Louisiana CASA Honors “Special” Heroes for Outstanding Efforts in 2010!
Louisiana CASA, in partnership with its member programs, once again honored outstanding individuals for their service to children through CASA. Although we value all of the outstanding volunteers, staff, and stakeholders we work with, CASA wanted to present special recognition for those individuals who have gone that extra mile for children.
In 2010, the honorees were recognized at a special CASA Awards Night held at Vermillionville in Lafayette. There was food, music, and tears of joy as recipients were surprised or overcome at the event.
Judge of the Year: The Honorable Patricia Koch, Rapides Parish
Judge Patricia Koch has been a driving force for change in addressing the needs of children in Rapides Parish. Over the past several years, she has spearheaded efforts to increase service availability to children within the parish and works closely with the MacArthur Foundation, Children and Youth Planning Committee, Task Force on Legal Representation in Child Protection Cases, and other initiatives to ensure that the needs of the children in Rapides Parish are met.
Media Professional of the Year: Rick Godley, West Monroe, LA
Rick goes above and beyond for CASA and has joined in the mission to help every abused and neglected child in Northeast Louisiana find a safe and permanent home. He is always there professionally and personally to support CASA. Knowing CASA makes a huge difference in the lives of children, he expresses this every chance he gets, allowing CASA staff to go on his radio station for morning interviews over a dozen times in one year and giving CASA free advertising.
OCS Staff Member of the Year: Hannah Dunn, Jefferson Parish
Hannah Dunn has served families and children in Jefferson Parish for over twenty-five years. What makes Hannah invaluable to her employer, collaterals such as CASA, and most importantly the children she works to safeguard is her “can do” attitude. In April 2009, Hannah traveled to Denver with CASA Jefferson staff where they were presented with the National CASA “Promising Practices” award for innovative child welfare collaboration between OCS and CASA.
Diversity Leadership Award: CASA West CenLA
Under the leadership of Executive Director Gayle Hodnett, CASA of West CenLA has made great strides in recruiting both staff and volunteers from many different backgrounds, which is no easy feat in a rural area. Regular trainings are held for staff and advocates to provide awareness of prejudice and promote racial tolerance. People from all backgrounds are truly welcomed and celebrated at CASA West CenLA.
Program Board Member of the Year: Claire McGuire, Youth Service Bureau of St. Tammany
Claire’s affiliation with Youth Service Bureau began in March 2005 when she was trained and sworn in as a CASA volunteer. She is an exemplary volunteer who has served six children on four different cases since her training. Her selection to serve on the YSB Board of Directors two years ago ensures that the CASA program has strong representation on the agency’s governing body.
Program Staff Member of the Year: Stephanie Breeden, Child Advocacy Services CASA
Stephanie Breeden began her journey with CASA as an undergraduate intern in 2006. She demonstrated amazing success in this role as a CASA volunteer. Her extraordinary talents made her a sure fit for a full-time team member and she quickly filled in as a CASA Advocate Supervisor serving Ascension Parish in 2007. In less than one year her efforts more than doubled the amount of volunteers and children ever served by CAS in the 23rd Judicial District.
Executive Director of the Year: Dellona Davis, CASA New Orleans
Dellona became the Executive Director of CASA New Orleans in October 2007. In 2008, CASA New Orleans served 100% of the children in care, and in 2009 served 98% of the children in care. In 2010, CASA New Orleans received the Inclusion Award at the Annual National Conference. Dellona is a “hands on, working Executive Director” and was recently honored as a 2010 Champion for Children.
Child Advocate of the Year: Merkle “Skipper” Kornegay, CASA of Terrebonne, Inc.
Mr. Merkle “Skipper” Kornegay became a CASA volunteer in February 2006 along with his wife, Mrs. Hilda Kornegay. He has served seven children during his four years, including one 15 year old who had been in over 30 placements and seemed bent on self destruction. When this CASA teen got into trouble, Mr. Skipper was there calling OCS, contacting attorneys, writing letters to the judge and visiting the teen in jail, never stopping until he got help. This awesome advocate also serves as a board member of CASA of Terrebonne and serves on the fundraising committee.
2011 LACASA Heroes
2009 LACASA Heroes
2008 LACASA Heroes
2007 LACASA Heroes