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When police arrived at seven-year-old Carlos' apartment to arrest his mother on outstanding warrants, they found her high on methamphetamine and Carlos playing on the floor next to a drug pipe. Drugs were found in the child's toy bag, easily accessible to him as he played.

Officers quickly realized Carlos' mother and father were addicted to methamphetamine and determined it was not safe for Carlos at home.

Child Protective Services removed Carlos from his home and placed him with his grandmother who had been cut out of her daughter's life for criticizing her drug use. Carlos was assigned a Dallas CASA volunteer advocate who would speak up for his best interests while the court decided where he could safely and permanently life.

The first time his volunteer, Lyn, visited Carlos, he told her his favorite thing was soccer but that his grandmother could not afford for him to play. READ MORE

The Dallas CASA Classic, a charity golf tournament hosted by Pioneer Natural Resources, Goldman Sachs and AT&T, raised $1.3 million for Dallas CASA Monday, April 25.

The funds allow Dallas CASA to recruit, train and supervise more volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children living in protective care. During the award luncheon following the tournament, a check for $1.26 million was presented to Dallas CASA. Generous donors stepped up that day to round up the total contribution to $1.3 million.

"The golf tournament is the reason Dallas CASA has been able to dramatically increase the number of abused and neglected children we serve," said Kathleen LaValle, Dallas CASA executive director and president. "We now serve five and a half times the number of children we were helping when the tournament first began. Last year alone, revenue from the tournament helped us to recruit and train 334 new volunteer advocates and supervise and support 921 volunteers who advocated for 2,680 children - all record highs."

Since it began in 1998, the tournament has raised nearly $15 million for the children served by Dallas CASA. Next year's 20th anniversary tournament will be held April 24, 2017.
Erin Pope and Jenny Reynolds at the Cherish the Children luncheon.

Laura McBride, author of the best-selling debut novel "We Are Called to Rise," told more than 400 guests at Dallas CASA's Cherish the Children luncheon April 5 at the Dallas Omni Hotel that the way to repair the world is through one act of goodness at a time.

"Somewhere out there, a child is going to hurt a little less, feel a little less alone because of you," she told volunteer advocates in the audience. "You are the ones doing the one small good thing first."

This year's Cherish the Children luncheon, hosted by the Children's Council, raised more than $200,000 which will allow Dallas CASA to recruit, train and supervise more volunteers to serve kids in need.

The luncheon honoree was Caroline Rose Hunt and event chair was Erin Pope. In addition to McBride, luncheon attendees heard from Jenny Reynolds, a volunteer advocate and Children's Council president. Reynolds told the audience about her experiences advocating for a teen girl.

"It's a privilege for me to give a voice to children like her," Reynolds said. "Being a CASA has truly been a blessing to me as much as the kids."

The luncheon also featured a silent auction of artfully-designed, one-of-a-kind children's chairs and furnishings.

April was Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month, and Dallas CASA hosted an event April 15 that brought attention to the plight of abused and neglected children in Dallas.

The event honored the 24 Dallas children who lost their lives due to abuse in 2015. Members of the Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy Jazz Band performed and In-N-Out Burger served lunch.

Judge Cheryl Lee Shannon told the crowd that after 21 years as a juvenile judge, it's still difficult. "It's hard and it ought to be hard," she said. "This should never be just another day on the job."

"Children don't always have a voice, so we have to be that voice for them," WFAA meteorologist and emcee for the event Colleen Coyle said. "All of you are here not just to fix child abuse right now but to fix it for the future."

Attendees included Dallas County Commissioner Mike Cantrell, Dallas CASA volunteers and Child Protective Services caseworkers. Madeline McClure, executive director of TexProtects, thanked the audience for the work they do.

"This is difficult, dangerous work you do, but there are solutions that work," she said. "One child's life lost is one too many, but child abuse is not inevitable. It's not a disease. It's optional behavior and 100 percent preventable."

The evening of April 15, buildings in downtown Dallas changed their lights to blue in honor of child abuse prevention.
The March training class was sworn in by Judge Andrea Martin.

We welcome our new volunteer advocates who completed training in March.

