A Powerful
Voice for
Abused Children
 
 (541) 734-2272
 
CASA's financial information is available upon request.
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Was there ever a time in your life when you needed someone to stand up for you?
Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA, provides a powerful voice for abused and neglected children. In 2015, there were 840 founded cases of abuse and neglect in Jackson County. In an overburdened system, these children risk slipping through the cracks and suffering from further abuse. CASA volunteers have the power to prevent this tragic reality. These dedicated, highly-trained community members serve as fact finders for the judge by researching the background of each assigned case. They speak for the child in the courtroom, representing the child’s best interests, and work to move the child as quickly and effectively as possible through the system and into a safe, permanent home.
 
What Is CASA of Jackson County?
CASA of Jackson County, founded in 1990, is a non-profit organization responsible for recruiting, training and supporting the work of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteers. CASA volunteers do what no one else does- they donate their time to act as independent eyes and ears of the court and speak solely for the best interest of children and youth in the custody of DHS.
 
CASA of Jackson County is an Equal Opportunity Program and Equal Employment Opportunity
Who Are CASAs?
  • Community members from varied educational backgrounds, cultures, and life experiences
  • Individuals with a genuine interest in the well-being of children
  • Men, women or couples over 21 years old, who are willing to complete 40 hours of training plus 12 hours annually of continued education and give approximately 10 hours per month to change the life of a child
 
Who Are the Children?
  • Abused and neglected children are all ages, newborns to age 18; 41% are 5 years old or younger
  • It is estimated that more than 800 children in Jackson County are victims of abuse and/or neglect each year
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What Does A CASA Do?
  • Gathers all pertinent information related to the child’s case
  • Identifies the child’s needs and ensures appropriate services
  • CASAs show up and speak up
  • Makes recommendations to the court judge through written and verbal reports
  • Serves as a consistent & knowledgeable advocate for the child’s placement in a safe, permanent and nurturing home
Why Do We Need CASAs?
  • The presiding judge relies on the CASA to investigate the case and recommend what is in the child’s best interest.
  • CASAs strive to make sure children are not re-abused
  • CASAs ensure children receive needed services (therapy, health care, special education)
  • CASAs are often the only consistent person in an abused child’s life
 
Children Served
  • In Jackson County in 2016, 178 CASAs served 628 children.
  • Of the 628 children served by a CASA in 2016, 78% reunited with parents and 13% were adopted or found legal guardians. In addition, 441 continue to have the powerful voice of a CASA.
CASA of Jackson County Funding
State Government: 14% | Grants: 36% | Community Support: 50%
 
 

Volunteering

We couldn’t change lives for children without our wonderful volunteers!

The most significant way you can help a child is by becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate.
CASA volunteers give a two-year commitment to investigate, examine and recommend to the Juvenile Court
the best option for a safe and permanent home for the children assigned to them.
This is one cause where the actions of a single person mean everything.
One volunteer, trained and empowered to ensure that every child can thrive in the safe embrace of a loving home.
 
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One joy scatters a thousand griefs…
 
CASA of Jackson County (Court Appointed Special Advocates) gives children a voice when they most need it.
Abused and neglected children can easily slip between the cracks of an overburdened child welfare
and legal system. CASA volunteers are well trained and supported by our program –
their charge is to ensure the children they represent are not forgotten, have their needs fully met,
remain safe and ultimately come to live in stable, loving and secure homes.

161 CASA volunteers successfully advocated for 589 children in 2015.
Currently there are 357 children active in CASA’s program.
There are 308 children on our waiting list.
 
Give a Child Hope for the Future!
Be the person who answers the phone when a child calls
Advocate for a tutor to help a child in math
Speak out when a child is afraid to go to school because of bullying
Ensure that a child receives a comprehensive medical assessment
Help a child get off of unnecessary and harmful medication
Assist in increasing visits for a child who needs to see his dad
Advocate for a special needs child to receive occupational and physical therapy
Tell the Judge that a child should not have to change schools
Cheerlead for a mom who is doing great so a child can go home to her
 
To Become a CASA Volunteer
Attend an orientation (required prior to training),
offered every Thursday from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. at the CASA office.
 
Or contact Wenonoa Spivak, Director of Programs and Education
541-734-2272
“The encouragement of the instructor, the class participation, the knowledge of the instructor all made the training incredible;in my opinion, Wenonoa is so rich in knowledge and she delivered all information with enthusiasm.”

