2014 Volunteer and Director of the Year Selected

Volunteer of the Year

Meet Mary Kay Emmrich … 2014 Indiana CASA Volunteer of the Year from Crossroads CASA (Benton, Jasper, and Newton Counties)

“Any volunteer work has a degree of value to it, and Mary Kay Emmrich’s volunteer work certainly has value to our community.  However, when someone’s actions inspire others to join the volunteer effort as well, that value grows exponentially. Mary Kay approaches her volunteer work not as if it were a burden, but rather as if she has been provided a privileged opportunity to use her talents to assist those in need. Mary Kay is a superhero to those children for whom she has advocated.”  ~Judge Jeryl Leach

Ms. Emmrich volunteers for Crossroads CASA, a multi-county program serving Benton, Jasper, and Newton Counties. She has dedicated more than 200 hours this year handling difficult cases. In one instance, she worked with a teen whose mother died. Emmrich helped organize a service and arrange for the teen to wear a dress in honor of her mother’s last request. She was nominated by her program, a fellow volunteer and two Newton County Department of Child Services case managers. Her nomination was supported by Newton Circuit Court Judge Jeryl F. Leach.

Director of the Year

Leslie Hendricks took over the Grant County CASA program five years ago and has since increased the number of volunteers and children served. She also partnered with the community to start an annual sand sculpture building fundraiser that has become a community event recognized for its creativity. Hendricks was nominated by several of her board members and by Grant County Juvenile Judge Dana Kenworthy.

Emmrich and Hendricks were recognized at the conference on Saturday, October 11 at the Wyndham Indianapolis West, at the awards luncheon. During the luncheon, a former foster youth shared his experiences. Winners of the foster youth poetry contest also received awards and read their poems. Nearly 600 volunteers and staff were registered to attend.

Noah

The keynote was presented by Noah BenShea, who is a best-selling author, poet-philosopher whose mission is “to be a source of strength to others”.

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