News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Letters

April 21, 2014

Readers’ Forum: April 22, 2014

Volunteer to help a child

April is National Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness month. Vigo County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) reminds the Wabash Valley community of our collective responsibility that will impact the safety and well-being of all of our children.

The Wabash Valley is blessed by having many services and programs available to assist families. It takes the entire community to step up to protect its most vulnerable asset, our children.

CASA is a unique program that provides a voice for abused and neglected children once a case enters the juvenile court system as CHINS (Children in Need of Services). In 2013, the CASA program served over 600 children alone. The juvenile court system is not intended nor designed to raise the children of the Wabash Valley, but to intervene when parents or caregivers cannot provide for children’s safety or basic needs. The CASA volunteer is there to assist the court to help determine the best, safest, permanent solution for these children.

A CASA volunteer is appointed by a judge to prevent possible further harm to the child and goes through a 35-hour pre-service training to speak up for what is in the child’s best interest. Unfortunately, our wait list hovers between 80 and 90 children waiting for a voice in court. Vigo County CASA recently started its second training class of the year. This quarter alone, we have seen 82 new CHINS children coming into the system through no fault of their own.

Each and every child has the right to live in a safe, nurturing environment and deserves to have an opportunity to live an enriched life. Our community came together on April 8 on the courthouse lawn to bring awareness to this issue with many supporting agencies there with information about their agency. We heard from Magistrate Kelly, Raeanna Moore from the prosecutor’s office and listened to two success stories from children who have gone through the system. We planted a pinwheel garden, and the Marine Corps League led us in the Pledge. Ms. Moore led us in the lighting of the candles. It was a very inspiring evening.

This is one of example of the community coming together to bring awareness to the Wabash Valley. While no one can do everything, everyone can do something, and together we can do anything for our children. If the CASA program is not the right fit for you, then there are other opportunities for you to help a child such as mentoring, foster grandparenting, foster parenting, volunteering at a local school or just helping a neighbor in need.

Child abuse prevention and awareness is ongoing here at the CASA office, not just during the month of April. Please consider helping a child. You could be the missing link in a child’s life, and state along with other CASA volunteers, “I am for the child.”

Please contact us at 812-231-5658 to arrange a speaking engagement, to receive information about volunteering or visit our website at www.vigocounty

casa.com if you would like to volunteer your time to help a child.

— Nikki Fuhrmeister, director Vigo County CASA

Very successful WDC Style Show

There are many people to thank for the success of the Woman’s Department Club “Rainbow Colors in Spring Fashions” Style Show.

First we must thank the personnel of the Country Club of Terre Haute for providing a lovely venue and delicious luncheon for the past 10 years.

We are very grateful to Macy’s for providing the beautiful spring fashions and to its associate, Cindy Whitlock, who was the emcee for the style show. We are very appreciative of the associates who helped the models select their fashions. Macy’s also furnished several merchandise coupons and a very significant gift card, which is always a crowd pleaser.

Again this year we had a very lovely group of models. From the Junior Department of the WDC the models were Madeline Howes, Holly Osburn and Elizabeth Payne. Models from the Senior Departments were Megan Finch, Rebecca Doti, Jane Ann Heaton, Frederica Kramer and Majel Wells. Our celebrity models were Honorable Mayor Duke Bennett and his wife Pam, Sydney Benter, Gary Greiner, Lindsey Monroe, Nikki Wessley and Sally Whitehurst. Thanks to all the models for brightening our afternoon.

Thanks to all the people who purchased raffle tickets, as four people were very happy who won monetary prizes.

The sweet shop, boutique and silent auction were very successful,  and we thank all the merchants and individual who donated items.

A tremendous aspect of the success is due to our sponsors who were Mr. and Mrs. Kash Ahmadi, Dr. and Mrs. Jeff Bollenbacher, Carolyn Whitcomb, Jeffries, David and Jerry Mitchell, Joyce Oehler, Delores Petit, Gus and Joy Sacopulos, Ruth Ann Tooloose, Ellis Law Firm, Duke Energy, Lucille Turner, Riddell National Bank, Sackrider & Co., Templeton Coal, Terre Haute Savings Bank, Marjorie and John Newlin and Sally Newlin, Westminster Village, Greiner Funeral Home, Gary Nees and an anonymous sponsor. We thank all of you for your support.  We also had donations from Eric M. Abel, Abel Law, Jerry Clafton, Jean Eyster and Patty Williams.

A heartfelt thank you to the chairpersons of the event, Carol Goy and Jean Eyster, and all of the hard-working committee members.

Lastly we thank all the guests who attended, as your support will enable the WDC to provide a graduating Junior Department girl with a scholarship, make contributions to the many nonprofit organizations of the community and maintain our historic clubhouse.

For membership information, call 812-533-2463 and leave a message.

— Ruth Ann Tooloose, Terre Haute

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