Appreciation, Love and Awards for CASA of CGS Volunteers

CASA of Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem Counties held their annual appreciation and award event this past weekend at the beautiful Appel Farms in Elmer and we couldn’t be happier on the outcome. This year we decided to switch it up a bit to show that our CASA volunteers are apart of something much bigger than they anticipated. CASA of CGS is housed in the HopeLoft, 40 East Commerce Street in Bridgeton, which is a collective impact agenda initiative of the United Advocacy Group, CASA of CGS and Revive South Jersey. It’s here where we all work as a team to better serve our community and we wanted to share the success stories across the board with our volunteers to show that their work with our CASA children go beyond their recommendations. We want to thank everyone who came out for a night of celebration of all your hard work. We are truly blessed to have every single one of you as apart of our CASA family and we look forward to serving our community in the future with you by our side. Below you can read about each project, their advocates and their award recipients.

Family Strengthening Network

The Family Strengthening Network empowers families to achieve their dreams and be successful in all areas of life. Through free, personal and confidential sessions with a trained Family Advocate, families develop a clear plan to accomplish their goals and receive all the tools, resources and opportunities necessary to complete their plan. FSN offers educational seminars and small groups in a variety of areas that are critical to the wellbeing of the family. FSN also provides family fun events and community volunteering opportunities which reinforce the relationship bonds within families.

Family Strengthening Network Family Advocate of the Year: Jackie Southwick

presented by Mike Bill, Senior Pastor of St. John’s United Methodist Church, Turnersville

The Family Strengthening Network has an incredibly dedicated team of family advocates who support and encourage families everyday. This year, we recognize Jackie Southwick for going above and beyond in her work to help families achieve their dreams. Jackie has served as an advocate for 3 years at St. John’s UMC assisting more than 35 families during this time. This year she expanded her territory by creating a partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Gloucester County.  Focusing on FSN’s financial stability goal, she facilitated an education course to 10 families and then provided the financial certification required to receive their homes. In addition, she has orchestrated community events such as the Strawberry festival and numerous relationship and healthy living workshops. Because of her efforts, families are stronger, healthier and better equipped to thrive in the future.

FSN Family Advocates:

Riccina Cabezas

Nick Dobrowolski

Kelly Hines

Dawn Howell

Stacey Lewis

Nikki Myers

Carrie Pasquarello

Amy Petrie

Karen Phillips

Michele Pilla

Lydia Ramsey

Jackie Southwick

Beth Springman

Debby Wehner

Family Day of Service

The Family Day of Service is an annual event which promotes volunteerism and enables families to work alongside one another while giving back to their community. This year’s event saw over 2500 adults and children roll up their sleeves and serve in projects that ranged from planting flowers for a pregnancy center to groups that fought against poverty by providing food and hygiene kits. In total, 55 projects impacted our region during the weekend of service.

Family Day of Service

Outstanding Project: Clips for Seniors – Bridgeton, NJ

presented by Cumberland County Freeholder Carmen Daddario

One project, Clips for Seniors, focused on caring for seniors in the Bridgeton community. Alejandro noticed how often senior didn’t have the money or ability to go to the barber. He gather seven local barbers and hairstyles to come together to give free haircuts for the day. In total, 28 people received new styles and several commented how grateful they were to receive the first haircut they’d had in year.  We would like to recognize Alejandro Ortiz and Jose Casteneda for their coordination and participation in Clips for Seniors, the Family Day of Service Outstanding Project.

CASA of Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem Counties

CASA advocates are volunteers who are appointed by judges to watch over child abuse victims. Advocates make sure that these children do not get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system and help victims find safe and permanent homes as quickly as possible. CASA advocates stay with each child until their case is closed and the child is placed in a safe and permanent home. For many victims of child abuse, their CASA advocate is the only adult with a consistent and caring presence in their lives. CASA of CGS is working to provide an advocate for every child in placement, decrease the reentry rate by collaborating with community partners who focus on the child’s family wellness, confidently provide recommendations to the court as to a child’s permanency plan, and improve every child’s educational outcomes.

Major Accomplishments for 2017

Served 320 children87 new children were received through referrals from the CourtMaintained the Peer Coordinator Model, growing to 13 Peer Coordinators assisting and supporting new advocatesLed 64 children to permanency


Jesse Kagan Advocate of the Year

This award was created to recognize an outstanding volunteer whose unselfish and dedicated service has made a significant difference in their community and in the lives of children. The Advocate of the Year Award was named after Gloucester County advocate, Susan Kagan’s son, Jesse, who sadly passed away at the age of 37 in March, 2016. When speaking with the Kagan’s it is clear that all of the individuals who came forward to help and advocate for Jesse made the largest impact in their lives. CASA of CGS is fueled by the very same ideals. We are full of “helpers” and feel that honoring these individuals through the memory of Jesse is a permanent tribute. Because of the connection between our helpers and the helpers in the Kagan’s lives, CASA of CGS decided to name the Advocate of the Year award after Jesse Kagan every year going forward.

