Social Summit: Golfers from Summit County tee off for CASA |

Social Summit: Golfers from Summit County tee off for CASA

Story and photos by Carolyn Pope
Andy Lewis, former chair of CASA, and Steve Corneillier at the eighth-annual golf tournament fundraiser for CASA of the Continental Divide.
Carolyn Pope / Special to the Daily |

Cordillera Valley Club in Edwards recently hosted the eighth-annual golf tournament for CASA of the Continental Divide. Golfers from Summit and Eagle counties teed off to raise funds for a charity that does just one thing: help hurting kids.

CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate, an amazing human who stands up for abused and neglected children. They poke and prod and pry into a child’s life to peel the layers away and, to the best of their ability, make recommendations to a judge about what is in that child’s best interest, with the final outcome hopefully being a permanent, safe home.

They don’t care about being popular, or if the mother or father likes them. They stand up to bullies, question teachers, assist overworked social workers, give lawyers the lowdown and spend a whole lot of time taking a little person with no voice under their wing and caring about their future — and they do it all for no pay.

CASA covers Summit, Clear Creek, Lake and Eagle counties; that’s a big area for slightly more than 50 volunteers. In 2013, the local branch of CASA had 52 cases and served 91 children. Many more children need a strong, compassionate man or woman to be their voice in court.

Steve McKeever, current president of CASA’s board, has a personal attachment to the organization. His wife, Laura, is also an active volunteer as an advocate.

“I grew up in an orphanage in Fort Worth, the Masonic Home and School, funded by the Masonic Lodge,” McKeever said. “I grew up with nothing, but I had adults who pitched in to help me and the other kids grow up at the home. It’s always been a passion and desire for me to help kids once I had the time and the resources. Now I can.”

“Most people who come to the Colorado mountains think that abuse and neglect don’t exist,” said Kathy Reed, CASA executive director. “When we look at our numbers, it’s pretty even county to county. And we’re always short volunteers.”

Training classes begin in September, and Ross said the new format is easily accessible online, though there will be face-to-face time. Background checks and interviews also are essential. Donations are always necessary, but volunteers are the driving force behind CASA. Training takes about 30 hours, and CASAs spend around 15 hours a month on a case. Eighteen months is the minimum desired commitment to see a case through to conclusion.

If CASA might be a match for you, visit the group’s website at or call the office at (970) 513-9390.

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