Board members of CASA of McKean County are inviting the public to their annual meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020, when they will provide an update on the organization, nominate new members and recognize volunteers and donors.

The event will begin with a complimentary breakfast buffet at 7:45 a.m. followed by the meeting at 8 a.m. at the Bradford Club. At the meeting, Suzy Meyer-Page, executive director of CASA of McKean County, will report on the year’s accomplishments for the program.

“Our Board President, Bob Esch, will speak to the community about the mission and vision of CASA of McKean County and Dr. Donna Dombek, CASA Therapy Dog Program dog handler and Director of the Teacher Education Program at University of Pittsburgh- Bradford will talk about the benefits of therapy dogs,” Meyer-Page said. In addition, Dr. Dombek and some of the other dog handlers will have their therapy dogs at the annual meeting for attendees to meet.

The 2019 Board includes: Robert Esch, Katy Pude, Julie Cleland, Christy Graham, Patsy Arrowsmith, Gary Buchsen, Ginny Hauser, Becki Ivancic, David London, Brent Raabe, Christy Sullivan and Jim Wiseman.

Also at the meeting, active CASA volunteers and those who served during 2019 will be recognized: Brenda Baker of Kane, Vickie Baker of Bradford, Eddie Buggie of Bradford, Rebecca Boorum of Port Allegany, Karen Cassin of Bradford, Karen Cochran of Port Allegany, Amber Davenport of Bradford, Jennifer Fitton of Bradford, Estelle Fuhrer of Wellsville, Bonnie Fuller of Kane, Karen Haberberger of Kane, Zoe Hatcher of Bradford, Joy Jeffrey of Bradford, Peggy Larson of Kane, Lisa Leschner of Mt. Jewett, Jean Luciano of Bradford, Bob Miller of Custer City, Kim Mooney of Bradford, Carol Newman of Bradford, Julie Newman of Bradford, Kimberly Pollock of Bradford, Mary Ann Roney of Bradford, Bill Reese of Lewis Run, Autumn Stiles of Smethport, Jennifer Tanner of Smethport, Whitney Thomas of Smethport, David Trask of Smethport, Annie Wolfe of Mt. Jewett, Jo Wolfe of Kane and Jim Young of Port Allegany.

The Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program was established in McKean County in 2014 and connects trained volunteer community members with children who have been abused and neglected and need someone to advocate for their best interests in the court system. Since children in placement often have many human service and child welfare professionals involved in their lives, having a CASA volunteer who focuses only on them gives them much-needed consistency and advocacy.

Since 2014, 47 volunteers have served 70 children, 24 of which have been successfully placed in permanent homes.

Those planning to attend the annual meeting are asked to RSVP by Jan. 23rd to Suzy Meyer-Page by phone at 568-2171, or email at casa@mckeancountypa.org.