“The training was fantastic. Wenonoa is a top notch facilitator and so helpful and ever patient. She is incredibly approachable and available.
All of the staff and speakers seemed incredibly informed.”

“CASA has a first rate training program; class was well delivered, fun, and interesting.”

“Excellent training; I am ready to go forward and make a positive difference in the lives of children.”

 

Upcoming CASA Events

 
 
Motown Get Down Dance Party
October 21, 2017
9-11 p.m.
Elks Lodge, Ashland
Giving Trees
November – December 2017
 
I Am For The
Child Luncheon
January 17, 2018
12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
Rogue Valley Country Club
 
 
 
 
 
KD Web 2016
Kentucky Derby
May 5, 2018
5:00 – 10:00 p.m.
Rogue Valley Country Club
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July 13 & 14, 2018
 

Past Events

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July 14 & 15, 2017
CASA Kentucky Derby After Party
May 6, 2017
5:00 – 10:00 p.m.
Rogue Valley Country Club
Change for Children
April 1-30, 2017
I Am For The
Child Luncheon
January 18, 2017
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Rogue Valley Country Club
ladmkg_casagivingtree_4
Giving Trees
November – December 2016
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Dutch Bros. Toy Drive
November 23 – December 11 2016
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Giving Tuesday Tagline
#Giving Tuesday
November 29, 2016
Ryan Moon Invitation 1    Ryan Moon Invitation 2
  
Ryan Moon Art Reception
July 29, 2016
4:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Insurance Lounge
Chipotle 081516
Chipotle Fundraiser
August 15, 2016
4:00 – 9:00 p.m.
7 Rossanley Drive, Medford
The Classic Golf Tournament
July 15, 2016
Centennial Golf Club
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The event gets started with a double shotgun golf tournament at Centennial Golf Club in Medford, Oregon. Compete against up to 50 other golf teams. Put your foursome together or register as an individual and you will be paired up
with other golfers.
The Classic Feast
July 16, 2016
Centennial Golf Club
 
Gates open at 4pm and a culinary/beverage heaven begins at 5pm featuring Southern Oregon’s finest chefs, hand-crafted beers, a variety of wines and spirit tastings, specialty desserts and more. The party kicks into a higher gear at 7pm when Grammy Award winning artist Lonnie Chapin’s band
Precious Byrd hits the stage. You do not have to play golf to attend the Feast, individual dinner tickets are for sale in addition to corporate tables and more. 
Panda Express coupon - Change for Children 2016
Change for Children
April 16, 2016
11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Panda Express
Change for Children full project flyer 2016 - April 11
Change for Children
April 2016
KD Web 2016
Kentucky Derby
May 7, 2016
5:00 – 10:00 p.m.
Rogue Valley Country Club
 
CASA of Jackson County offers plenty of horse race betting, blackjack, poker, roulette, Mint Juleps, a taste of Derby, incredible auction items for both women and men, a Derby day hat contest,
a walk down the red carpet and a
pre-recorded televised
running of the Kentucky Derby race!
 

Raffles

Congratulations to David Williams, the winner of our 2016 Custom Softtail Chopper Raffle! Thank you to everyone who supported this raffle, helping to raise money for CASA of Jackson County. We are especially grateful to Pacific Tool & Gauge for donating the Chopper to CASA!
 
 

CASA of Jackson County Charity Car Raffle

Vehicle was fully donated by Pacific Tool and Gauge, David Kiff

OFFICIAL RULES:

  • Must be 18 years of age to participate
  • Tickets must be purchased in Oregon
  • Need not be present to win
  • Winner must pay all applicable taxes and fees (which will be collected by CASA)
  • If winner cannot pay taxes and fees, another winning ticket will be drawn
  • Vehicle is not redeemable for cash
  • For the 1965 Impala, only 3,500 tickets will be sold.  Drawing will be held on November 4, 2017, at 3 pm at Harry & David Country Village in Medford, Oregon
  • CASA of Jackson and Josephine County employees and spouse/partner are not eligible to win
  • No refunds
 
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NEWSROOM

My mentor and friend, Hadley Nesbitt, passed away suddenly but peacefully last week. He spearheaded the forming of CASA of Jackson County as a nonprofit beginning in 2000 and ending in 2003. He served as CASA’s board president for the first few years, leading the organization through the early stages of formation. He hired me in 2006 and lent me his unwavering support and encouragement during his tenure and beyond. Hadley’s wife, Erna Nesbitt, served as a CASA for more than 15 years before passing away in 2013. Joan, his current wife, and several children survive him.

