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  

When advocating for children, CASA's goal is to see them placed in safe, permanent homes. This can mean reunification with family or seeing a child adopted into a new and loving family. When neither of these options is possible, there is, sadly, another outcome: remaining in foster care until age 18. In this situation, the CASA volunteer serves a unique and important role by helping prepare these young people to become self-sufficient members of the community.
     If you were raised by loving parents, think of everything your parents did to prepare you to be on your own. They probably took you to get your ID or driver's license and made sure you had your Social Security card so you could become employed. They maybe helped you find your first job. They might have helped you open a savings or checking account or taught you how to responsibly manage a credit card. They visited college campuses with you and helped you apply for scholarships. They might have guided you towards a trade school or taught you about the benefits of joining the military.
     For the children CASA works with, there is often no stable voice of encouragement. These young people have grown up just trying to survive their current circumstances. They have had little time or guidance to prepare for their future. How can we now expect them to be ready to live on their own and know how to survive in our vast world?
       This is where CASA can help. In 2014, CASA of Central Texas implemented a new training program, Fostering Futures, to better prepare advocates working with older youth in transition to adulthood and independent living. The CASA volunteer not only provides these youth with emotional encouragement to believe they can succeed, but also gives them guidance while developing from teenager to young adult and seeks out tools and skill-building resources that increase their chances for a positive future.
     I would like to thank our advocates who work with these older youth. I truly believe that as our volunteers are providing critically needed support, they are, in turn, bettering our community and the futures of these youth.
Thank you,
Norma Castilla-Blackwell
Become a CASA Volunteer C.E.
Calvin and Sonya Rodriguez, CASA of Central Texas Advocates since 2011

2015 New Volunteer Trainings

     To learn more about training sessions, contact Training Coordinator Debbie Haynes at 512-392-3578 or by email.

     For more information on becoming a volunteer, click here. Training

San Marcos
Historic Hays County Courthouse - Room 101



Oct. 7 thru Nov. 11

1:00 pm to 5:00 pm 



Oct. 17 thru Nov. 21   

8:30 am to 1:30 pm
New Braunfels
CASA office





Oct. 8 thru Nov. 12

4:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Volunteer Spotlight
Greg Golian, CASA
volunteer since 2013

After retirement, Greg Golian was looking for ways to help and give back to the community.  That is when he found CASA. 
"I did not realize the amount of disruptive change that foster children are put through.  As CASA you can really help these children - in one case I am virtually the only continuity in the child's life."

CASA Casework Supervisor Rob Edwards said that
Greg has proven himself an invaluable asset to CASA of Central Texas, and more importantly, the children for whom he has advocated.  "Greg has formed strong relationships with the children he represents and always advocates for their best interest, even if their best interest does not always align with their wishes."  

"I do a fair amount of volunteer work, but I find being a CASA one of the most rewarding ways
I can spend my time."
Voices Tour 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. 


Voices Tours



GVEC Community Room

September 1st - Noon


New Braunfels 

CASA office

First Wednesday of each month - Noon  


San Marcos 

Historic Hays County Courthouse, Room 101

Second Wednesday of each month - Noon


Please RSVP to Jerret Swierc by email or at 830-626-2272.   


Lunch provided by Fox's Pizza Den in New Braunfels and Chick-fil-A in San Marcos.  
Human Trafficking 
Dottie Laster, Executive Director of the Heidi Search Center in San Antonio will be speaking about her work with the organization as well as Human Trafficking. Heidi Search Center has assisted families of more than 4,000 missing persons, providing emotional support, referrals, education and targeted assistance during searches. She actively works with civic leaders, communities and individuals to form partnerships to raise awareness and ensure safer communities.

THURSDAY, September 24, 2015  
5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Christ Presbyterian Church
1620 Common Street
New Braunfels, TX 78130

RSVP to Debbie Haynes at or 830.626.2272. 
New advocates sworn-in and ready to take cases!

Pictured l-r in the top photo: 
Laura Rice of Comal County, Judge Melissa McClenahan and  
Laura Torres of Guadalupe County

Picture l-r in the bottom photo:
Judge Melissa McClenahan, Rhonda Martinez of Hays County, Tiffany Verette of Hays County, Tammy Gorman of Hays County, Mary Oetzel of Hays County, Suzy Nicks of Hays County, Vickie Strong of Hays County, Clare Duffy of Hays County
Sail with CASA sail




Join CASA for an evening of fun, food and drinks, live music  

and entertainment. Music by Texas Tide.

Arnold Zwicke - Guadalupe County Sheriff
and the Guadalupe County Sheriff's Department 


Friday, September 11, 2015

Texas Agricultural and Heritage Center
390 Cordova Road, Seguin 


Sponsor tables still available for $750, $1,000 and $2,500.
Contact Daysy Silvestre at 830-626-2272 or by email to sponsor this event.

