CASA Spring Round-up and Recognition Banquet
The CASA 69 Annual Recognition Banquet was held at the Dalhart Country Club on April 17th, honoring all the volunteers who so willingly give of their time to advocate for abused and neglected children in our area. Some of CASA’s special donors were also recognized for their contributions to the CASA program.
CASA – It’s all about the kids! – So the evening began with entertainment from some very talented kids – the Dalhart Jump and Jammers. Ryley Ellsworth, Connor Holiski, Faith Claborn, Sibbie Priestly, Avry Thelander and Braydon Barrow showed off their skills as they moved in and out of their jump ropes, while jamming with the music. Thanks to their coaches, Bridgett Nicholson and Tisha Scott, the banquet audience was thoroughly entertained by this talented group of 4th and 5th graders.
Door prizes, donated by various area businesses, were distributed throughout the evening by Joe Ann Moore, Board Vice President.
The emcee for the evening, Duane Pittman, CASA board president, presented former board members, Anita Ralston
and Tom Ferguson, special engraved desk clocks for their nine years of dedicated service on the CASA 69 Board of Directors, serving from January 2000 thru December 2008. Board members are allowed to serve three consecutive 3-year terms and Anita and Tom faithfully gave of their time and resources for three full terms. Anita, who represented Hartley County on the board, served as Treasure and Finance Committee chair for the last two years and is also a dedicated CASA volunteer. Tom Ferguson from Dumas (Moore County) served as chair of various committees during his nine years of service on the board. Tom consistently reminded the board of directors and staff, "We must be sure that we are always representing the best interest of every child we serve and that none of them fall through the cracks."
Peggy Ferguson, who has been a CASA 69 volunteer for twelve years, was honored as the Volunteer of the Year. When CASA volunteers are appointed to a child abuse case, they are asked to commit to at least one year on that case. Peggy was the volunteer on one case from the time the children were removed from their home in 1998 as a result of physical and sexual abuse, until last month when the youngest child
turned eighteen. Because of Peggy’s dedication to these children, she represented them faithfully in the court system and advocated diligently for their best interest. She also visited with them regularly, planting seeds of kindness, hope and wisdom. Not only has Peggy been an outstanding advocate for children, but she has made speeches for CASA programs, supported CASA financially, and promoted CASA in her community.
A special surprise for Tom and Peggy was their children and grandchildren were able to join the banquet as both received recognition for their years of dedication and support to CASA.
CASA volunteers attending the banquet were recognized for the outstanding and difficult jobs they do. Board member, Patty Smith handed Years of Service certificates and CASA pins to each volunteer present: (From Dalhart) Gwen Christie, Carolyn Field, Ann Finch, Patty Gordon, Joe Ann Moore, Kamye Powell, Anita Ralston, Rebecca Siebert; (From Dumas) Kathy Eichmann, Peggy Ferguson, Sandie Harbert, Lisa Trowbridge, Tim Trowbridge; (From Stratford) Becky Brooks, Janet Reinart, Roldofo Salazar, Lynn Wells; (From
Hartley) John Bookout, John Frantz, Sherry Frantz.
As part of a statewide Volunteer Roundup Campaign, CASA volunteers were asked to bring prospective volunteers to the CASA Spring Roundup and Recognition Banquet. Prospective volunteers attending as special guests of volunteers included Jennifer Gray, Sheryl Kelso, Mindy Ellsworth, Tawny Allen and Cindy Johnson.
Some of CASA’s special donors attending the banquet were Mr. and Mrs. Phil Haaland (Haaland Farms), Ms. Terri Hein (Bank of America), Ms. Cheri DeJong (AgriVision Farm Mgt.), Mr. Ronnie Brooks (Brooks Motors), Mr. & Mrs. Tom Ferguson (Ad Rem Land Co.), Ms. Joe Ann Moore (High Country Community Rural Health Clinic), Mr. & Mrs. Duane Pittman, Ms. Billie Harruff, and Ms. Patricia Rigg. Also in attendance at the banquet was Dallam County Judge David Field.
The evening ended with the showing of a video entitled "Make a Lifelong Difference." In this moving video, children who have been in foster care share about their experiences in the system, their hopes and dreams, but especially how having a CASA volunteer made a huge difference in their lives.