CASA volunteers recognized at dinner

Published 8:27 am Friday, August 10, 2012

Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Southwest Georgia welcomed four new volunteers to its ranks, and recognized many others, at a volunteer appreciation dinner held Thursday night at the Bainbridge College Kirbo Center.

CASA is a program that provides trained and supervised volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children, who are involved in juvenile court deprivation proceedings. CASA volunteers fight for a child’s right to be safe, to be treated with dignity and respect, and to learn and grow in the safe embrace of a loving family.

“When you see what our volunteers do, it really makes you feel better about the world that we live in,” said Dan Provence, chairman of the CASA of Southwest Georgia Board of Directors.

The new volunteers recognized were Ruthie Giles, Patty Brown, the Rev. James Platt and Mandy Long. Juvenile Court Judge Edwin J. “Chip” Perry III administered the CASA volunteer’s oath to the new volunteers.

Other longer-serving volunteers recognized were Ruthie Linzie Henry, Kelly Higgins, Dianne Toliver, Ethel Wills and Sandra Brown. Scott dePriest was not present, but is also a CASA volunteer. All present volunteers were given special plaques with a nautical “life saver” design.

Also honored Thursday was Mike Hollaway, who served as a CASA volunteer for nine years but will now serve on the board of directors.

“The children are our future, and it is wonderful that so many of you are willing to give your time to make sure they grow up safe,” Hollaway said.

Provence also discussed CASA’s upcoming budget, and noted it would be a tough year. Earlier this year, the Decatur County Board of Commissioners voted to cut $6,000 in funding that it normally gives to CASA. However, Provence said Thursday that he felt the organization has enough in reserves to weather the cut.

“We’ll just need to do a little more fund-raising and ask for the community’s help a little more than we have had to do in the past,” he said.

Provence also praised the work that has been done by Nan McIntosh, the executive director of CASA of Southwest Georgia.

“Nan has done a wonderful job for CASA since she has been here,” he said. “It’s been amazing watching her grow into the position.”

For more information on CASA, call (229) 248-1040, visit the office at 115 Troupe St. in Bainbridge, or visit online at gacasa.org.