April 2014
Left to right - CASA Tuly Faden, Lynn Kubichan, Jane Thompson, Jane Malpass, CASA Coordinator of Advocate Services Debra Lerner-Schmidt, CASAs Alyce Adesko and Inez Hanan.

"Jane & Jane" are like rock stars to CASA programs and advocates nationwide. A social worker and lawyer, their presentation emphasizes the critical importance of permanency. They don't enter the stage with a drum-roll, or rely on epic videos, or dazzling PowerPoint's. They simply set-up a flip chart and blow you away with their in-depth knowledge, research, and compelling real-life stories of mothers who have adopted abused or neglected children --mothers like them.

Jane Thompson lists the levels of parenting
Nearly 100 CASA Lake County volunteers gathered at Aon Hewitt for an annual all-day in-service. The Janes reported on the devastating impact that the child welfare system has on the physical, emotional and educational development of a child. "No system is a good parent," said Malpass. Adding that "We have already lost 'the best interest of a child' when we take them away from their natural parents." Thompson added what both Janes had discovered from their own blended families:  "Regardless of how loving and secure your home is, an adopted child grieves over the loss of their parents, feels abandoned and disconnected. 'Why was I abandoned by my natural mother? Why did my first foster parents not adopt me?  Why am I unlovable?'"

The Janes tirelessly advocate for permanence as quickly as possible, because the child is damaged the minute they are taken away from their family. Multiple placements translates into a breakdown of development and trust. In addition to needing care for their basic needs, and stimulation to learn and grow, they need continuity -- assurance that they will receive care and stimulation from the same  people and reciprocity. A reciprocal relationship is with a significant person through which a child comes to view themself as valuable.  "Children can't love without attachment. They care about attachment because they care about what their parents think -- and they want to be loved," said the Janes.

An intensely emotional and thought-provoking day, the Janes left us reflecting on our own cases, our nuclear families and childhood. Parting thoughts? How can we all be better parents? "Tell the truth, be on time, keep your promises and be dependable," they said.  Being a parent is very similar to being CASA advocate. It is about truth, credibility and keeping promises.
Board members (back row) Noga Villalon, Anise Wiley-Little, Bob Silverstein, Congressman Schneider, CASA's Terri Z. Greenberg, Wendy LaPlaca, Elizabeth Sammann (front row left) Claudia Lovelette, program counsel and Joanna Lynn, CASA Board member.
The first thing Congressman Schneider did after sitting down at our meeting was to pull out his phone. He wanted to share a text from a close friend, who is an Advocate. When he asked her about CASA, she said "Now you will meet people who make a difference every single day -- kind of like you do in your job."  And after that, the Congressman listened. Four board members joined the meeting  -- Chairman Bob Silverstein, Joanna Lynn, Anise Wiley Little and Noga Villalon.

After an overview from Terri, a CASA staff member from each division gave a 5 minute summary of their role. When Debra Lerner Schmidt reviewed the extensive training schedule, the Congressman commented on how difficult it must be to find  volunteers with that kind of time and dedication.  He jokingly quipped that a college fair would be perfect --don't target the kids,  grab the parents, who will soon to be empty nesters. Noga told the compelling story of her case -- not only about a drug addicted mother with multiple children,  but of the happy ending about the oldest child. For four years Noga tenaciously guided and coached this child in her home and school. The outcome was that she is the first of her family to graduate from high school, and is in the process of transferring to North Illinois University to pursue a degree in nursing. "Do mothers get CASA Advocates? " asked Schneider.  Sometimes, but it is uncommon, we answered, explaining that we advocate for the best interest of the child. Claudia reviewed transportation challenges that face parents trying to get to the courthouse from Waukegan or outline communities. There are currently no buses on Milwaukee Avenue.  The Congressman admitted he was sympathetic to retailers and shoppers, but had never thought of parents who needed to attend court dates. "How can I help you?"  were his parting words. We gave him a list...It was an informal, informative, inspiring afternoon.

Talented Lake Forest Painter Nancy Smith and her husband Architect Adrian Smith join
Joanie Bayhack, Director of Development and Communications at Elawa Farms
It was a daisy chain of good fortune. CASA Angel Ann McAveeney invited us to her Christmas Tea in Lake Forest, we met Nancy Smith, an artist and philanthropist, and Nancy suggested we meet the Lake Forest International Club (LFIC). And a beautiful friendship was born.  This non-profit organization was founded in 1961 by a group of women who lived outside the United States, and later returned to live in Lake Forest or Lake Bluff.  They designed this club to be a social, intellectual, cultural, philanthropic, educational and bipartisan haven for diverse members.

The fabulous farmhouse fundraiser sold out immediately
On Saturday, April 6 nearly 70 guests listened to live country music in a moonlit Lake Forest farmhouse with tables adorned with tulips, daffodils and Spring baskets.  Three charities were invited to speak -- It Can Be Done!, Supplies for Dreams and CASA. Auctioneers encouraged contributions to each one -- and the more you gave, the more raffle tickets you earned. The more raffle tickets you earned, the more chances you had of winning fabulous prizes from a romantic dinner at Froggy's restaurant to a tree from Chalet. Generosity and compassion filled the room. "It is the circle of giving," said LFIC President Cathy Alam.
Spring time tables-scapes adored the room

It was a perfect Saturday night. Thank you to Nancy Smith for the nomination to be part of the three of charities, to Angela Lee and Cathy Alam and all the LFIC members for their warmth, hospitality and support.
Dancing the night away is one way to mark CASA Lake County's 20th Anniversary Celebration

It's not too late to reserve a table or seats to the most extraordinary evening of the year!