Hadley’s most notable attributes were his intelligence, genteelism, enthusiasm, kind nature, and his innate love of life. He enjoyed reading detective novels, many of which he shared with me, hiking, traveling, and spending time with his wonderful family and friends. I miss him already and hope I have imparted to you a bit of the value that he brought to this world—although much of who he was cannot be summed up so briefly. 

~ Jennifer Mylenek, Executive Director
CASA of Jackson County

Hadley Nesbitt
December 31, 1936 – September 13, 2017

Hadley Nesbitt passed away unexpectedly but peacefully, Wednesday, September 13, 2017 in his home in Central Point, Oregon. He was born December 31, 1936, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

His father’s career as an Army Corps of Engineers geologist had Hadley spending his childhood in Pennsylvania, Alabama, Ohio, and Virginia, graduating from high school in Alexandria, Virginia in 1954.

At Marietta College in Ohio, where he graduated in 1959 with a math degree, he took a job in that college’s admissions office, traveling to distant high schools to interview prospective students. In 1961 he spent six months of active duty in the U. S. Army Reserve, and then took a job as a management trainee at the Marriott Corporation’s first hotel, just across the Potomac from Washington, D.C.

He returned to Marietta in 1963 as assistant director of admissions. On a visit to a Cincinnati high school he met Sylvia Traumer, whom he married in 1965. In 1967, after earning a master’s degree at Xavier University, he became director of admissions at Coe College in Iowa. His son, Scott was born in Cedar Rapids in 1968.

In 1970 he joined Educational Testing Service in Princeton, New Jersey, where for nearly 20 years he held a variety of technical and managerial positions, among them: managing the College Board’s service for assisting colleges with statistical grade prediction; negotiating the merger of two national 11th-grade tests (the PSAT and NMSQT); orienting new employees to the firm; overseeing tours for foreign visitors; and managing multistate programs in financial need analysis for the College Scholarship Service.

Sylvia died of cancer in 1984. A few years later he met Erna Trubee, who resided just across the street from him in Pennington, N.J. Their romance led to their move in 1993 to southern Oregon, where they were drawn by the region’s climate and its outdoor and cultural attractions. Within their first few weeks in Medford, both became involved in volunteering.

Hadley produced audiovisual materials for the Jackson County Library capital campaign in 1998, and in 2000 spearheaded the effort to transfer county control of the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program to a new 501.3 agency, of whose board he was president during its first few years.

Erna, herself a long-time CASA volunteer, passed away in 2013. In 2014 Hadley married Joan McKenzie of Spokane, Washington. In 2016 the couple moved from Medford to the Twin Creeks Retirement Community in Central Point, Oregon. HN was author of Southern Oregon Restaurants, a 1996 collection of restaurant reviews, which won a Benjamin Franklin Award for best self-published book in its category. He was an avid hiker, climbing Mount McLaughlin in 2000 at the age of 63, and again in 2012 when he was 75. While in his late 60s and early 70s, he and his Corgi-mix Daisy, adopted from the Jackson County Animal Shelter, achieved national success in the sport of canine agility, with Daisy earning the distinction of NADAC North American Trial Champion in 2008.

He is survived by a large family that loved and admired him, including son, Scott (wife Mary, daughter Callie); wife, Joan (children Lisa, Anne, and Stuart); and stepsons, John, Jay (wife June, daughters Jillian and McKenzie), Brian (wife Amy, sons Robert and Phillip), Brooks, and Evan (wife Kristen, children Patrick, Cameron, and Holly).

A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Wednesday, September 20, 2017 at Twin Creeks Retirement Community, 888 Twin Creeks Crossing, Central Point, OR.

In lieu of flowers, please send memorial contributions to CASA of Jackson County, Inc., 613 Market Street, Medford, OR 97504.

 
We remember John and his amazing heart for the children in our community. From all of us at CASA, our thoughts are with his family and friends.  John was a hero to many.

