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  
Extraordinary People   

    The Olympics are over and I know I am not the only one who is feeling a sense of pride this summer. Sometimes it seems like the world is full of negative, but for two weeks, we were constantly reminded that we take joy in coming together and seeing people do extraordinary things.

     I am sure each athlete has personal goals for their individual performance, but I also believe that they take their role as a representative of our country seriously. It gives them pride to know people are home cheering for them to do well, and we become invested in their achievements. Through their individual actions, we feel better as a whole. This is similar to what I see when I witness a CASA volunteer testify in court.

     Each of our volunteers want to do the best job they can. They want to provide accurate information, thoughtful recommendations and the best advocacy for each child they are representing. Each works as an individual, but their goal is so much bigger.

   They strive to create a better community, not only for the children on their cases, but for all of us. A community where children do not grow up thinking abuse is acceptable, where they are prepared to enter the world as adults, and where they know how to have healthy relationships with others.

     Yes, the Olympic games highlight extraordinary athletes, and CASA highlights extraordinary volunteers and children!
Thank you,
Norma Castilla-Blackwell
Executive Director  
 Welcome New CASA Volunteers

Jennifer Sims (left) of Hays County was sworn in July 27.
(L-R) Paula Vacek and Jennifer Hill, both of Comal County, were sworn in August 16.

(L-R) Jeanette Winscott-Sides and Loretta Verwers, both of Comal County, were sworn in August 30. 
Become a CASA Volunteer training
Bob Williams
CASA Volunteer since 2010

Sign up for a 2016
Training Session  

For more information on training sessions contact Training Coordinator Debbie Haynes at 512-392-3578 or by email, or click here to visit our website.

A New Volunteer Training Course is required for all new Court Appointed Special Advocate Volunteers.
The Volunteer Training Course is a 6-part training series and all 6 classes are required.

Upcoming Training Courses

Saturday Course

Saturdays Accelerated Course
October 1 thru October 29
8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
New Braunfels

Last Training Courses of 2016 

September 6 thru October 4
4:30 - 8:30 p.m.

October 12 thru November 16
1 - 5 p.m.
San Marcos

October 13 thru November 17
4:30 - 8:30 p.m.
New Braunfels

San Marcos
Historic Hays County Courthouse Room 101
111 E. San Antonio Street

New Braunfels
CASA office
1619 E. Common Street, Building C

Location TBA
Volunteer Spotligh
Betty Wisnosky, CASA of Central Texas Volunteer since 2014
     "As a Guardian ad Litem (CASA volunteer) I am able to work with great teams to provide healing and directing, hoping to see that our kids get their fair share of life. The best life they can get."

      "Volunteer as soon as you are able. It is great team work, a great chance to make a difference in a child's life, and to give them the life all our children deserve."

     "There has been much that I have learned from my kids about patience, love and acceptance. You can't beat being a CASA!" 
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

New Braunfels 
Wednesday, September 7th, noon
CASA office
Thursday, September 15th, 6 p.m.
GVEC Community Room  

San Marcos 
Wednesday, September 21st,  noon
Historic Hays County Courthouse, Room 101

Please RSVP to Eloise Hudson by email or at 830-626-2272. 
Would you like to host a CASA Voices Tour in your town? Please contact us and get more information here!  
Lunch provided by Fox's Pizza Den in New Braunfels and Chick-fil-A in San Marcos. 
Celebrating Outcomes  

      Max was adopted out of Russia as a young boy and later came into the care of Child Protective Services (CPS) when he was 15 years old.  CASA was appointed as his Guardian ad Litem and, among addressing other needs, partnered with the Texas Foster Youth Justice Project and Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, Inc. to help Max obtain full U.S. citizenship status when he became a legal adult at age 18.  CASA Supervisor Tim Judkins (and Attorney Mary Christine Reed made a great team and) celebrated with Max at his citizenship ceremony on July 21st.  (We wish all the best to Max as he plans to work part-time and attend Austin Community College this Fall.)  