Cumberland County: Eileen Daniels

Presented by Jennifer Henderson, CASA of CGS Program Director

CASA of CGS was blessed with Eileen in June, 2016. When you first meet her, you’re instantly put at ease with her kind and warm demeanor. Eileen has been professional from the start and is extremely thorough in her investigations. While she has a huge heart, she never allows her passion to cloud her judgment when advocating for her children’s best interests. Eileen is currently serving four children across three cases and has been instrumental in supporting appropriate placements, needs and therapies for the children. Her communication skills are impressive and result in cooperation and understanding across the board. She incorporates a village and that’s exactly how change will come about.

Gloucester County: Susan Kagan

Presented by Arthur Horn, CASA of CGS Board President

Susan has been an advocate since July, 2015. Alongside of her partner advocate, Susan worked hard to lead her first case with five children to adoption. She endured the difficult decision of making a recommendation for the termination of parental rights, while gracefully learning and navigating the system. After her first case closed, Susan accepted another case with three small children and has been an essential part of a reunification plan for the family. As an advocate, Susan leaves no stone unturned. She’s passionate, gifted, incredibly thorough, and born to advocate for those in need. Susan has always been extremely objective, fair and balanced while on her cases. While all of the above listed characteristics may be an overwhelming combination for some, Susan juggles everything seamlessly and professionally. Susan’s reports are thorough, detail-rich, without a doubt objective, and have often times, topped out at a whopping 14 pages. Her recommendations are unique, well-explained and supportive to CASA’s mission.

Salem County: Judy Burnett

Presented by Rev. Kevin Peterson, of Second Baptist Church in Salem

Judy has been an advocate since May, 2016. Not long after being sworn-in, she accepted a case with two little girls who had endured some pretty terrible times. One of the greatest things about Judy is that nothing concerned her about this case except worrying about making sure the girls received the best care and had what they needed to thrive. She didn’t let the fact that the mom was incarcerated and there were a lot of different parties in the case to deter her from visiting hotels, apartments and houses checking on these children. Judy molds her recommendations to the judge in such a way that you consider the children’s best interest along with her as you’re reading them. Judy never misses a deadline for her reports and, despite being a full-time teacher, tries her hardest to make every court hearing.

Eileen Goodwin Lifetime Achievement Award: Kay Delp

Presented by Bill Whelan, Vice President of Capital Bank

This award was created to recognize an outstanding volunteer whose unselfish and dedicated service has made a significant difference in their community and in the lives of children. The Eileen Goodwin Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to an advocate who has displayed long-term commitment and efforts to advocate for abused and neglected children. The award was named in loving memory of Eileen in grateful appreciation for her love and dedication to CASA of Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem Counties and the children we serve.

Kay Delp has been part of the CASA of CGS team since 2012 and has been an advocate for two girls. Her first girl’s case lasted over three years and the second girl, she is currently advocating for, and has been on her case for over a year. There are six words that could be used to accurately describe Kay: Professional, Compassionate, Thorough, Dedicated, Reliable, and Amazing. There has never been a time that Kay hasn’t been looked at with complete respect in the courtroom when providing her recommendations. All of the DCP&P caseworkers and court staff who Kay has worked with over the years have reported that they enjoy working with her and trust and respect her as a person and as an advocate. For more than five years, Kay has never forgotten to send in a court report for her child or submit a monthly log. She leaves no stone unturned when researching her case and identifying the best interest of the child she is advocating for.


Angel of the Year Award: Cumberland Insurance Group

Presented by Hillary Nichols, Social Media Manager, United Advocacy Group & Founder of Operation South Jersey

The CASA of CGS Angel of the Year award recognizes an outstanding organization whose unselfish and dedicated service has made a significant difference in their community and in the lives of children. CASA volunteers are individuals who are faced with some of the most difficult decisions when making recommendations in the best interest of children. This year, Cumberland Insurance Group has made significant contributions toward promoting the best interests of abused and neglected children and providing community support for CASA of CGS and our volunteers. Cumberland Insurance Group has participated in the CASA of CGS Go Blue Campaign and Christmas Angel Tree every year for the past three years. They provided more than half of the gifts for the children that CASA serves during the holiday season and have faithfully donated toward the Go Blue Campaign.

