More than 260 enthusiastic people attended a dinner event to raise awareness about the constant need for Court Appointed Special Advocates - volunteers who assist children in the court system.
State Attorney General Bob Ferguson spoke about the importance of advocacy for children in the foster care system during Pierce County’s Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program dinner April 16 at the Tacoma Yacht Club.
Two special CASA volunteers were recognized for exceptional advocacy. Superior Court Judge Kathryn Nelson presented Linda Dyer with the “Ken Nelson CASA of the Year” award. Buffy Via, a CASA supervisor, expressed her appreciation for Dyer’s excellent work on behalf of the 26 children she has represented in her six years as an advocate.
Jo Anne Brown received the “Nancy Jander Memorial Award for Exceptional Advocacy.” Steve Hill, another CASA supervisor, described Brown’s tenacity on behalf of the 14 children and teenagers she has served in her six years with the program.
“There was so much energy and enthusiasm from the CASAs,” said Superior Court Judge Kitty-Ann van Doorninck. “I hope it was infectious and encourages other community members to step up and join them in the good work they do.”
CASA program managers Julie Lowery and Janice Bridges asked dinner guests to help spread the word by working advocacy into any conversation possible, displaying CASA posters and wearing CASA T-shirts. Posters and T-shirts are available at the CASA Program offices at Pierce County Juvenile Court.
Other speakers included former state Auditor Brian Sonntag and Superior Court Judge Thomas Felnagle. St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School’s 12th Street Singers provided entertainment.
TJ Bohl, Juvenile Court administrator