Julie Luton of Bonham took home the top honor of the evening at the recent volunteer banquet hosted by the Fannin County Children’s Center. Luton was named the CASA Volunteer of the Year for her work in advocating for abused and neglected children in foster care.
Luton has been an advocate for a young boy in foster care for five years. When he came into the custody of the state, his small body was covered in so many bruises, doctors could not even count them all. CASA Program Director Sandy Hood described how this young boy has been in numerous places, had several CPS workers, but only one CASA during the time he has been in CPS care. Hood went on to say that the young boy’s face lights up every time he sees Luton.
All of the agency’s volunteers were honored at the banquet. Bill Vehslage, Laurie Schacherer, Jo Dophied and Sue Agnew earned their three year service pins. Five year service pins were given to Luton and Bonnie Donaghey. Jo Willess earned her ten year pin. Stephanie Wood and Marta Schreiber received recognition for their thirteen years of service as CASA volunteers.
Outgoing board member Cindy Bankston was recognized for completing six years of service on the board of directors. Executive Director Sandy Barber remarked how it will be strange to not have Bankston on the board, since she has been on the board 10 or the 12 years Barber has been with the agency. “During the 2 years she was not on the board,” said Barber, “she was working a CASA case for much of that time.” Bankston has held numerous positions on the board during her tenure, including two terms as President.
The Children’s Center is in need of more CASA volunteers and will start a new training class on June 10. For more information, go to www.fanninccc.org.