August 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


 Help Guide CASA
Serve on the Board of Directors 



     As the Executive Director for CASA of Central Texas, I strive to ensure that our program is meeting the needs of the community. To do this, I rely on committed individuals who are willing to provide me with their guidance and expertise to shape the program as a whole.


     A diverse Board of Directors representing each of the four counties we serve (Caldwell, Comal, Guadalupe and Hays) helps CASA identify needs in the community, and provides the support and connections required to meet those needs. By serving as a Director for CASA of Central Texas, you have a genuine opportunity to have a direct, positive and lasting impact for your community.


     There's a lot of responsibility in choosing to become a Board member.  Board members must have the ability and knowledge to set policy and approve programs that become the basis for operating the nonprofit.  A Board member does not manage the day-to-day business of the nonprofit.


     A Board member must have the time, or be willing to take the time, to attend monthly Board meetings as well as special meetings, committee meetings and seminars. Seminars and educational workshops are necessary to keep informed about Board service and the programs we provide as an agency.


Some criteria for Board members include:


General Expectations

� Become knowledgeable about the organization.

� Serve in leadership positions or undertake special assignments willingly and enthusiastically.

� Keep the executive director informed about community concerns.

� Follow trends in the child welfare and juvenile justice fields.

� Recruit nominees to the board - women and men of achievement and distinction who can make contributions to the work of the board and the organization.
Contribute financially 



� Prepare for and participate in board and committee meetings, including appropriate organizational activities.


Avoiding Conflicts

� Serve the organization as a whole rather than any special interest group or constituency.


Fiduciary Responsibilities

� Exercise prudence in the control and transfer of funds.

� Faithfully read and understand the organization's financial statements and help the board fulfill its fiduciary responsibility.


Fund Raising

� Assist in resource development by implementing fund-raising strategies through personal influence with others.

If you are interested in serving on the Board, give me a call! 




Norma Castilla-Blackwell
Executive Director 

Endowment Campaign

More Than Halfway There!  

     "This is such a wonderful opportunity for people to donate to CASA and help the organization establish a nest egg for the future. The dollar-for-dollar match is a gift that we hope many, many of our supporters will help us take advantage of. An opportunity like this doesn't happen every day."

JoAnne Germer

Board President & CASA Endowment Donor


     We believe in this program so much that we want to ensure that our services are available for abused and neglected children well into the future!


     Please make your donation today! For every dollar that you give to the endowment fund, between now and December 1st, the McKenna Foundation has pledged to give an equal match. But, we must raise the funds first. Donations may come from individuals, businesses or funds raised at special events.


     Click HERE to make your donation online and type "Endowment" in the designation box.   Or, you may mail a check with "Endowment" in the memo to the CASA office: CASA of Central Texas, 1619 E. Common St., Suite 301, New Braunfels, TX 78130.


     Your gift will make sure that abused and neglected children are protected, safe and find good homes to thrive in!

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

Training starts soon!
If you know someone who would make a great
CASA volunteer, please share these training dates.

Jeannette Sheridan, CASA of Central Texas Advocate since 2003



4:30 to 8:30 p.m.

September 8th through October 6th

San Marcos office 



1 to 5 p.m.
September 10th through October 8th

New Braunfels office 

  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.
Volunteer Voices
Go For It   
Jimbo Scarborough pictured with the seven children on his CASA case.

     "What I saw from twenty-two years of law enforcement and thirteen years of counseling students drove me to become a CASA."

     "What stood out during the blessing that was CASA service, was how receptive the kids were of a stranger coming into their lives."

     To anyone who is thinking about becoming a CASA Jimbo says, "I would say don't think twice - go for it. And don't be afraid to open your heart unconditionally. The kids may hurt feelings at times, but don't give up on them. You'll never regret it."

Welcome to CASA!

New Volunteers Ready to Take on Cases


Sworn in on August 12th

Pictured l-r are:
Samantha Mundine CASA staff, Dorothea Walker of Comal County, Maria Elena Tolle of Caldwell County, Donna Mieszkowski of Hays County, Judge McClenahan, Evelyn Bruno of Comal County, Silvette Lugo of Comal County, Melonie Steele of Comal County, Dana Ritchie of Guadalupe County, Rita Lenoch of Hays County and Becky Oekerman of Comal County. 
Fundraising Event

Tickets $50 per person. Purchase

Under the Big Top 
With CASA 

Friday, September 19, 2014
Texas Agricultural and Heritage Center
Join CASA for an evening of fun, food and drinks, live music and entertainment. Music by Tin Roof.

Honoring Commissioner Greg Seidenberger
and District Attorney Heather McMinn.

Sponsor tables still available for $750 and $1,000.
Contact Daysy Silvestre at 830-626-2272 or by email to sponsor this event. 
5K Fun Run for CASA

For more information or to register, click

Be a Superhero for an Abused Child 
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!

