Donated Legal Services from New Hampshire Law Firms

Over the years, CASA of New Hampshire has been fortunate to develop partnerships with local law firms and private attorneys who graciously offer their services at no cost. While CASA has three staff attorneys who manage the legal issues of CASA’s child protection cases statewide, legal matters occasionally arise that require expertise and resources beyond our means. In FY 2021, CASA gratefully received legal services donated by the law firms of Devine Millimet, McLane Middleton, and Nixon Peabody.

For many firms, the desire to provide this type of work is rewarding, and valued within their company culture. “McLane Middleton has a strong sense that we should give back to the community where we live and work. We ask our lawyers to give 50 hours a year of pro bono services, and encourage our lawyers to get involved in their communities and serve on nonprofit boards,” explained Attorney Bill Glahn, Director in the Litigation Department at McLane Middleton.

Donating legal services can be beneficial to the firm as well. Although rare, CASA cases that reach the New Hampshire Supreme Court require assistance from larger law firms, since CASA does not have the resources or capacity to handle complex appeals. In these cases, newer associates often have the opportunity to work with experienced attorneys to write the briefs and argue the cases in front of the Supreme Court. The newer associate gains experience and CASA receives invaluable legal expertise. In FY 2021, Attorneys Bill Glahn, Andrea Schweitzer, and Lexi Cote of McLane Middleton, and Mark Knights and Nathan Warecki of Nixon Peabody provided appellate support.

CASA also seeks outside counsel on matters of immigration law which was provided by Nathan Warecki of Nixon Peabody in FY 2021. Many of CASA’s cases requiring immigration assistance involve children who were adopted into the United States from other countries and then enter into foster care. In some instances, children do not possess or have access to their immigration documents. Attorneys work with the CASA advocate and youth or child to apply to federal agencies to retrace the child or youth’s journey to the United States and to document their legal status in this country. The need to reproduce these documents is critically important to the child or youth as they seek to obtain driver’s licenses, apply for jobs, and achieve other milestones as they enter into adulthood.

CASA is also fortunate to receive legal assistance on internal organizational matters as well. Employment attorneys at McLane Middleton assisted with updating CASA’s Employee Handbook. Peg O’Brien, formerly of Devine Millimet and now McLane Middleton, provides regular support on employment law matters. Additionally, many of our past and present board members, including current Co-Chair David Eby of Devine Millimet, as well as volunteer advocates, have experience working in legal professions.

CASA of NH is extremely fortunate to have the assistance of local law firms and attorneys who believe in our mission, vision, and values. We are exceptionally grateful for the donation of their time and services to support CASA’s work advocating for the abused and neglected children in New Hampshire.

Fred Hurwitz Headshot

Meet CASA Volunteer Fred Hurwitz

Fred Hurwitz Headshot

Fred Hurwitz has served as a  CASA volunteer advocate for 23 children from 13 different families. He has witnessed successful adoptions and reunifications,

and assisted in providing teens who are aging out of the foster care system with important skills for adulthood. When you ask Fred why he continues to serve as a CASA volunteer advocate after nearly 30 years, he says it is simply because he knows he is making a difference.

“CASA volunteer advocates know the children better than anyone else on the case,” Fred says. “You stay with the children through the length of a case, and that is powerful.” Fred speaks of his advocacy with pride and dedication for the children he has served. “When you do good work, the judges listen. You are influential,” he says.

As Fred speaks to new potential CASA volunteer advocates, he ensures that they know they will have the proper training and support to successfully be an advocate. “Everything that you learn in the initial 40-hour training is reinforced throughout the length of your case,” Fred says.

Becoming a CASA volunteer advocate does take a fair amount of organization. When attending court hearings and meetings, Fred takes notes and later expands upon them in his court reports. His notes allow him to quickly recall what has been happening on the case and easily cite the most important matters to the judge.

One of CASA’s longest-serving advocates, Fred has always maintained a full-time job through his nearly 30 years. He says that while it takes planning, the time commitment of his advocacy can be very flexible. “If you are prepared in court with a calendar, you can easily manage your schedule,” Fred says.

As Fred meets new potential CASA volunteer advocates and discusses how he has made an impact, he shares truthfully about his experience. “Very few outcomes are perfect. You have to have the personality of ‘I know that I have improved the circumstances of the child,’” Fred says.

