Advocate News


05.29.2014

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Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon 2014

Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon 2014

 

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Each year, CASA is proud to thank our volunteer Advocates by hosting an event solely for the purpose of showing appreciation for the time and effort that they contribute to serve thousands of Bexar County's most deserving children. The 2014 Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon was held on Wednesday, April 30, at the Bright Shawl. Attendees enjoyed lunch as CASA’s Rookie Volunteer of the Year and Volunteer of the Year awards were announced, and our tenured Advocates of 5+ years of service were also recognized. Volunteers are the backbone of the CASA agency, and we are truly grateful for all of our Advocates, present and past. We also had special guests Judge Peter Sakai and one of CASA's founders, Betty Zinn.

 

Volunteer of the Year - Noelle Manasco

Noelle is the true embodiment of the CASA value system.  Her integrity is beyond reproach, and she is the portrait of compassion, continually going above and beyond basic requirements to make sure everyone feels special.  She has been committed to us for 2.5 years and continues to grow her responsibilities asking, “What else can I do?”.  In the courtroom and in her daily life, her professionalism shines through via her decorum and diplomatic approach to any situation. 

In her time as a CASA volunteer, Noelle has advocated for a total of 33 children. In the last six months, she has logged an average of 25 case hours per month, most of which is spent with her CASA kids.  In 2013, she dedicated a total of 196 hours and drove 1,983 miles while working her cases. 

Noelle has immersed herself in all CASA related events, including training, recruitment, and fundraising. Her natural affinity for helping draws people in and puts them at ease. This makes her a perfect spokeswoman for CASA.  In just the past two months, she has spoken to over 750 people to help increase awareness and help others understand the vital work that CASA is doing in the community.  As a Court Appointed Special Advocate, Noelle advocates for permanency for the children on her case, which includes the adoption process.  Recently, Judge Garcia commented that he thought he knew all that CASA Advocates do on their cases until he heard Noelle present.  Doing so helped him better understand the truly detailed advocacy that our volunteers are providing.

Noelle approaches her cases with both love and compassion. She lives her belief that her CASA kids are “her” kids.  She is an asset to our agency and to Bexar County.  She is well-rounded, fair, and beautiful - both inside and out. She is humble and inspiring both in spirit and action. Noelle is relentless and resilient, and she is dedicated to showing the children she serves that, although they are victims of abuse, someone is out there thinking about them, caring for them and fighting for them. That someone is Noelle.

 

Rookie of the Year - Tom Nolan

Tom Nolan has a passionate attitude for helping people; it is truly a reflection of his heart.  As a retired police officer, Tom has dedicated his life to serving others .He feels that it is what he is called him to do. We here at CASA feel he is justly answering that call by continuing to serve the children of Bexar County. As he works his cases, he always keeps his focus on what is fact, leaving his own emotions and feelings at the door.   He passionately advocates for what is in the children’s best interest at all times. It is said that, “there are people in your life whom you unknowingly inspire simply by being you.” Tom may never realize what an impact he has made on everyone he has helped, but we hope he knows that he motivates and gives hope to the children on his cases. CASA is confident that he will continue to inspire those he serves on a daily basis. We are honored to call Tom Nolan our 2014 Rookie Volunteer of the Year!!

Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon 2014