October 2014   

CASA Up Close

Welcome to another edition of CASA Up Close Monthly. Below you will find information about our supporters, upcoming events, training opportunities and more. Please feel free to contact CASA for more information about anything you read. And, as always, thank you for your continued support.

CASA of Central Texas


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

Every child has the right to a safe, nurturing, permanent home.
Letter from the Executive Director


 Matching Grant Doubles Your Donation 


     First, let me thank all of you who have already made your donation toward this great purpose - the CASA Endowment Fund will provide a "nest egg" for the CASA program to have stability and longevity so that CASA volunteers can advocate for children and youth well into the future. The endowment fund balance as of this month is $20,552.


     Next, let me say with a sense of urgency, our time is running out! We were challenged by the McKenna Foundation to raise $25,000 by December 1st. With every donated dollar which is designated to CASA's endowment fund, the foundation will match another dollar - effectively doubling your impact. We have just under $3,500 to meet this challenge and, as our Board Treasurer stated, "we don't want to leave money on the table!"


     How can you help?   If just seven more people give a one-time donation of $500 by December 1st, we will meet the McKenna challenge. However, if this giving level does not fit in your budget, or if you are able to give more, please know that a gift in any amount will be matched and will be much appreciated. So, lastly, let me say in advance, thank you for all of your donations which I know you give with such generous hearts.


     Will you join the challenge?  Please help the children of our future by donating to CASA's Endowment Fund today. Donate here.




Norma Castilla-Blackwell
Executive Director 

Upcoming Volunteer Trainings
Make a Difference in the life of a child,
become a CASA Volunteer

Classes are set for 2015!
If you know someone who would make a great
CASA volunteer, please share these training dates.

Karin Crane, CASA of Central Texas Advocate since 2007


4:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Jan. 14th through Feb. 18th

San Marcos office 


1 to 5 p.m.
Jan. 15th through Feb. 19th

New Braunfels office 

8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Feb. 28th through March 28th
New Braunfels office

Training sessions will also begin the following weeks.
Times and locations TBA.

Week of March 2

Week of April 26

Week of June 21

Week of August 9

  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.
Welcome to CASA!

New Volunteers Ready to Take on Cases

Sworn in on October 31st

Pictured l-r are:

Megan Saathoff of Comal County, Jennifer Martinez of Comal County, Judy Fogg of Guadalupe County, Larry Patterson of Hays County, Kathie Patterson of Hays County, Tarah Parsons of Hays County, Debra Cant´┐Ż of Comal County, Judge Melissa McClenahan, Martha Walter of Comal County, Clark Walter of Comal County, Kim Boland of Hays County, Lisa Metzler of Hays County, and

Lian Horenblas of Hays County. 

Volunteer Voices
Greg Golian
CASA Volunteer since 2013


   "After retirement I was looking for ways to help others and give back to the community."

      "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."

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

Upcoming Information Sessions
Saffron Weingarten, CASA of Central Texas Advocate since 2013

Open to everyone, bring your friends, family and colleagues and we will provide lunch!

CASA can also
bring these information
sessions to you,
just give us a call!   

VoicesYou are Invited
to a CASA Voices Tour

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. 


New Braunfels  
CASA office
Wednesday, November 5th - Noon  


 San Marcos 

CASA office 
Wednesday, November 12th - Noon

Please RSVP to Eloise Hudson 
by email or at 830-626-2272.

Lunch provided by Fox's Pizza Den in New Braunfels and Chick-fil-A in San Marcos.  
Kick-off Time


kickoffCASA is Getting a New Casa
To meet the growing needs of our community by training and supporting more advocates for abused and neglected children, CASA is preparing to build a permanent Office Building & Training Center in San Marcos.
Please join us and help kick-off our Capital Campaign!

Thursday, November 13th
10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
Hays County Government Center
off Wonder World Drive, San Marcos

Follow us after the reception to see our site at the corner of Hunter Road and Reimer Avenue.
Permanency Luncheon

CASA Volunteers Honored for Their Dedication 

     CASA Volunteers were honored on October 30th at the Fall Permanency Luncheon. The lunch recognizes volunteers whose children have either been returned home or have been placed in a safe, permanent home in the last six months.

     CASA supervisors shared stories about the cases and the work each volunteer did to advocate for the best interest of the children. The stories were a reminder why it is important to keep working toward the goal of providing a CASA for every child in care.


Pictured are honorees who attended the lunch:
Back row (l-r): Diane Roberts, Stacey Brewer, Gloria Harlin, Arthur Taylor, Joan Guzaldo, Chuck Haynes, Sharon Hogan, John McGee, Earl Dittman, Sue Dittman, Lisa Tanksley, Jody Cosson, Carol Entringer, Mary Hodges, Shay Timmins, Bill Raissle and Charles Ellis.
Front row (l-r): Theresa Aimone, Jimbo Scarborough, Nancy Deckard, Rosa Hernandez, Traudi McDonald, Fran Hargrove, Sandy Smith and Karin Crane
Help Make the Holidays Special
Participate in CASA's Holiday Toy and Gift Drive  

     This holiday season, CASA of Central Texas is collaborating with local organizations and individuals to provide gifts for abused and neglected children. This annual project is a wonderful opportunity to extend the giving tradition to children in our community.  We hope that you will join us in our goal to provide a gift to all of the abused and neglected children that CASA serves.  


