CASA Celebrates 30 Years of Advocacy for NH’s Abused and Neglected Children

On Friday, Oct. 4, CASA of New Hampshire staff, board, volunteers, donors, community partners and friends gathered to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the statewide child advocacy organization. In addition to reflecting on and celebrating 30 years of life-changing work on behalf of more than 10,000 of New Hampshire’s most vulnerable young citizens, this year’s 5-, 10-, 15- and 20-year advocates were recognized. Awards were presented to The Hon. Susan B. Carbon, CASA’s 2019 Judge of the Year; Jeremy Lory, of Keene, CASA’s second recipient of the Linda Egbert Outstanding Advocacy Award; and The. Hon. Willard “Bud” Martin, a retired judge and longtime CASA volunteer advocate who was recognized as the 2019 recipient of the John McDermott Champion of Children award.

Photos and more information from the evening are below.

Thank you to photographer Kendal J. Bush for capturing the evening.
 CASA of New Hampshire CEO and President Marty Sink congratulates Jeremy Lory, of Keene, who was honored with this year’s Linda Egbert Outstanding Advocacy Award. Program Director Jonelle Gaffney looks on.

CASA of New Hampshire CEO and President Marty Sink congratulates Jeremy Lory, of Keene, who was honored with this year’s Linda Egbert Outstanding Advocacy Award. Program Director Jonelle Gaffney looks on.

 Julian Auger performs an Irish step dance following his presentation of more than $500 that he collected in donations during step dance performances in the weeks before CASA′s 30th Annual Celebration.

Julian Auger performs an Irish step dance following his presentation of more than $500 that he collected in donations during step dance performances in the weeks before CASA′s 30th Annual Celebration.

 CASA Volunteer Advocate Katherine Drisko was recognized for 20 years of dedicated advocacy. In her time she’s provided a voice for 61 children and just two days before the event told her program manager she was ready to take another new case.

CASA Volunteer Advocate Katherine Drisko was recognized for 20 years of dedicated advocacy. In her time she’s provided a voice for 61 children and just two days before the event told her program manager she was ready to take another new case.

 Clare Tino, left, and Pat Castricone were recognized during the evening in celebration of 15 years each of volunteer advocacy. A total of six advocates celebrated 15 years in 2019.

Clare Tino, left, and Pat Castricone were recognized during the evening in celebration of 15 years each of volunteer advocacy. A total of six advocates celebrated 15 years in 2019.

 The Hon. Susan B. Carbon, presiding judge of the 9th Circuit Family Division court in Manchester was recognized as the 2019 Judge of the Year. In her remarks to the attendees she thanked CASA’s advocates for making her a better judge and a better person over the years and accepted the award with heartfelt appreciation. “This is an award I have coveted my entire career. There is no greater honor. I can’t even begin to tell you what this award means to me. It is a treasure that I will cherish for the rest of my life.”

The Hon. Susan B. Carbon, presiding judge of the 9th Circuit Family Division court in Manchester was recognized as the 2019 Judge of the Year. In her remarks to the attendees she thanked CASA’s advocates for making her a better judge and a better person over the years and accepted the award with heartfelt appreciation. “This is an award I have coveted my entire career. There is no greater honor. I can’t even begin to tell you what this award means to me. It is a treasure that I will cherish for the rest of my life.”

 The Hon. Edwin Kelly, former administrative judge of New Hampshire’s Circuit Courts reflects on 30 years of CASA -- from the first days when CEO and President Marty Sink approached him with an idea that citizen volunteers be welcomed into the courtroom to advocate for children in highly sensitive and private abuse and neglect cases to today where more than 10,000 children have been served by one of these advocates.

The Hon. Edwin Kelly, former administrative judge of New Hampshire’s Circuit Courts reflects on 30 years of CASA -- from the first days when CEO and President Marty Sink approached him with an idea that citizen volunteers be welcomed into the courtroom to advocate for children in highly sensitive and private abuse and neglect cases to today where more than 10,000 children have been served by one of these advocates.

