres, "Viva Ole"!, CASA's annual fundraising celebration We truly appreciate your support and hope you join us for this evening to benefit the children in our communities.
     CASA will also honor long-time supporters the San Marcos Lions Club and Comal County Commissioner Eccleston. 
Online tickets and more information will be available on our website soon!
     Get in early on the great sponsor benefits and recognition!
Community Support    
Mensor Cares
October 2017
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Upcoming Events


Voices Tour in New Braunfels 
Noon -1 p.m.
CASA office
More info click here

CASA Volunteer Training Begins
1 - 5 p.m.
New Braunfels CASA office

Voices Tour in San Marcos 
Noon - 1 p.m.
Historic Courthouse
room 101
Texas CASA Conference 
More info click here 
Hole Lotta Love Golf Tournament  
11 a.m. 
River Crossing Golf Club, Spring Branch 
More info click here


CASA Holiday Toy and Gift Drive 
More info here 

Voices Tour in New Braunfels 
Noon -1 p.m.
CASA office

Voices Tour in San Marcos 
Noon - 1 p.m.
Historic Courthouse
room 101
More info click here


Voices Tour in New Braunfels 
Noon -1 p.m.
CASA office
Advocate Appreciation Mixer 
6:30 p.m. 
Milltown, New Braunfels 
More info here 

CASA Of Central Texas Inc.