Medford Fire-Rescue
August 31 at 9:25am

John Ford, retired Medford Firefighter/Engineer/EMT Basic, passed away at home with loving family on Friday, August 18, 2017. John wasn’t much on ceremony for personal recognition and per his request no services will be scheduled. For those who would like to memorialize their acquaintance/friendship with John, please consider a contribution to one or both of John’s causes.

CASA: John had a real soft spot for children in trouble due to no fault of their own. Court Appointed Special Advocates places volunteers with children in the court system who advocate on their behalf. He was always taking bikes over to them. CASA 609 W 10th St, Medford, OR 97501 · (541) 523-8215. His wife is not sure they ever knew his name, he was “the guy in the red truck that dropped off bikes.”

Medford Senior Center: John was going to help ensure the Center was able to buy and place a 40 ft flagpole, as the one they had was removed due to a hazardous situation. The total to purchase, place, and bore for lighting was just under $5,000. Donations toward this cause can be made to: Medford Senior Center, 510 E. Main Street, Medford OR 97504.

 
 
  
 
 

‘Harry was always there’

When Genevieve Hummel entered the foster care system at age 2, Court Appointed Special Advocates volunteer Harry Howard was there to watch out for her best interests as she cycled through more than a dozen foster homes.

When she graduated from high school, then from Southern Oregon University, he was at her graduation ceremonies, even though she had aged out of the foster care system. When she gave birth to her son, he was at the hospital.

When Hummel, now 30, became a foster mom and took in a toddler girl to raise alongside her own young son, Howard agreed to be a CASA volunteer for the energetic little girl. The 90-year-old World War II veteran rides a motorcycle and sports a helmet with an Arabian horse painting done by Hummel’s husband.

“Harry was consistent. Harry was always there as I moved throughout multiple homes,” Hummel said. “It’s important having someone you can trust.”

This week, the Jackson County Board of Commissioners gave Howard the county’s Community Service Award for July in honor of his 27 years as a CASA volunteer. During those decades, he has helped improve the lives of 37 children.

Commissioner Bob Strosser said Howard has been there for the kids as they went through challenging events, including court hearings about their welfare and moves among different foster homes and schools. Many end up in foster care because of abuse and neglect.

Howard said he became a CASA volunteer for a simple reason.  “These children don’t deserve the hand they were dealt in life,” he said. “If we can contribute something to compensate for those things, that’s its own reward. It’s difficult work, but it can be very rewarding at the same time.”

Hummel said Howard always remembers all the people involved in a child’s case and how they are interconnected. He will do everything from call a pediatrician to visit a birth parent in jail. “The level of caring and attention he gives to all the details and people is just mind-blowing,” she said. “He’s done this almost for my whole lifetime. I don’t know anybody else with that kind of dedication and commitment.”

Hummel said Howard and the other people who work and volunteer for CASA know how hard it is to be a foster kid. She remembers how every time she would move to a new home, her clothes and belongings would be thrown in a large plastic garbage bag. “When everything you own is being tossed in a trash bag, it sends the message that you and your stuff are trash. My clothing would smell like trash bags,” Hummel said. “CASA held a fundraiser to get luggage, duffel bags and backpacks for kids. It seems small, but it’s not.”

Howard said it’s a privilege to be a CASA volunteer.“Children are our most precious commodity, and to see children brought into the world under dysfunctional conditions is heart-rending,” he said. “And so it’s an honor to be part of a team that tries to make some difference in these children’s lives.”

CASA Executive Director Jennifer Mylenek said Howard is always calm and balanced as he looks out for the best interests of children as well as their families. She called him an anchor of the CASA program in Jackson County, which was founded in 1990. “I don’t know of another CASA program in the state of Oregon that’s had a volunteer as long as we’ve been blessed with Harry,” she said. “He’s been here 27 years — for as long as the program’s actually been in place in Jackson County.”

Mylenek said CASA of Jackson County is a nonprofit organization with about 175-180 volunteers. “We need at least 100 more volunteers,” she said. “There are a lot of kids waiting for somebody like Harry or any one of our other volunteers. There are about 500 children on our waiting list.”

Volunteers, who have varied educational backgrounds and life experiences, research the background of each assigned case and make recommendations in court about the child’s best interests. They also make sure kids get needed services, such as health care, therapy or special education.

 Their ultimate goal is to get a child into a safe home — a challenging task given Jackson County’s shortage of foster parents.

Hummel said people who can’t become foster parents can still help kids by becoming CASA volunteers. “It’s a great opportunity and option for people who can’t take a kid into their home,” she said.