Reflecting on his prior cases, Fred talks about his most rewarding case involving a young child abused by her parents. Fred was there as the child made an incredible recovery after a severe trauma and began to flourish in her pre-adoptive home. With strength, resiliency and her CASA Fred by her side, this child was united with her new forever family for a safe, permanent future.

Fred and Child on StephsWhile Fred’s decades-long commitment to CASA is a somewhat unique example, his compassionate and dedicated advocacy for New Hampshire’s children is not dissimilar from others.

Whether CASA volunteer advocates take one case or 10 before moving on, they all wish to make a profound difference in the life of a child. Their continuous, professional advocacy is crucial in CASA’s mission of reaching 100% of our state’s children experiencing abuse and neglect. As a CASA volunteer advocate, every case that your encounter will be different, but you will always be making a difference in the life of a victimized child.

Meet Our Board Co-Chairs

The co-chairs of CASA of New Hampshire’s Board of Directors, Amy Coveno and David Eby, collectively have 14 years of experience as members of the board. They’ve seen CASA through a period of time when it was accepting more than 90 percent of cases, to the height of the opioid epidemic when cases were coming in so fast and furious it was not possible to keep up without adding new staff and opening new offices to help manage the caseload. Last year, Amy and David served as the leaders of the board during CASA’s most challenging year to-date with the coronavirus pandemic requiring a complete shift in everything from how staff and advocates managed cases to how funding was maintained in the absence of critical in-person fundraisers. As Amy and David embark on their final year on the board, and before passing the baton to co-vice chairs Michael Burns and Terry Heinzmann, they reflect on the past year, their goals for 2021-22 and their favorite memories from their time with CASA.

What has impressed you the most about the work CASA has done in the last year? 

Amy: The organization’s ability to pivot. Not just the board but the advocates and the leadership. In a year where the ground was constantly shifting, CASA proved itself to be flexible and creative and committed to the mission. Going virtual but still staying connected and vibrant was truly amazing.

David: I would have to say the way our entire staff stepped up to the challenge COVID presented. Much of the work of CASA requires in person meetings and back and forth dialogue. Our staff shifted this paradigm beautifully with Zoom meetings and through other remote and virtual settings. CASA is fortunate to have such a dedicated group of professionals, all of whom continue to launch themselves into their tasks with enthusiasm and pride, with the common goal of serving our CASA kids.

What are your goals as the leaders of the board for this next year? 

Amy: To help the next co-chairs ramp up and feel confident about the roles they are stepping into; to continue to fundraise in this shifting world; and get back to more face-to-face time with our supporters and donors.

David: We have a strong and vibrant board, with members from around the state and with varied backgrounds. This did not happen by accident. A charitable board by definition needs to evolve and bring in new people, as board members roll off. We are constantly looking for new members who are leaders in their community and in their respective fields of work. Our goal for this year was to bring in another strong group, and we recently voted to bring on 5 new members. With the addition of Paul Chant, Mike Ambrogi, Nancy Sampo, Karen Borgstrom and Tom Stevens, I believe our board is stronger than ever.

Looking ahead, as a Board we will be more aware than ever of the need to reach out to our donors, and to focus on our fundraising efforts so that we continue to push to reach 100% of the New Hampshire kids who need us.

A favorite memory or memories from your time on the CASA board?

Amy: Snowfest will always top my favorite memories! It is the perfect event that allows for socializing and advocating with all the layers of the organization. And we are treated like KINGS. My all-time favorites are the cheating firefighters at snow golf and the fierce competition with the Milford Rotary guys.

David: I have thoroughly enjoyed my many years on the Board, so this is a tough question to answer.  But, I can say that some of my fondest memories have come from our annual Board Retreat meetings. Every year, we gather as a Board with senior staff members, to look at the work we do, our goals for the next year, and how we might get there. And, although these are working retreats, we make time to get to know each other and have some real fun too. I believe one reason our Board is so strong is because of these annual meetings, and I look forward to our 2021 retreat, right around the corner!

Senator Maggie Hassan’s Note to CASA-NH

A letter from Sen. Maggie Hassan addressing the importance of CASA's role in New Hampshire.