Purchase tickets online or call 830-626-2272.

Event Sponsors:
Alligator Dental
Guadalupe Regional Medical Center
The Koehler Company
CMC Steel Texas

Special thanks to Tri-City Distributors 
You Can be a Superherosuperhero


The annual CASA Superhero Run, a 5K and Kids 1K race, features masked and caped runners, a superhero costume contest, family-friendly activities and vendors, and much more!



Sunday, September 13, 2015   

Races start at 8:00 am

The Domain, Austin

Register here


Can't make it that day?  Show your support by donating to the CASA of Central Texas team! 


This year's event is hosted by CASA of Central Texas, CASA of Travis County, and CASA of Williamson County. Participants will designate which program they would like to support when registering.  Sign up today as an individual or create a super team. 

CASA's Legislative Action Team 
    CASA volunteers and staff gathered at the New Braunfels office on Monday, August 24th to review the changes and accomplishments made during the 2015 Legislative session.  The meeting, led by Cristina Masters, Legislative Advocacy Coordinator for Texas CASA,  also served to develop goals and plans for strengthening our relationships with State Representatives and Senators. 

Christina Masters (left) of Texas CASA joined Norma Blackwell and CASA volunteer Bob Williams as he prepared to testify at the Capitol in March. 
Click here to read an op-ed regarding the changes to the foster care system by Texas CASA CEO Vicki Spriggs that appeared in the San Antonio Express-News. 

If you are a CASA volunteer and would like more information about the Legislative Action Team, please contact
Samantha Mundine,
Coffee With CASA 


Need your caffeine fix? Join us for a Coffee with CASA Meet and Greet. We will be there with an information table to answer questions you have about CASA and you can get some great coffee at the same time.


August 28th
3 - 5 p.m. 

Court Street Coffee Shop
111 West Court Street, Seguin


If you have a coffee shop and would like to support CASA by hosting a Coffee with CASA, please contact Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator Laura Torres at 830-626-2272 or by email.

Community Supporters


Thanks to the GVTC Foundation for their  

continued support of CASA of Central Texas!  

We Have Moved ribboncutting 
Join us for the official Ribbon Cutting hosted by the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce on September 10th at 11 a.m.

Our San Marcos office location has moved to the second floor of the historic Hays County Courthouse at 111 E. San Antonio Street.
Thanks to the County Judge and Commissioners, CASA will be housed downtown while we work on our capital campaign and build our Training and Support Center on Hunter Road.
For more information on how you can support our Capital Campaign, contact Executive Director Norma-Castilla Blackwell at 830-626-2272 or by email
Painting with a Purpose painting 


Thanks to Painting with a Twist in New Braunfels for generously hosting a painting fundraiser and donating 50% of the proceeds to CASA of Central Texas.




Donate Your Car to CASA  

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

Why donate your vehicle to CASA?   blue-car-icon.jpg
* Avoid the hassles of selling a car
* No need to pay hefty repair bills
* Free up space in your garage
* 100% tax deductible

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.

If you have any questions just call one of CARS friendly operators toll-free at
  855-500-7433 or 855-500-RIDE seven days a week.
August 2015
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Upcoming Events


Voices Tour 
Noon -1 p.m.
GVEC Community Room, Seguin
More info click here
Voices Tour
Noon -1 p.m.
New Braunfels CASA office
More info click here

Voices To ur
Noon - 1 p.m.
Historic Hays County Courthouse room 101
More info click here

San Marcos Office Ribbon Cutting
11:00 a.m.
Historic Hays County Courthouse
More info click here

Guadalupe County Fundraiser
6:30 - 10 p.m.
Big Red Barn
More info click here

CASA Superhero Run 5k
8 a.m.
The Domain, Austin
More info click here

C.E. Workshop
Christ Presbyterian Church, New Braunfels
More info click here


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

CASA Volunteer Training Begins
1 p.m. - 5 p.m. 
Historic Hays County Courthouse room 101
More info click here

CASA Volunteer Training Begins
4:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
New Braunfels CASA office

More info click here

Voices Tour
Noon - 1 p.m.
Historic Hays County Courthouse room 101
More info click here

CASA Volunteer Training Begins
8:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. 
Historic Hays County Courthouse room 101


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

Voices Tour
Noon - 1 p.m.
Historic Hays County Courthouse room 101
More info click here

5th - 7th
Texas CASA Conference
Embassy Suites, San Marcos
More info click here

CASA's Holiday  
Toy & Gift Drive
More info to come


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

Voices Tour
Noon - 1 p.m.
Historic Hays County Courthouse room 101
More info click here

Advocate Appreciation Mixer
6:30 p.m.
The Vineyard at Gruene
CASA Of Central Texas Inc.