FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Andrea Bruns, State Director/CEO
October 13, 2023 – The Kentucky CASA Network announced the winners of the Awards of Excellence during the awards luncheon of the 2023 Kentucky CASA Conference on October 4, 2023 in Lexington. The awards luncheon was sponsored by Kosair for Kids, and Cameron Galloway (Coalition Supporting Young Adults) provided a mini-plenary session. The award recipients are as follows:
- Bob Babbage Volunteer of the Year – Vicki Schmidt, CASA of the Heartland
- Board Member of the Year – Christopher Conley, The Buffalo Trace CASA Program
- Judge of the Year – The Honorable Gina Kay Calvert, Jefferson Family Court, Division 9
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Spotlight of the Year – CASA of Lexington and CASA of the River Region
- Core Model Program of the Year – CASA of Lexington
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.
“We commend these award recipients for their work to advance the CASA mission in the Commonwealth,” said Andrea Bruns, State Director/CEO of the KCN. “Their efforts support Kentucky’s abused and neglected children to have a voice in court and a safe and permanent home.”
Additionally, the KCN recognized two KCN Legislative Champions for their support of CASA statewide. This year’s recipients were Senator Brandon Storm, KY Senate District 21 (Casey, Laurel, Lincoln, Rockcastle) and Representative David Meade, Speaker Pro Tempore, KY House District 80 (Garrard, Lincoln, Pulaski).
The 2023 KCN Awards of Excellence were presented during Kentucky’s first in-person statewide CASA conference since 2019. The conference also kickstarted the upcoming 40-year celebration of CASA advocacy in Kentucky in 2024. “We encourage everyday Kentuckians to join the CASA movement to continue this important work,” said Andrea Bruns.
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 2022, 1,239 CASA volunteers advocated for 3,538 abused and neglected children statewide. Kentucky currently has 21 local CASA programs that cover 94 counties. For more information, please visit www.kentuckycasanetwork.org.