2021 John McDermott Champion of Children Award: Lou Catano

John McDermott Champion of Children Award

John McDermott was a man whose life was committed to changing the future for New Hampshire’s youth. He spent his entire career in law enforcement and juvenile justice working diligently to improve the lives of children. John knew and believed the committed work of one or many could, and would, change the course of events and impact generations to come. John McDermott’s life was an
example of how relentless advocacy can move mountains and turn the thinking of a single child in need around. The John McDermott Champion of Children Award is an annual award that celebrates the work of one person whose tireless advocacy has influenced the lives of many.

John’s hand print will forever remain on the hearts of all of us here at CASA.

2021 Honoree: Lou Catano

Past honorees:

2020 –Sylvia Gale (Posthumous)
2019 – Judge Willard “Bud” Martin
2018 – Governor Christopher Sununu
2017 – Gail Snow
2016 – Sue Meagher
2015 – Kristi Lamont
2014 – Ann Larney
2013 – Sandra Matheson


2021 Community Partner Award: Tom Boucher

Community Partner Award

Our Community Partner Award highlights CASA’s valuable community partners for their support, engagement and resources that they have contributed to furthering the mission of the work we do. CASA recognizes that we have broad and deep support from the New Hampshire community but we seek to acknowledge those people and companies who have gone above and beyond.

2021 Honoree: Tom Boucher

In 2021, we applaud Tom Boucher and thank him for years of support of CASA. Tom is the CEO and owner of Great New Hampshire Restaurants. Along with his team at and Great New Hampshire Restaurants, Tom has been a generous donor, friend and champion of CASA’s advocacy work on behalf of victimized children. As a key member of CASA’s recently launched statewide advisory council, Tom serves as an ambassador for CASA’s mission-critical service throughout the region.

In 2014, Tom and his business partner Mark Fenske launched, a philanthropic arm of their Great NH Restaurants business. Thanks to Tom’s generosity and that of, CASA has received funds from the “prize wheel fundraiser” at Cactus Jack’s in Manchester, and through the 2018 “Thanks for Giving” program. Last year, Tom and his team provided a generous sponsorship to CASA in order to support restaurants throughout the state through the purchase of gift cards for the CASA Cares auction.

We are exceptionally grateful to Tom for his continued support of CASA. Thank you, Tom!

2021 Linda Egbert Outstanding Advocacy Award: Mark Linehan

Linda Egbert Outstanding Advocate Award

In September of 2017, CASA of New Hampshire unexpectedly lost a dear friend and outstanding advocate – Linda Egbert of North Hampton. A dependable, compassionate and a true champion for the children she worked with, Linda touched the lives of 26 children over her 10 years as an advocate. Linda was also a longtime member of our CASA Cares and Spring Fashion Show committees. Her dynamic personality and passion for CASA is deeply missed. With the generous support from Linda’s husband and family, CASA is honored to announce the creation of the Linda Egbert Outstanding Advocacy Award. The recipient exemplifies the role of the CASA volunteer – someone who has gone above and beyond in their advocacy work and made a tremendous impact in the lives of children.

2021’s Honoree: Mark Linehan

Mark Linehan is described by his program manager Shiloh Remillard as a committed, kind, hardworking, dedicated advocate. He is non-judgmental and is empathetic to the trauma in which the children he works with have been subjected to.

And he is always willing to lend a helping hand. As a Peer Coordinator for several advocates Mark offers knowledge and experience from his years of volunteer experience with CASA.

As an advocate, he provides a strong voice for the child, something he can do because of his natural talent to build relationships and a rapport with all of the children he works with. While he has done an admirable job working with children and youth of all ages, Shiloh says he has a particular talent for working with teens and always ensures that the children and youth he advocates for feel supported, heard and cared for.

Mark has been an advocate for nine years and in that time has volunteered to help 12 families with 31 children.

In his nomination, the writer shares a story about Mark’s unflagging commitment to his cases, including one particular case that involved seven children who ended up in numerous placements across two states despite having a deep connection and bond with their guardian who was trying but struggling to meet all of their needs.

“The children were aware they each had issues and they all had strong bonds with each other and their Grandfather.  Mark continued to advocate for therapy for the children, education for the Grandfather, sibling visits/contact among the children and ongoing services for the family once the children were reunified,” his nomination reads. He was able to look past the dysfunction and messiness of their lives and see what was in the children’s best interest, which was staying with a family that has lots of love, with a Grandfather who better understood how to parent teenagers, as well as, ongoing support from family services to start helping the family heal from the trauma they all had experienced.”