     After waiting almost four years, Cedric was adopted by his new family on July 27th.  His case required persistence and patience while legal complications, two trials, and appeals created long delays.  CASA volunteer Lavonia Williams (second from right) had a remarkable bond with Cedric and her contributions cannot be overstated.  Cedric now has permanency with a family that will love him forever! 
CASA Superhero Runsuperhero
     You can be a superhero for childre n who've been abused or neglected. The CASA Superhero Run features a 5K and Kids 1K race, masked and caped runners, a superhero costume contest, family-friendly activities and vendors, and much more.

CASA Superhero Run - 5K and Kids 1K
Sunday, September 18, 2016
Domain Central Park - 11100 Alterra Pkwy, Austin
This year's run will be held at the Do main in Austin and will benefit the CASA programs serving Caldwell, Comal, Guadalupe, Hays, Travis, and Williamson Counties.  Please visit the event website to register and for more information,
Wing Social and Annual Photo  

     CASA Advocates are invited to the Wing Society's Fall Social at Patio Dolcetto in San Marcos next month.  We will be taking the annual advocate group photo that will be used for our holiday card. Don't miss it! Please mark your calendars and RSVP through the e-vite.

The 2015 Annual Advocate Photo

Wing Society Fall Social & Annual Advocate Photo
Thursday, September 29
4-6 p.m.
Patio Dolcetto
322 Cheatham Street
San Marcos, TX 78666 
Hit the Road with CASA
     Get the CASA logo on the road, order your plates today!  
     The Big Voices for Little Texans license plate is available for purchase through the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.

     Based on your county of residence, a portion ($22) of the proceeds is passed along from the Office of the Attorney General directly to CASA, sharing equally between Texas CASA and CASA of Central Texas. Last year, we received $345 in license plate funding so that children and youth were helped right here locally in Caldwell, Comal, Guadalupe and Hays Counties.

      Show your support for Little Texans!  Order your license plate
Help Recruit CASA Volunteers  VoicesHost 
      Do you love CASA and want to help recruit volunteers? Now you can get the word out by being a host for one of our CASA Voices Tours Information Sessions.

     How? You pick a tour date and location that works best for you, commit to invite your friends and join us for the session. Let us do the rest. Our goal is for you to have five of your friends or colleagues attend as your guests and for them to hear why you support CASA. Then a CASA staff member will explain the history of the program, what's involved with being a CASA and how to get started. We believe your personal invitation will go far in encouraging people to learn more about CASA, and help us reach the goal of providing a CASA for every child in State care. 
     CASA will also invite people through social media and word-of-mouth so expect to see faces new to you, too!

     Voices Tours are held from noon - 1 on the first Wednesday of each month in New Braunfels and the second Wednesday of each month in San Marcos. Additional dates and locations are scheduled upon request. Please contact Eloise Hudson if you would like to host a Voices Tour.
Supporting CASA Just Makes Scents  

     Thank you Michelle Rexilius of the New Braunfels Candle Company!  She donated a box of custom CASA of Central Texas 12 oz. hand-poured soy candles. 

   The 12 oz. Very Vanilla, Rosemary and Coconut Lime hand-poured soy candles with special CASA of Central Texas label are $20 each or $35 for two. If interested, please contact the CASA office at 830-626-2272 or by email.

     Proceeds go to CASA of Central Texas' auxiliary board, The Wing Society, and will be used for advocate appreciation and support.
August 2016
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Upcoming Events


CASA Volunteer Training Begins
4:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Lockhart, Location TBA

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

Voices Tour in Seguin
Noon - 1 p.m. 
GVEC Community Room

CASA Superhero Run 
7 a.m. 
Dominion Central Park, Austin 

Voices Tour in San Marcos 
Noon - 1 p.m.
Historic Courthouse room 101


CASA Volunteer Training Begins
8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
New Braunfels CASA office

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

CASA Volunteer Training Begins
1 - 5 p.m.
Historic Hays County Courthouse room 101
CASA Volunteer Training Begins
4:30 - 8:30 p.m.
New Braunfels CASA office

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

Voices Tour in Seguin

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

Voices Tour in San Marcos 
Noon - 1 p.m.
Historic Courthouse room 101

Voices Tour in Seguin
Noon - 1 p.m. 
GVEC Community Room
CASA Of Central Texas Inc.