The following individuals have completed the 30-hour CASA volunteer training course. Many accepted their first volunteer assignment shortly after graduation and are already on their CASA journey, speaking for the best interests of their CASA children. They join more than 900 assigned Dallas CASA volunteer advocates serving the children of Dallas. Congratulations to all our newest volunteer advocates and thank you for your compassion and generosity in volunteering to become advocates for vulnerable child victims.

Cortney Anderson * Lisa Batie * Eileen Blair * Breanne Coe * Vicky Collins * Kathy Corporon * Pat Curtis * Kayla Doakes * Monica Ellington * Mark Elmore * Garfield Fabricius-Davies * Bruce Gadd * Jessica Gonzalez * Sharon Hall * Kristy Holland * Jackie Howell * Susan Hutchison * Cynthia Jenkins * Jill Kemp * Heather Lynch * Marynka Marquez * Katie Meier * Kimberly Murawski * Victoria Nugent * Amanda Olivares * Jennifer Oviedo * Zasil Oviedo * Tyler Ozanne * Wendy Patterson * Patricia Peavy * Paula Prescod * Chris Reed * Courtney Reese * Nico Rizzo * Meredith Roberts * Tawanna Rucker * Micaela Sanchez * Whitney Smith * Linda Stamp * Suzanne Szeibert-Layne * Jazzmine Trotman * Jerica Visalli * Pam White * Joseph Woodard * Joan Wu * Cynthia Yepiz

After advocating for 37 children over the past decade, Elizabeth Jenkins tells us what propels her forward. READ MORE
WFAA recently featured Dallas CASA in their Nonprofit Corner. Watch the video HERE.

The National CASA Promising Practice Spotlight Award, which highlights successful programs at local CASA organizations, went to Dallas CASA this year for our partnership with Angel Flight. With Angel Flight, volunteer pilots donate their time, private planes and fuel to fly CASA volunteers to visit children placed far away. Since 2014, Dallas CASA and Angel Flight have partnered on more than 40 flights, and the award recognized the success of a unique program.
Please join Dallas CASA for our Volunteer Appreciation Party hosted by the Dallas CASA Children's Council. The event will be 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 12. Invitations were sent via email. For more information, contact Michelle Stephenson.

Flatter someone you know by inviting them to Mi CASA Su CASA event 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday May 17 at Dallas CASA. Guests will learn more about the role of volunteer advocate. For more information, call 469-547-9450.

Dallas CASA is the 2015-16 Attorneys Serving the Community beneficiary. The organization's final fundraising event of the year is a luncheon featuring former foster child and Walgreen's diversity executive Steve Pemberton. The luncheon will be noon to 1:30 p.m. Friday June 10 at the Hilton Anatole Hotel.

Mark your calendar now for Dallas CASA's 21st Parade of Playhouses. The houses will be on display July 15 to 31 at NorthPark Center.

The Mattress Firm Foster Kids program, which aims to provide support needed to help foster kids beat the odds, benefits Dallas CASA. Throughout the year, the program holds donation drives at select stores. From May 2 to June 26, Mattress Firm locations are accepting donations of new clothing for foster children.

Spread the word about Dallas CASA to help abused and neglected children. Tell your friends, family and colleagues how they can become volunteer advocates and help us achieve our goal of serving every child in protective care.

Upcoming CASA volunteer information sessions:

* May 6, noon to 1 p.m.

* May 13, noon to 1 p.m.

* May 19, 6 to 7 p.m.

* May 26, 6 to 7 p.m.

* June 3, noon to 1 p.m.

For session schedules and registration, click HERE.


When children can't speak for themselves, CASA can.

On an average day in Dallas County, more than 2,700 abused and neglected children live in foster care because they cannot live safely at home. These children need powerful voices to speak for them. Dallas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) is a non-profit organization of volunteers who are voices for abused children in court. CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in protective care.

Sadly, Dallas CASA can only serve three out of five children who need CASA volunteers. You can help. A child is waiting for your voice.

To learn more about helping abused children, please visit Dallas CASA.

CASA and Court Appointed Special Advocates are registered trademarks of the National CASA Association.