On Saturday, May 10 at Ravinia, WGN Radio's Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano will host CASA Lake County's 20th Anniversary celebration.  Begin your evening with a cocktail or glass of champagne as you journey through an elaborate silent auction, an elegant dinner, and a live auction will be next! This year's gala chair Mary Szela will toast the chairs of our first gala 10 years ago -- Jackie Kopp and Debbie Gonzales. And we are privileged to honor Steve Pemberton, author of A Chance in the World and Chief Diversity Officer of Walgreens. Steve will tell the compelling story of his own foster care experience. The night will continue with dancing and a surprise dessert. By purchasing a ticket or table, you are doing your part to fight child abuse and neglect in Lake County. You are helping to a provide a CASA Advocate for every child who needs one.  Reserve your tickets today! Thank you.

A generous gift...(left) Andrew Rane, Peter Stavropoulos, Terri Zenner Greenberg and Cameron Clark
CASA Lake County was touched and delighted to receive a $10,000 donation from The Workers Compensation Lawyers Association...This unique group is comprised of over 700 members who benefit from a bipartisan group of lawyers, who practice from both sides of the aisle (they represent the employee and employer.)

Our champions were Peter Stavropoulos, Association President Andrew Rane and Vice President Cameron Clark, who dropped by for a check presentation and tour of the office.  "We are so fortunate to have a robust membership right now, and were able to make this significant gift because our colleagues wanted to support a cause that embraced children, who through no fault of their own, have to interface with legal system," said Andrew.

"It was also fortuitous that Peter's wife is a CASA Advocate and has shared her passion for our mission and the difference our volunteers make in the life of a child with her husband," said Terri Zenner Greenberg. 

As the snow melts in our back yards, and we glance down at our salt-stained shoes, think sun, think green, think nailing a PAR 3. We invite you to join us for CASA Lake County's annual Golf for A Child Invitational on Monday, June 16. We are delighted to report that CASA Board Member Jim/Norm Lillis is back by popular demand to host an exclusive golf outing on Monday, July 7. CDW has been a steadfast and loyal supporter of CASA for many years -- and we simply could not have reached our 20th year milestone without them. Thanks to all CDW friends (and Norm fans) for coming out again this year... 

For the June 16 event, CASA Lake County is accepting sponsorship applications and foursomes for a beautiful day on the links. As Miff Ardell (husband of CASA Extraordinaire Susan Ardell) said last summer -- "It is not only a great day of golf, it is a great way to serve the children who need us the most."

Simply go on casalakecounty.com/casagolf
to support CASA. 
Liz Pimper (from left) Kristen Wilson, Julie Finley, Mike Nemmers, Kathleen Anderson, Mike Genelin and Erika Palmer
More than 40 young professionals, friends, roommates, office pals and families gathered on April 18 at the popular modern Libertyville Japanese restaurant at Shakou.  The fundraiser for CASA Lake County featured fabulous cocktails, elaborate sushi boats and enticing raffles -- all to support advocates for abused and neglected children in our community. Don't miss the next Young Professional Board Cocktails for CASA event (check Facebook, www.casalakecounty.com and our friendly emails for the date of the next soiree.) For those of you who came to Shakou -- Thank you. You have made a difference in a child's life.
April is Child Abuse
Prevention Month

If you want to play your part in protecting abused and neglected children living in your neighborhood, volunteer or give...go to www.casalakecounty.com


Read the Presidential Proclamation.


Donate Now  

CASA Lake County's Mission
CASA is central to fulfilling society's most fundamental obligation by making sure a qualified, compassionate adult will fight for and protect a child's right to be safe, to be treated with dignity and respect, and to learn and grow in the security of a loving family.
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You can help can help a child in their time of greatest need.
 Facts you should
know from 2013 

Active Volunteers = 297

New Volunteers = 60

Children with a CASA = 563

New Cases = 82

New Children = 169

Children in Safe, Permanent Homes = 111 (20%)

 National Research Findings 
  • Children with CASA volunteers spend 7.5 months less in foster care.      
  • 90% of children with CASA volunteers never reenter the child welfare system.       
  • In 2013, CASA volunteers contributed 5.4 million advocacy hours, equivalent to $270 million in taxpayer dollars if compensated for their service.  
  • Total Cost of Indirect Child Abuse and Neglect: 
Join Us For 
Our 20th Anniversary Celebration
May 10, 2014
at Ravinia


Golf for A Child Invitational

Kemper Lakes Golf Club

June 16, 2014
July 7, 2014
An Exclusive CDW Event


Cardinal Health - $10,000

Worker's Compensation Lawyers Association - $10,000

Circle of Service - $10,000

Illinois State Bar Association - Young Lawyers Division - $7,500 

Vernon Hills Township - $5,000

Lake Forest International Club - $3,000 




T H A N K  Y O U