More than 200 volunteers gathered to celebrate 20 years of advocacy for CASA Lake County, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing volunteer advocates for abused and neglected children in Lake County.
"With child abuse on the rise, we are especially grateful to have a team of 276 volunteers," CASA Executive Director Terri Zenner Greenberg said.
"These extraordinary people give their whole hearts to these kids. They sometimes travel 100 miles to visit their CASA children. They are the only ones who meet with their teachers, doctors, therapists and others to make sure their basic needs are met. This event is our chance to thank them on behalf of the innocent children we serve."
Judge Sarah Lessman, who serves in the Robert W. Depke Juvenile Justice Complex, presented 10 CASA Lake County awards at the event, which took place in The Westin Chicago North Shore, Wheeling. The awards included:
• 2013 Outstanding Service Award -- Lisa Van Erden (Grayslake)
• 2013 Outstanding Service Award -- Cynthia Leman (Grayslake)
• 2013 Outstanding Service Award -- Julie Langley (Chicago)
• 2013 Outstanding Service Award -- Lynn Kubichan (Grayslake) and Cleveland Tyson (Buffalo Grove) advocated as a team for seven children.
• 2013 Outstanding Service Award -- Kathy Kwiatkowski (Niles)
• 2013 Amazing Rookie Award -- Truly Faden (Grayslake)
• 2013 Amazing Rookie Award -- Julie Iverson (Chicago)
• 2013 Amazing Rookie Award -- Roni Pence (Gurnee)
• 2013 Amazing Rookie Award -- Margot Kaplan (Northbrook)
• 2013 Amazing Rookie Award -- Meg O'Keefe (Northbrook)
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) Lake County, Vernon Hills, is a nonprofit organization committed to acquiring, training and supervising volunteer advocates to represent the best interests of abused and neglected children in the juvenile justice system.
Research shows a child with a CASA volunteer advocate is less likely to experience further abuse; moves more rapidly through the court system; stays an average of eight months less in foster care; and is more likely to be adopted into a safe and permanent home -- rather than stay in long-term foster care.
To learn more about volunteering or donating to CASA Lake County, call (847) 3836260 or visit www.casalakecounty.com.