Summer Wines Party 2019

Summer Wines 2019 was held August 24th on the Volunteer Princess Cruise Yacht. Guests enjoyed a leisurely cruise while enjoying refreshing wines, chosen especially for their summer appeal, and snacking on food provided by Rothchild Catering. Thanks to all our sponsors, attendees, and door prize donors for helping to make Summer Wines a success!

The Volunteer Princess Cruise Yacht was a fun and unique location for this year’s party!

The Volunteer Princess Cruise Yacht was a fun and unique location for this year’s party!

CASA staff members Ada Hernandez-Bell, Amy Jackson, Britney Sink, Jessica Thacker, and Lauren Herrmann

CASA staff members Ada Hernandez-Bell, Amy Jackson, Britney Sink, Jessica Thacker, and Lauren Herrmann

2018 Volunteer of the Year Monty Merchant

At our Volunteer Appreciation Event on Tuesday, April 16th, Our Volunteer of the Year, Monty Merchant, was presented with a plaque and thanked for his valued service as a CASA volunteer. We are so grateful to Monty and to all our advocates for the important work they do!

2018 Volunteer of the Year, Monty Merchant, accepting a plaque in honor of his service as a CASA, from program manager Ada Hernandez-Bell.

2018 Volunteer of the Year, Monty Merchant, accepting a plaque in honor of his service as a CASA, from program manager Ada Hernandez-Bell.

“Monty is the type of person CASA volunteers strive to emulate and CASA staff wish we could duplicate. Since his first case assignment, Monty has approached his CASA volunteer work head-on, with equal parts compassion and determination, to enhance and improve the lives of the children he serves. He is dependable, focused, patient, intentional, and organized.” -Ada Hernandez-Bell

CASA Loves Volunteers! Volunteer Appreciation Event

Our annual volunteer appreciation event was held on Tuesday, April 16th, at Rothchild Catering and Conference Center. Our amazing volunteers were treated to heavy hors d’oeuvres and sangria as we celebrated their service to CASA of East Tennessee. in 2018, our advocates donated over 5,200 hours of their time, a value of $117,884!

Volunteer of the year, Monty Merchant, accepting his award and sharing his wisdom with fellow advocates.

Volunteer of the year, Monty Merchant, accepting his award and sharing his wisdom with fellow advocates.

Volunteers took home favors as a small token of appreciation for their service.

Volunteers took home favors as a small token of appreciation for their service.

It's a Full House! Advocates and Court Dogs Sworn In

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On Wednesday, March 27, 2019, I had the honor of being a member of the one of the largest groups of Court Appointed Special Advocates ever to be sworn in in Knox County Juvenile Court. I, along with 11 other CASAs, 5 Court Dog Program volunteers, and 4 Court Dogs, was sworn in by Judge Tim Irwin in front of friends, family, and other supportive members of the Knox County Community.

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Due to such a high number of new volunteers, this CASA of East Tennessee training session was split into evening and morning classes. Each class had the benefit of being trained by Ada Hernandez-Bell, CASA's knowledgeable Program Manager,  whose experience working with children in the juvenile court system provided her with a seemingly endless well of knowledge.

This training was interactive and engaging; volunteers were encouraged to ask questions and participate in group discussions. We were encouraged to think critically as we began to learn how to navigate the world of the juvenile court system.

As we grew and learned together, our camaraderie led us to deeper discussions and a shared understanding of how each participant's unique perspective brings value to the CASA program. Our group activities and conversations grew richer as we developed an increasingly stronger understanding of our roles as advocates for abused and neglected children.

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When our swearing-in date finally arrived, we volunteers stood shoulder-to-shoulder in front of Judge Irwin and swore to perform our duties as CASAs to the best of our abilities and to maintain strict confidentiality, in service of the children of Knox County. To our great joy, we were also able to witness the swearing in of five HABIT volunteers and their service dogs, whose presence at court will be invaluable to all who encounter them.

Many of these volunteers were assigned cases within a week of being sworn in, and some are working with former classmates or seasoned CASAs who have ample experience and perspective to share. It is with great excitement that I anticipate the impact these volunteers will have on families for years to come.