 Michelle LaBranche, adoptive mom of 9-year-old Matthew, speaks at CASA′s 30th annual celebration of the importance Matthew′s CASA Fred had during his time in foster care.

Michelle LaBranche, adoptive mom of 9-year-old Matthew, speaks at CASA′s 30th annual celebration of the importance Matthew′s CASA Fred had during his time in foster care.

“Fred was always there, he has never let Matthew down. When he said he would be somewhere you could bet he would be there and not just out of obligation, he really enjoyed being a part of Matthew’s life.  Through all of this, it still took me until we were placed with our second child to realize fully and appreciate CASA’s part in Matthew’s story because he doesn’t have a CASA, he has a GAL who’s only met him two times in the 57 months he’s been away from his family. I feel like every child needs someone like Fred whose commitment and persistence can give him hope where so far there has been very little.”

Michelle LaBranche
 Thirteen CASA volunteer advocates celebrated 10 years with the organization this year. Five of them in attendance included, from left, Mike LaRoche of Hudson, Lisa Maronski of Bedford, Amy Kaufman of Newfields, Denise Burgess and Stephanie DiMarzio, both of Londonderry. Also in attendance, but not pictured, was Bob Landry of Laconia.

Thirteen CASA volunteer advocates celebrated 10 years with the organization this year. Five of them in attendance included, from left, Mike LaRoche of Hudson, Lisa Maronski of Bedford, Amy Kaufman of Newfields, Denise Burgess and Stephanie DiMarzio, both of Londonderry. Also in attendance, but not pictured, was Bob Landry of Laconia.

 CASA volunteer advocate Pam Anson is among several advocates to train in the last year to be sworn in by Judge Edwin Kelly.

CASA volunteer advocate Pam Anson is among several advocates to train in the last year to be sworn in by Judge Edwin Kelly.

 This year, an astounding 41 volunteer advocates celebrated their fifth anniversary of providing a voice in court for New Hampshire′s most vulnerable children. Among them were, from left, Peter Bixby and Frieda Yueh of Laconia, Jeremy Lory of Keene, Kerry Greene of Manchester and Gale Stanley of Candia.

This year, an astounding 41 volunteer advocates celebrated their fifth anniversary of providing a voice in court for New Hampshire′s most vulnerable children. Among them were, from left, Peter Bixby and Frieda Yueh of Laconia, Jeremy Lory of Keene, Kerry Greene of Manchester and Gale Stanley of Candia.

 CASA staff prepare to check in guests of CASA′s 30th annual celebration. Pictured from left are Suzanne Lenz, Jami Wyman, Joy Nolan, Julia LaFleur, Christine Duhaime and Diane Valladares.

CASA staff prepare to check in guests of CASA′s 30th annual celebration. Pictured from left are Suzanne Lenz, Jami Wyman, Joy Nolan, Julia LaFleur, Christine Duhaime and Diane Valladares.

 Board member Michael Burns, left, with one of CASA’s two longest-serving CASAs Fred Hurwitz (26 years) and former CASA staff attorney Ann Larney.

Board member Michael Burns, left, with one of CASA’s two longest-serving CASAs Fred Hurwitz (26 years) and former CASA staff attorney Ann Larney.

 : CASA staff and board members applaud artist Richard Haynes who created the beautiful “For the Child” print for CASA a few years ago. At the 30th Annual Celebration, staff and board members presented President and CEO Marty Sink with another Haynes print “Love” in celebration of her vision, passion and leadership since founding CASA of New Hampshire in 1989.

: CASA staff and board members applaud artist Richard Haynes who created the beautiful “For the Child” print for CASA a few years ago. At the 30th Annual Celebration, staff and board members presented President and CEO Marty Sink with another Haynes print “Love” in celebration of her vision, passion and leadership since founding CASA of New Hampshire in 1989.

 Artist Richard Haynes is acknowledged by attendees at CASA′s 30th Annual Celebration.

Artist Richard Haynes is acknowledged by attendees at CASA′s 30th Annual Celebration.