For Immediate Release - October 31, 2022
Contact: Andrea Bruns, State Director/CEO
October 31, 2022 - The Kentucky CASA Network announced the winners of the Awards of Excellence on the final day of CASA Week, October 28, 2022. The award recipients are as follows:
- Bob Babbage Volunteer of the Year – Jackie Kennedy, CASA by the Lakes
- Board Member of the Year – Carol Lomicka, CASA of the River Region
- Judge of the Year – The Honorable Deborah Hawkins-Crooks, Graves County District Court
- Program of the Year – CASA of Graves County & Southwest KY
- Program Director of the Year – Stephanie Floyd, CASA of Graves County & Southwest KY
Judges, volunteers, and program staff from across the commonwealth nominated these winners for their excellent work to advance the CASA mission. More information about each winner can be found in the awards program.
Additionally, the KCN recognized three CASA Pioneer Award winners. This recognition is awarded to individuals who have been instrumental in the development and creation of CASA programs in Kentucky. This award was created in 2019 to recognize board members and/or advisory committee members who went above and beyond to create and nurture the beginning or redevelopment of a CASA program in Kentucky. This year’s recipients were:
- Ruth Lynch, CASA Program of Christian County, KY
- Carolyn Self, CASA Program of Christian County, KY
- Joseph Schuler, Kentucky CASA Network
“Thanks to the hard work of these advocates and their hearts for children, more lives are touched and vulnerable children are in safe, permanent homes,” said Andrea Bruns, State Director/CEO of the KCN. “We need to take pause and recognize the powerful work of best-interest advocacy and celebrate the many donors, judges, volunteers, and staff that make selfless contributions in changing a child’s story.”
The 2022 KCN Awards of Excellence were presented during CASA Week, a week-long celebration and training opportunity for local CASA program staff, board members, and volunteers. Sessions covered topics including safety and situational awareness, building relationships with social workers, staff and director leadership development, and effective board governance. The final day of CASA Week provided an opportunity for the KCN to show appreciation for the continued advocacy of CASA volunteers and to celebrate the winners of the Awards of Excellence. Nearly 300 attendees participated throughout CASA Week 2022.
About the Kentucky CASA Network
The Kentucky CASA Network is the state association for Court Appointed Special Advocates, as recognized in the Kentucky Revised Statutes, with a mission to support the development, growth, and continuation of local CASA programs in Kentucky. CASA programs recruit and train volunteers to advocate on behalf of children who have come into the court system as a result of dependency, neglect, or abuse. In 2021, 1,302 CASA volunteers advocated for 3,758 abused and neglected children statewide. Kentucky currently has 22 local CASA programs that cover 80 counties. For more information, please visit www.kentuckycasanetwork.org.