CASA of CGS Peer Coordinators:

Risti Talbott

Carl Jackson

Carl Fratz

Michele Musick

Ed Kagan

Jennifer Rodriguez

Dot Mason

Debra Durand

Bettyann Jones

Athenae Evans

Lindsey Procida

Carl Jackson

Janet Anderson

CASA of CGS Advocates

Cumberland County

Dorothy Thompson

Dorothy Thompson

Carl Jackson

Eileen Daniels

Esther Hernandez

Kay Delp

Cindy Zirkle

Ashlie Robinson

Betsy Martin

Debbi Harris

Marita Brown

Tim Zoyac

Patricia Zoyac

Donna Bard

Heather Prokson

Deena Osmer

Danielle DiCesare

Devona Lewis

Melissa Nelson

Stacey White

Karen Barnett

Rachel Ferrer

Shirley Green

Loretta Giddens

Laurie Buirch

Jenna Harvey

Sequoya Taylor

Barbara Berkley

Cheryl Bryant

Edna Fazenbaker

Erin Thompson

Sandy Langan

Ashlee Todd

Amber Yarbrough

Christian Miguel

Jacqueline Cheli

Laurie Johnson

Mary Kula

Emma Nolan

Jonathan Triantos

Taneshia Dixon

Tammy Campagna

Andrew Dudley

Don Vastano

Danielle Bart

Judy Koslick

Connie Chard

Jamie Bringer

Robin DelCollo

CASA of CGS Advocates

Gloucester County

Loretta Morris

Carol Rich

Melissa Tagye

Ramesh Bhai

Tina Landrum

Susan Kagan

Bethany Pineda

Dorothy Stubblebine

Joanna Corsino

Elizabeth Drew

Jane DiBella

Terry Ratzell

Kim Smith

Sandy Steedle

Sue Pace

Caitlin Amer

Janet Anderson

Bonnie Bowne

DonnaMarie Murray

Francine Hawthorne

Maria Leonardo

Erika Gagliardi

Rosanne Iannotti

Gloria Mercado

Amanda O’Hara

Re DiMatteo

Frank Mckee

Lauren Hodges

Michele Polidoro

Cristina Arroliga

Nicole Ferrante

Mary Moorman

Beatrice Robles

Jennifer Coyle

Lisa Cowden

Gina Worthy

Dan Pleis

Melissa Young

Cheryl Jordan

Kelly Newman

CASA of CGS Advocates

Salem County

Gary Salber

Judy Burnett

Shirley Owens

Dawn Collins

Daniel McArdle

Jayme Hopman

Cathy Fox

Delores Rogan

Diana Rogan

Georgia Call

Leslie Dunn

Hannah Nichols

Nancy Mossop

Cathia Skinner

Kristi Popecki

CASA of CGS Advocates of the Month for FY17

January: Joanna Corsino

February: Eileen Daniels

March: Susan Kagan

April: Sandy Steedle

May: Tim Zoyac

June: Gary Salber

July: Melissa Tagye

August: Brittany Hostler

September: Michele Musick

October: Ashlie Robinson

November: Danielle Bart

December: Carl Fratz

CASA of CGS Community Sponsors

Cumberland Insurance Group

Karin Wood and the Salem County Bar Association

US Silica

Bethany Grace Community Church

Peace Love Yoga

Troop 51024 Daisies and Brownies

Marlboro Seventh Day Baptist Church

Teah Daniels, Interact Club Advisor at Hammonton High School

FEA Club at Salem County Vocational High School

SNJ Today

Fulton Bank

Century Savings Bank

Gloucester County Education Association

Cumberland County Council of Educators Association

Richwood United Methodist Knit and Crochet Ministry

Bayada, Millville

Mullica Hill Knit Club

Taralee O’Malley Hurff, “Alliteration Alphabet”

Unidos Para La Familia

Unidos Para La Familia exists to strengthen the immigrant, working-class population by providing training/support to parents to promote child well-being and stronger families through financial stability, improved resident status and the development of community leaders.

Major Accomplishments for FY17

17 students obtained their HS Diploma31 Unidos family members received a job promotion, salary increase or new job through FA services78 of our 87 families achieved at least one of their goals from their family action plan8 families are in the process of obtaining a mortgage to own a home; 1 family has purchased a home


Karen Merino

Fran Ferrara

Manuel Alejandro Gonzalez

Claudia Salcedo Bonilla

Angelica Rios Toscano

Lucia Gaytan

Juan Carlos Butron

Irene Martinez

Alejandro Ortiz

Nancy Gallardo

Jose Castaneda

Patricia Lopez

Nancy Williams

Family Advocates

Sara Echevarria

Nelly Leon Hernandez