When people think of volunteering, they often think of helping out for a few hours at the local animal shelter or food bank. But, the term volunteer means much more to the crowd of 270 CASA advocates, staff, and supporters who gathered at the Apollo on Emma in Springdale on April 24. Each year, during National Volunteer Month, CASA of Northwest Arkansas hosts this event to thank the hundreds of community members who give their free time to help children in need.
On average, a CASA volunteer provides 5 – 10 hours of advocacy a month and is expected to serve the case until it closes, approximately 15 – 18 months. “Their passion and commitment to brighter futures for these special children is why we host such an event. We could not make the impact we do without these dedicated volunteers,” shared Executive Director Crystal Vickmark.
Among those present that evening who were recognized for five years of service or greater included:
- 5 year CASA veterans: Elise and Marius de Waal and Marcia Gaddy
- 6 year CASA veterans: Emily Bost, Deanna Cicatiello, and Dara Yeager
- 7 year CASA veterans: Sharyl Barwick and Marilyn and John Cornwell
- 8 year CASA veterans: Shannon Carpenter and Sidney Hewgley
- 13 year CASA veteran: Janet Steencken
Beyond recognizing the more than 100 volunteers present, we also heard from Washington County Circuit Judge Stacey Zimmerman who applauded the advocates for their efforts and ensured them that the work they are doing is making a real difference in the eyes of the court.
A special thanks to Carrabba’s Italian Grill and our other event sponsors including CORE Brewing Company, Trinchero Family Estates, and Anheuser-Busch who made this event truly spectacular for our VIPs, our CASA volunteers.