CASA Superhero Run
Sunday, September 21, 2014

  Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park 

CASA volunteers are superheroes, but being a CASA volunteer isn't right for everyone. So, we activate the Bat Signal and encourage everyone to be a superhero for children by participating in the CASA Superhero Run.

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.

Can't be there that day? You can still register as a virtual runner or team leader, or support to the CASA of Central Texas Team here!
Upcoming Information Sessions
Lynette Barker, CASA of Central Texas Advocate since 2009

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? Join us for one of our upcoming information sessions and get all your questions answered.  


The one-hour session will provide information about CASA and the process in which our volunteers advocate for children who have been abused and neglected. CASA staff and

volunteers will be on hand to answer questions you may have about our program.


New Braunfels  
CASA office
Wednesday, September 3rd - Noon  


 San Marcos 

CASA office 
Wednesday, September 10th - Noon


First Lockhart National Bank 
Community Room 
Tuesday, September 23rd - Noon

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

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

A Group Effort
Staff Marks More than a Century of Service
With this CASA Program

Together our hardworking and dedicated staff has more than 100 years of recruiting, training and supporting CASA volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children!

Each of our 18 staff members brings their own strength and character to the program to make it complete.


Staff pictured from top to bottom, left to right:


Samantha Mundine, Tricia Schneider, Carolyn Massey and Daysy Silvestre.


Cathy Vrba, Tim Judkins, Rob Edwards and Debbie Haynes.


Shelley Denkeler, Eloise Hudson, Norma Castilla-Blackwell, Lonnette LaBorde and Renee' Lehmann.


Melanie Linder, Jerret Swierc, Layla Coleman, Lauren Townsend and Kimberly Key. 

CASA Continuing Education


  Upcoming Training for CASA Volunteers

Fostering Futures  
Thursday, September 18
5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
New Braunfels CASA office


     Older youth in foster care are facing tough odds as they prepare for their futures. While all of our staff supervisors support volunteers who are serving older youth, four years ago, CASA of Central Texas designated one of our supervisors to work exclusively with volunteers advocating for youth age 16 and up. As a result, we have seen many successes such as high school graduations, stable housing and plans to attend college and vocational schools.


     Fostering Futures is the next phase of our focus on older youth ages 14 to 21. A nationwide, grant-funded project under National CASA, all new CASA volunteers will now receive this training as part of their pre-service curriculum and will have the opportunity to request to be part of this special project with this age group. Current CASA volunteers will receive the Fostering Futures training at this Continuing Education session.

Please RSVP to Debbie Haynes at 512-392-3578 or by email.

Volunteers are required to complete 12 hours of continuing education annually

Include CASA

Planned Giving Made Easy

     Are your children grown? All done with college? Is your mortgage paid off? If so, your need for that long-held life insurance policy may be changing. You've been a good planner and taken good care of your family. Now, in your estate planning, you may wish to consider naming a charity such as CASA as a full or partial beneficiary of your life insurance policy. 5%...10%...50%...100%... CASA would be honored to receive your gift and it would give many abused and neglected children the voice of a trained CASA volunteer.


     How? First, obtain a Beneficiary Designation form from your life insurance carrier (some carriers have these available through their websites as a download). Complete the form and identify this CASA program by our full name, "CASA of Central Texas, Inc." For additional clarity, include our federal tax identification number, #74-2403373, and our office address. You may choose to tell us about your designated gift or keep it private. But don't forget to sign and return the completed form to your insurance carrier!


     Questions? CASA's Development Director Tricia Schneider would be happy to talk to you. Email or phone at 830/626-2272.


The information contained in this email does not constitute legal advice or tax advice. Legal advice and tax advice must always be tailored to your circumstances and nothing contained herein should be viewed as a substitute for the advice of a competent tax advisor or attorney.

Social Media

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and updates throughout the month!

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Upcoming Events


3rd-       Voices Tour, noon
              New Braunfels CASA office

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

10th-     New Volunteer Training Starts, 1 - 5 p.m.             
              New Braunfels CASA office

10th-     Voices Tour, noon

              San Marcos CASA office

18th-     Continuing Education, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
              New Braunfels CASA office

19th-     Under the Big Top Dinner/Auction
              Texas Agricultural and Heritage Center, Seguin

21st-     CASA Superhero Run
              Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park

23rd-     Voices Tour, noon
              First Lockhart National Bank Community Room

1st-       Voices Tour, noon
              New Braunfels CASA office

8th-       Voices Tour, noon
              San Marcos CASA office

9th-       Voices Tour, noon
              Schertz GVEC Community Room

16th-     Voices Tour, noon
              Seguin GVEC Community Room

27th-     New Volunteer Training Starts , Times TBA
              New Braunfels and San Marcos CASA offices


             Holiday Gift Drive

5th-       Voices Tour, noon 
              New Braunfels CASA office


12th-     Voices Tour, noon
              San Marcos CASA office


12th-     Advocate Appreciation Mixer, time TBA
             Price Center, San Marcos 

Stay Connected! 

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Phone: 830-626-2272

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