Giving voice to the vulnerable

Court-appointed special advocates help at-risk children in the ninth judicial district

 

In the central Rockies of Colorado, there’s team of volunteers and staff dedicated to making some of the hardest days of a child’s life better. Each of these devoted individuals say what the child cannot, at a time when it matters most. They provide a voice in court for each abused or neglected child they advocate for, in Pitkin, Garfield and Rio Blanco counties. 

Since 2012, CASA, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, has served as the voice for children in Colorado’s 9th Judicial District. Executive director Traci Gurley-Tomashosky explains that for she and her dedicated volunteers, being part of making life better for these kids is what motivates she and her team every day.

“Our superpower is in our CASA Advocates who volunteer time, energy, care and concern to help advise the courts as to the best and safest permanent placement for each child we speak for,” says Traci.

The CASA Advocate role takes patience and a big heart. “Most people don’t know how much time, energy, and compassion our volunteers give to each child we serve,” says Traci. “People are also surprised to learn that all of our volunteers are sworn officers of the court.”

The organization is funded through community donations and sponsorships and is run by an eight-member board of directors. Alpine Bank board member Margo Young-Gardey serves as the organization’s treasurer.

“Alpine Bank has been one of our most consistent community partners, not only with funding, but participation in our benefit events,” says Traci. 

CASA seeks additional volunteers for both its fundraising events and advocate program. Interested individuals can learn how to participate at casaoftheninth.org

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