Meet Our 2021 Light of Hope Award Winners!

Each year our CASA family and members of the court and community gather to celebrate the work our CASA volunteers did over the previous year for the abused and neglected children they serve. Through stories of resilience and success, attendees are reinvigorated and inspired to continue our mission of advocating for the best interests of our community’s most vulnerable children. While we cannot come together this year in person, we ask you to join us in congratulating and celebrating this year’s award recipients who have provided a Light of Hope to the children they serve.

Congratulations to one of our May Cook Heart of Gold Award Winners, Annette Anderson! Annette has served as a CASA volunteer for six years and has been nothing short of a volunteer phenomenon during that time. Annette is always willing to go the extra mile for the children on her case, to go above and beyond in her training, and to stand by the children she serves, no matter what challenges and changes come her way. Hear more about Annette’s accomplishments in the video above!

Congratulations to one of our May Cook Heart of Gold Award Winners, Mary Anne Hesch! Mary Anne has served as a CASA volunteer for 12 years. During that time, she has positively impacted the lives of over 16 children from 10 different families. Mary Anne’s CASA advocacy can be summed up by what she has dubbed the “3 Ps of CASA Work” – be polite, be professional, and be persistent. She is a true marvel in how hard she works her cases and how deeply she cares for the lives she impacts. We invite you to watch the video above and learn more about Mary Anne and her CASA work!

This year we wanted to acknowledge a special CASA volunteer for her unwavering dedication to a child she has served. Winifred Conkling advocated for one of our youth for over 7 years, fulfilling her promise to always show up and stand by this young man.  This particular case had exceptional challenges and through it all, Winifred was tenacious and positive.  Her advocacy for this youth was nothing short of awe inspiring. Listen to Winifred’s supervisor describe her incredible CASA work in the video above!