CASA of Jackson County holds orientations for prospective volunteers every Thursday from noon to 1 p.m. at its office at 613 Market St., Medford. People who decide to become volunteers attend 30 hours of training. The training is scheduled four times per year, with the summer session of classes beginning July 6. Fall sessions start Oct. 2.

— Reach staff reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 
 
 
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On Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2016, we at CASA celebrated our very own Dan Mata as a flag was flown in his honor over the US Capitol.
A special thank you to Jonathan McCollum, Director, Federal Government Relations Group Davidoff Hutcher & Citron LLP and to
Jenny Forrest from Congressman Walden’s office for donating their time to photograph Dan’s flag for us as a special gift to him.
 
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CASA Stories

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The Experience of a CASA Child
CASA and Child 5
The Experience of a CASA Child
051316_Jasmine adoption family
The Experience of a CASA Child
National CASA 23
The Experience of a CASA Healing a Family
 
 

DONATE

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Children 2
Boy (Child) 1
CASA of Jackson County, Oregon Funding
State Government: 14% | Grants: 36% | Community Support: 50%
Why Give to CASA?
Each year, Jackson County CASA assists children that have become wards of the court.  Unfortunately, there is still a gap
in the help CASA can provide.  There is a waiting list due to shortfalls in funding and the need for more volunteers.
Your gifts help us to reduce that gap and focus on the dream of closing in the gap and giving every child
that finds themselves in this situation hope, support and guidance.
Your assistance strengthens our local community by building a better home life and future for the next generation.
 
Are Gifts to CASA Tax Deductible?
CASA of Jackson County is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.  Your gifts are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.
Upon receipt of any gift, we will mail you a confirmation and thank you letter for your records.
 
Automated Monthly Donations
You can make an automated monthly donation to CASA with your credit card by calling our office at 541-734-2272.
You will be charged the amount you choose and then again each month on the anniversary date of the first donation. 
 
You can support CASA of Jackson County with planned gifts in the future from your Will or Trust,
Retirement Plan,gifts of Stock or Appreciated Assets or with gifts of Life Insurance.
 
Children removed from their homes in an emergency situation often do not leave with clothing, toiletries or other needed items.  Our CASA Advocates do everything they can to make sure children have seasonal clothing, good shoes, toiletries and school supplies.  Generous donors and organizations in our community help provide these items.  In 2015, Lowe’s Heroes donated and constructed our Lowe’s Clothing Closet here in the CASA office.  Donations of new items are always appreciated and  accepted.
 
Jackson County Library Summer Clothing Drive
June 6, 2016 – August 7, 2016
Ashland, Central Point and Medford Library locations. 
 
With your help, Sleep Train helps provide foster children with the little things that often make a big difference-
school supplies and sports shoes, properly fitting clothing or a gift during the holidays.
 
Please contact us for more information about ways to give to the children in our community:
“I had a great childhood.  That’s a chapter
in our lives we only get one of. You only
get one chance to be a kid.”
~ CASA Mike Feeley
“Not all of us can do great
things, but we can do
small things with great love.”                         
~ Mother Teresa
“There can be no keener revelation
of a society’s soul than the way in which
it treats its children.”
                 ~ Nelson Mandela
 
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CASA of Jackson County
613 Market Street, Medford, Oregon 97504 | casa@jacksoncountycasa.org
Phone: 541-734-2272 | Fax: 541-842-4078
 
 
Board of Directors
Erik Carlson, 
President
Marco Boccato,
Vice President, Secretary
 
Shane Antholz
Tom Basgen
Dr. James Berryman
Dann Hauser
Shirley Johnson
Bruce Laidlaw
John Watt
Jim Wright
Amy Zarosinski
Jennifer Mylenek (non-voting)
CASA Staff
Jennifer Mylenek, Executive Director
Wenonoa Spivak, Director of Programs and Education
Erin Carpenter, Development and Media Manager
Deborah King, Office Support Coordinator
Kay Kolp, Lead Case Supervisor
Katina Dittberner, Case Supervisor
Angela Ford, Case Supervisor
Megan Kimball, Case Supervisor
Dan MataCase Supervisor
Sandra ShermanCase Supervisor
Marisol Garcia, Family Finding
Vicky McGee, Family Finding
Jami Pope, Family Finding
 
 
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