Mark remained committed to all seven children throughout the case, driving thousands of miles, spending hundreds of hours visiting and writing court reports and emails, making sure each child’s individual voice was represented so the best outcome could be written.

In a recommendation letter to go with his nomination, one peer reflected on Mark’s dedication to this same case.

“I see the compassion that Mark has for each child as if they were his own grandchildren,” the letter says. “Each child looks forward to seeing him. Each child knows that they can speak to Mark by phone day or night. Whatever the outcome of this case, it is clear that Mark’s passion is selflessness and that it is focused on each child’s safety, permanency and well-being.”

Congratulations, Mark, on a job well done!

Congratulations to the 12 other 2020 nominees: Dianne Macon, Mary Brown, Lisa Davis, Sharon Rohlfs, Anne Ambrogi, Karen Leavitt, Mike Davis and Jeanmarie Foisie. And thank you to our esteemed panel of judges: The Hon. John Emery, Clair Cushman, Lou Catano, Stephen Egbert and 2020 Honoree Mike Laroche.


Celebrating our 5-Year Advocates in 2021

Celebrating Our 25-Year Volunteer in 2021

Dottie Belanger

For 25 years, Dottie Belanger has shown an admirable commitment to CASA. You may not know this about Dottie, she was the sole advocate for 5-year-old twins whose case was open for 15 years! The commitment she gave to that case, and 15 other cases over her years as an advocate would have been enough for many, but when Dottie “retired” from serving as a CASA, she volunteered to support our staff as an office volunteer.  During her many years of volunteer service in the front office, Dottie always displayed a smile on her face and a positive attitude. Her friendly personality, work ethic and wealth of knowledge as an advocate has made her such a valuable asset to our organization. We’re thrilled to know that she remains interested and willing to continue to support us doing special projects throughout the year. Our warmest thanks! – Holly McCarty, operations manager

Celebrating Our 20-Year Advocates in 2021

This year, three CASA volunteer advocates celebrate 20 years providing a voice for New Hampshire’s children. As part of our upcoming annual celebration, we would like to recognize them for their compassion and dedication to our children who need a strong advocate for their futures.

Patrick Duffy

Coming into the role as a Program manager, I was excited to have to opportunity to work with Pat. During my training, I heard what an exemplary CASA he is. I remember my first phone call with him. He stated that he has been doing this for a long time, but was happy to work with me and looked forward to continuing this work. Pat has never missed a beat. He has advocated for 35 Children in his 20 years as a CASA. He is like a freight train- steady and powerful! Even when things have become difficult during a case, where other agencies have not been able to land in the same place as Pat, he never waivers. He has a strong passion for children’s best interests, and will continue to fight for that until the closer of a case. There have been a few times that I have had to send out a mass email, asking for an advocate for a child. Each time I have done that, Pat has been the first to respond, saying that he would be happy to help if someone hasn’t already stepped in. Pat is good, right to his core, and I have been honored and humbled to work along side him. Thank you, Pat. – Jenn Hollinrake, program manager


Pam McKinney

Pam has advocated for 15 children, and has served as a peer coordinator for 18 kids in her 20 years here at CASA. Pam was born to do this work! She has been such an amazingly strong advocate for the children she has served.  Pam is always willing to take a complicated case, and has made a huge difference in many children’s lives during her 20 years with CASA.  Pam is always willing to help with anything at CASA and has even assisted Program Staff with cleaning up files many afternoons in the Manchester office.  We are so thankful that we can always count on Pam. – Jenn Hollinrake & Erin Boylan, program managers


Geoffrey Wilson

Jeff was one of the first CASA’s I supervised when I came on staff at CASA. So many wonderful things to say about Jeff he is a very committed humble and passionate advocate. In the twenty years that Jeff has been with us he has spent 1,043 weeks working on CASA cases, attending meetings, advocating strongly for our Youth traveling an incredible number of miles to visit with his youth who were all over New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Jeff has a great sense of humor and is able to relate so well to the Youth he works with. Jeff has a knack for working with challenging people and uses his conflict resolution skills very appropriately. Jeff is well respected by all of the service providers and often DCYF will ask him to take a specific case as they feel he would be a good match. I feel extremely fortunate to have worked with Jeff over these last 20 years and look forward to working with him on other cases. A huge thank you from all of the CASA staff. – Bernadette Melton-Plante, program director