CASA Celebrates 30 Years Serving Montgomery County Children with Ribbon Cutting Event
CONROE, TX – CASA Child Advocates of Montgomery County is celebrating 30 years of serving children in the foster care system and hosted an anniversary and ribbon cutting event at their office on Main Street in downtown Conroe on April 27, 2022. More than 100 current and former volunteers, board members, donors, community partners, government officials, and various other guests gathered to honor the organization and its vision of a community where families remain connected and childhood abuse and neglect are eliminated.
On October 25, 1990, a small but determined group of community volunteers organized by Pat Chuber and Betty Gowing met to discuss the formation of a CASA program in Montgomery County. Few in attendance that night could have imagined the impact their goal to provide volunteers for children in foster care would have over the coming decades.
During the next two years, committees were formed to oversee incorporation, membership, public affairs, development, and legal issues. In the fall of 1991, the organization was incorporated as CASA of Montgomery County, Inc. In February of 1992, the first class of CASA volunteers, who also served as the organization’s first Board of Directors, were sworn in by Judge Olen Underwood.
In 1992, eight volunteer Advocates served 28 children. Last year, 282 Advocates served 596 children – 100% of children in foster care in Montgomery County. In total, CASA Child Advocates of Montgomery County have served more than 10,000 of Montgomery County’s most vulnerable children over the last 30 years.
“In reflecting on CASA’s history, I am struck by how far this organization has come,” says CASA President & CEO, Ann Marie Ronsman. “I am also hopeful for the future and the ways we intend to strengthen our advocacy for children through the expansion of CASA’s programs and initiatives.”
CASA recently purchased the property at 505 North Main Street that now houses its offices after 29 years of leased space. “Our organization has been looking for a long time for a space that would be permanent and also would allow us to better serve our children and families, and this property checked all those boxes for us,” explains Ronsman.
The main building, now the Rock Center for Child Advocacy after Doug and Julie Rock, offers various rooms within the house that can be adjusted to meet the organization’s needs (volunteer training, spending time with the children they work with, holding classes, etc.) and is a mere block away from the courthouse. The property also features the Watford Resource Center for Trauma Intervention after Mike and Carol Watford, the Waste Connections TBRI Coaching Center, and the Amy Streifel Community Garden.
Event guests assembled for a group photo in front of the house before a brief program and ribbon cutting. Holding the ribbon for the ceremony were Pat Chuber, CASA’s first Board Chair in 1992, and Clay McCollor, current Board Chair.
Ronsman says the organization will remain focused on the present while looking to the future, “We dream of a world free of child abuse and neglect, but until that becomes a reality, CASA will be here to stand beside the children of Montgomery County.”
It costs approximately $1,500 to provide a volunteer Advocate for one abused or neglected child for one year. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) speak up for the best interest of children who have been removed from their home and are under the Court’s jurisdiction. CASA’s goal is to continue to provide a court-appointed volunteer to serve as Guardian ad Litem for every child in the foster care system. For the past 30 years, CASA has been training volunteers, raising awareness in the community, and working to stop the cycle of child abuse in Montgomery County.
For more information about CASA Child Advocates of Montgomery, visit the website at www.CASASpeaks4Kids.com or call (936) 441-5437.
CASA Child Advocates is Montgomery County’s only organization appointed by the court to advocate for abused and neglected children. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) speak up for the best interest of children who have been removed from their homes and are under the Court’s jurisdiction. CASA’s goal is to continue to provide a court-appointed volunteer to serve as Guardian ad Litem for every child in the foster care system. For the past 30 years, CASA has been training volunteers, raising awareness in the community, and working to stop the cycle of child abuse in Montgomery County. Learn more about CASA Child Advocates of Montgomery County at www.CASASpeaks4Kids.com and on Facebook: www.facebook.com/CASAChildAdvocatesofMontgomeryCounty.