2008 CASA Awards
April 24 - CASA Award winners pose with CASA of Montana Director, Ellen Bush (right) at the annual Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect Conference in Missoula. From left they are Program Director Jamie Campbell, Volunteer Joni Stormo, and Program Director Bill Collins. Judge David G. Rice was recognized as CASA Judge of the Year, but was unable to attend the conference.
On Thursday, April 24th, CASA of Montana recognized the people who work for abused and neglected children in district courts around the state. At the annual Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect Conference, Michael Piraino, CEO of the National CASA Association, presented awards to the CASA Judge, Directors, and Volunteer Advocate of the Year for 2008. An independent committee of three reviewers selected the honorees based on their significant contributions to CASA through their work with children and families.
The first award of the day went to Judge David G. Rice, a devoted supporter of CASA in the Havre area since 2003. Friends and coworkers emphasized Judge Rice’s dedication to protecting children’s rights. During his time with the court system, Judge Rice formed a Child Abuse and Neglect Committee, made up of representatives from various agencies, which meets to determine how community agencies can work together to protect the rights and well-being of children.
Next, Piraino along with CASA of Montana Executive Director, Ellen Bush, recognized two wonderful Program Directors. Jamie Campbell, Director of CASA for Kids in Flathead County’s 11th Judicial District, earns the respect and affection of all those she interacts with. She has a record of going beyond what is expected of her to serve children and the CASA program. Campbell works tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure children are treated with dignity and respect.
Another tireless Program Director, Bill Collins has dedicated himself to CASA since its inception in Helena in 1998. For the past ten years, program volunteers have been amazed by the scope and breadth of his work. Collins devotes so much time and energy to guiding his volunteers, it’s easy for them to forget that he has even more important things to do. His number one priority is always seeing that the interests of children are well represented. Friends and peers respect Collins’s ability to treat everyone equally and build a rapport with all parties involved in a CASA case.
The final award went to the CASA Volunteer of the Year. Four qualified individuals were nominated, including Ann Gilkey of the Helena CASA Advocates for Kids program, Linda Mettam of Great Falls CASA-CAN, Rita Ricker of Yellowstone CASA and Joni Stormo of Missoula. The award winner, Joni Stormo, has been a dedicated volunteer for CASA of Missoula since 1997. For over ten years, she has committed her time and energy unselfishly to improving advocacy for children. Within the world of child abuse and neglect prevention, Joni is regarded not only as a volunteer but also as a respected friend and mentor.
Congratulations to all of the 2008 CASA Award winners, keep up the good work!