Lauren Herrmann
Volunteer Coordinator

Red Shoe Gala 2019

There’s No Place Like Home

The 2019 Red Shoe Gala was held on February 2nd at The Standard in Downtown Knoxville, and featured dinner catered by Rothchild Catering, an open bar with signature cocktail, wine and beer, music by The Coveralls, and a silent auction. Decorations were in keeping with our Wizard of Oz theme, and attendees were encouraged to put on their red shoes and dance the night away!



CASA Swears in Eight New Volunteers

New CASA Volunteers Megan Sooter, Molly Hester, Holly Bruns, Ivy Farrow, Jack Sills, Michele Sowers, Samantha Dinwiddie, and Jessica Burnett with Judge Tim Irwin

New CASA Volunteers Megan Sooter, Molly Hester, Holly Bruns, Ivy Farrow, Jack Sills, Michele Sowers, Samantha Dinwiddie, and Jessica Burnett with Judge Tim Irwin

On Tuesday, December 18, we had a full house as we welcomed a group of eight new volunteers being sworn in as Court Appointed Special Advocates by Judge Tim Irwin at Knox County Juvenile Court.

These volunteers are going to be strong advocates for children. During our training we learned that several of our volunteers had experience ranging from previous work with DCS, foster parenting, adoptive parenting, a law student and a retired chaplain.

All our new volunteers came to trainings ready to learn and inquisitive. They studied their materials and asked questions relating the information they were learning back to what they would be doing as CASAs. This class had a special focus for ensuring their report writing was accurate, unbiased, and truly focused on the best interest of the children they would be serving.

Our new volunteers were excited about swearing in and brought friends and family with them to memorialize the event, including one young man who wanted to come and meet the Judge who had been a major part in finding his own forever family. He was so moved by the experience he went to school the next day, which happened to be his adoption anniversary, to share his experience with his classmates.

During swearing in, Judge Irwin welcomed our new volunteers and encouraged them to be courageous in their reporting and advocacy for abused and neglected children in Knoxville. He reminded them of the importance of having someone to be his eyes and ears in the community as he makes important life changing decisions for these children every day.

After swearing in, all our new volunteers took on cases that day. A couple of them chose to work together to be a support to one another and many of them found mentors from seasoned CASAs they asked to support them through their first case. Each one of them jumped right in with enthusiasm to be a part of making a difference in the lives of the children we serve.

By Ada Hernandez-Bell
Program Manager
CASA of East Tennessee

Three New Volunteers in November

In the first week of November, we swore in three new advocates. Thank you, Sherridan Smee,  Shana Oltmann, and Linda Thompson, for choosing to serve!

Thank You!

Thank you to our volunteers and supporters who allowed us to serve 251 children this year!

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CASA Welcomes Three New CASA Volunteers

We are pleased to introduce our newest CASA volunteers! Earlier this week, these three ladies were sworn in by Knox County Juvenile Court’s Judge Irwin. We held a reception which was attended by family, friends, staff, and our Board president. It was an exciting day made even more exciting when Channel 8 (WVLT) came by to film. If you missed it, here is the news story!

Summer Wines Party 2018

We had a wonderful Summer Wines Party fundraiser on Saturday!  All proceeds benefited CASA of East Tennessee. Over 120 people attended the event, which was held at beautiful Crescent Bend House and Gardens. Finny B's prepared the delicious food, and music was provided by The Old City Buskers.  Thank you to everyone who attended, sponsored, or donated a door prize to support our cause.

Six New CASA Volunteers Sworn In

We are pleased to welcome 6 new CASA Volunteers to our team! After Judge Irwin conducted the swearing-in ceremony, we held a reception which was attended by family, friends, staff, and board members. To all our volunteers, thank you for dedicating your time to give children a voice!

Sue Mathews Named CASA of the Year 2018

It's National Volunteer Week, and today we share our appreciation for the CASA of the Year Award winner: Sue Mathews! Each year, this award is presented to someone who has gone above and beyond in their service to CASA and the children we serve.

This year's award goes to Sue Mathews for her outstanding dedication to our program, both inside and outside the courtroom! Sue has all the qualities of an outstanding CASA volunteer. She is caring, honest, forthright, and has a true desire to help abused and neglected children. Sue is a dedicated, hard-working, independent child advocate who goes about her work with little fanfare. However, while Sue is humble and quiet, her advocacy is not. Her determination knows no bounds until the child's best interests are fulfilled.

