Out & About: CASA of Westmoreland Inc. Leadership Breakfast honors those who help children
It's hard to escape with dry eyes from a CASA of Westmoreland Inc. Leadership Breakfast.
There are always stories of children saved from lives of abuse and neglect, and the Court Appointed Special Advocates who help them navigate the court system.
At the 10th annual event, held April 27 at Word of Life Ministries in Hempfield, a young man told his own story.
Though Seton Hill University junior Victorious Collymore-Bey didn't go through the CASA program, he had help from a caseworker in Connecticut and from his aunt and uncle, Tammy and Guy Goss, whom he calls mom and dad.
The waterworks really started when the appropriately named musical theater major sang “Wind Beneath My Wings” in their honor.
Also on the program was the bestowing of the Chip Funari Volunteer of the Year Award on Nancy Gibson, and 10-year service awards to volunteers Dale Show, Jeanne Cerces, Mary Lou Hugus, Christine Bennett, Diane Hartland and Donna Cheswick.
Melissa Paravate, a Greensburg Salem High School senior who has more than 1,000 volunteer hours during her high school career, received the Christopher Feliciani Youth Leadership Award from the award's namesake Westmoreland County Court of Common Pleas judge.
Seen in the record breakfast crowd of more than 350 were CASA staffers Mandy Zalich, Carol Palcic, Mitchell Samick, Janelle Mathe, Kelly Jellison and Melissa Verellen; and board members Michael Quatrini, Suzanne Ward and Christine Mohler-King.
Also: Joseph Shearer, Pastor Elaine Frantz, Josie Funari, Barbara Ferrier, Mike Ward, Pastor Tom Walters, Rosine Dull, John and Malinda Sherid, Terry Graft, Dirk Matson, Caleb Crousey, Ken Ficerai and Shara Saveikis.