    To participate, visit the Toy and Gift Drive website Here. You will see a list of the children, their ages and wishlists. Follow the directions to select a child and then fulfill their request.




If you have any questions, please contact Eloise Hudson by email or at 830-626-2272. 

Coffee With CASA


Coffee Shop Helps Recruit Volunteers

Thank you to Kora Kora Coffee in Gruene for hosting a Coffee with CASA information table. Customers had the chance to learn about CASA while they enjoyed their coffee.
CASA Community Relations Coordinator Eloise Hudson shared information with customers. 
If you know of a coffee shop that would like to host a Coffee with CASA information table in Caldwell, Comal, Guadalupe or Hays County, contact Eloise Hudson by email or at 830-626-2272. 
Advocate Social

 CASA volunteer John Barthel was chosen as the "Advocate Angel" for the afternoon. 
Getting Together

Advocates from CASA of Central Texas gathered at the Pour House in New Braunfels on October 18th for the latest social hosted by the Wing Society. Advocates mingled and shared about what they have learned from their case experiences.


Volunteer Continuing Education

Grief and Loss with Children and Teens



Thursday, November 13

1-3 p.m.

San Marcos Public Library

625 E. Hopkins

Presented by Erin Spalding, LCSW, Christi Center


     Unresolved grief causes many behavioral and mental health issues, yet frequently goes unaddressed in children.  This presentation will guide participants on a discovery of how grief affects youth at different stages of development and how to distinguish between healthy grieving and complicated grieving.  Participants will leave the session with a broader understanding of the general grieving process, how grief impacts children, and tools to help support children faced with loss.


     Please RSVP to Jerret Swierc at 512-392-3578 or by email


Volunteers are required to complete 12 hours of continuing education annually 

Thank You


Our Community Supporters

GVTC Foundation
Hill Country Kart Club 
McCraw Oil and Kwik Chek Food Stores
Advocate Appreciation Mixer


Winter WONDERland

 All of our WONDERful Advocates are invited to this year's
Advocate Appreciation Mixer.

Friday, December 12th
6:30 p.m.
Price Center, San Marcos
Texas CASA Conference


CASA Volunteers, Staff Attend State Conference

     Volunteers, staff and board from CASA of Central Texas attended the 2014 Texas CASA Conference in Galveston October 23-25. The conference theme was inspired by the Wizard of Oz and focused on our efforts to get foster children back to safe and permanent homes.




     Our attendees participated in informative and inspiring workshops related to child welfare and CASA advocacy.  Sessions included educational advocacy, poverty simulation, achieving permanency and finding family/relative placements.  We look forward to next year's conference returning to San Marcos.

CASA in the Community

CASA Volunteers Calvin Rodriguez, Melinda Rapp, Sonya Rodriguez and Mary Hodges host a CASA information table and activity at the New Braunfels Crawfish Festival earlier this year.
Stop By and Say Hi!


     Community Events are a great way to recruit volunteers and get the word out about CASA.

  It is a chance to meet with people one-on-one and talk about the role of a CASA volunteer.

     If you know of a community event for CASA to participate in, please contact Eloise Hudson.


Upcoming Community Events


Saturday, November 1st
Canyon Lake Community Organization
Fair- A fair where organizations have been invited to set up information booths.
Time: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Location: Tye Preston Memorial Library, Canyon Lake


Saturday, November 8th
Belk Charity Sale- A portion of sales at the retail store Belk will be donated to local charities. The charities, including CASA, will each set up an information table.
Time: 6 - 10 a.m.

Location: Belk retail store, New Braunfels


Calendar of Events


             Holiday Toy and Gift Drive

5th-       Voices Tour, noon 
              New Braunfels CASA office


12th-     Voices Tour, noon
              San Marcos CASA office

13th-     Advocate Continuing Education, 1 - 3 p.m.
              San Marcos Public Library

13th-     Capital Campaign Kick-off, 10 - 11:30 a.m.
              Hays County Government Center, San Marcos 


3rd-       Voices Tour, noon 
              New Braunfels CASA office

10th-      Voices Tour, noon
   San Marcos CASA office 
12th-     Advocate Appreciation Mixer, 6:30
              Price Center, San Marcos 

7th-       Voices Tour, noon 
              New Braunfels CASA office

14th-     Voices Tour , noon
  San Marcos CASA office

14th-     CASA Volunteer Training begins, 4:30 - 8:30 p.m.
              San Marcos CASA office

15th-     CASA Volunteer Training begins, 1 - 5 p.m. 
              New Braunfels CASA office




4th-       Voices Tour, noon 
              New Braunfels CASA office
11th-     Voices Tour , noon
San Marcos CASA office

28th-     CASA Volunteer Training Begins, 8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
              New Braunfels CASA office 
Social Media

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and updates throughout the month!

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