Sue is willing to take on the hard cases. She is always available for casework, even on extremely short notice, and dedicates herself to the case from start to finish. And her dedication goes beyond the courtroom. She offers help with trainings, stands in for staff, and always says Yes when we ask. She steps in and steps up no matter how great the challenge or how menial the task. 

Sue officially received her award at our annual Red Shoe Gala on February 3rd.

Congratulations to Sue Mathews, our CASA Volunteer of the Year!

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CASA of East TN Welcomes 5 New Trained CASA Volunteers

Five new CASA volunteers were sworn in yesterday by Knox County Juvenile Court Judge Irwin. The swearing-in ceremony followed a 33-hour training course provided by CASA of East Tennessee. We are so excited to work with the new training class graduates who have given so much of their time for training, and who will continue to do so by advocating for children's well-being and safety. 

CASA's 2018 Red Shoe Gala A Success

On February 3rd, CASA of East Tennessee hosted our annual Red Shoe Gala. As in years past, the event combined a Wizard of Oz theme with dinner and dancing fun. The event was local band Pop Rox's last performance! The Gala also featured psychic readings, a photo booth, and a silent auction including local goods and experiences. 

All proceeds benefit CASA of East Tennessee to improve the lives of abused and neglected children through trained volunteers who advocate for a safe, permanent, loving home. 

Three New Advocates Sworn In

Three new CASA volunteers were sworn in today by Knox County Juvenile Court Judge Irwin. The swearing-in ceremony followed a 33-hour training course provided by CASA of East Tennessee. We are so thankful for all our wonderful volunteers who give their time to advocate for children's well-being and safety. 

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Two New Volunteers Sworn in September 12th

On September 12th, Judge Irwin of Knox County Juvenile Court swore in two new CASA volunteers. The two new advocates were eager to get started, and each was assigned a new case following a brief reception after the swearing in ceremony. 

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Summer Wines Party 2017

We had a wonderful Summer Wines Party fundraiser on Saturday! The delicious food was prepared by Finny B's, and music was provided by The Old City Buskers . Thank you to everyone who attended, sponsored, or provided a discount to support our cause.

Marcia Bailey Named CASA Volunteer of the Year

Marcia was presented the CASA of the Year Award at our 2017 Red Shoe Gala by Executive Director Britney Sink

It's National Volunteer Week 2017 and today we share our appreciation for our CASA of the Year Award winner: Marcia Bailey!

Marcia has been a CASA volunteer for three and a half years and has shown remarkable dedication and commitment to our program during that time.

In the last twelve months alone, Marcia has worked 8 cases involving 15 children, from months old to 17 years. She simply never stops -- She is quick to step in when she sees a need, and takes on a new case assignment or two, even if she already has one.

What’s more, in each case, she provides high quality advocacy for the children, maintains respectful relationships with all parties, and navigates tough situations with grace. She is successful not only because of her experience, but because she keeps an open mind when approaching a case, with an eye always on the best interest of the children.

As a volunteer, Marcia is a dream. She’s independent, but not afraid to ask questions, she shows up at court with a smile and a book, she mentors new volunteers, and she always wants to learn more about how to help. She has made real change in the lives of children because of her willingness to listen and follow through. Where others may give up, Marcia will march on until the job is done with both kindness and determination. Marcia, we thank you for your outstanding service.

Congratulations to Marcia Bailey, our CASA Volunteer of the Year!

CASA Hosts Successful 2017 Red Shoe Gala

On February 4th, CASA of East Tennessee hosted our annual Red Shoe Gala. Combining the Wizard of Oz theme with dinner and dancing fun, the event featured:

  • Local band the Pop Rox for entertainment
  • Signature cocktails, wine and beer open bar, full dinner, and delicious desserts
  • Psychic readings, a photo booth, and Wizard of Oz photo backdrop and props
  • Silent auction, including local goods and exciting experiences

Four New Volunteers Sworn in March 2nd

On March 2nd, Judge Irwin of Knox County Juvenile Court swore in four new CASA volunteers. We're so thankful for all our amazing volunteers, seasoned and new, for their dedication to the children we serve.