MRPC News Release

For Immediate Release:
April 29, 2016

Bonnie Prigge or Roxie Murphy, MRPC, at 573-265-2993

CASA volunteers and supporters pose for a picture with Rolla Mayor Lou Magdits after the signing of a proclamation in support of CASA.

Judge Mark Calvert swears in new CASA volunteers.

CASA of South Central Missouri hopes to raise $7,500 during
Give Ozarks Day
Online donations being accepted on Give Ozarks day on May 3

Give Ozarks is a 24-hour online day of giving on May 3, 2016. Six Phelps County nonprofits—CASA of South Central Missouri, ABLE Senior Center, Ozark Actors Theatre (OAT), The Community Partnership, The Kaleidoscope Discovery Center and Rolla Nutrition Site––are participating in this event that is coordinated by the Community Foundation of the Ozarks. This is series to learn more about Give Ozarks and how these groups will use the funds raised. CASA of South Central Missouri’s “Child Advocacy” project is the fourth to be featured. To make a donation on May 3, go to and locate your agencies of choice.

ST. JAMES—Give Ozarks is a one-day online fundraising event for agency partners of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks. Using the power of the Cause Momentum crowd-funding website, nonprofits from across southern Missouri will have the chance to raise funds, compete for matches and prizes, and be a part of a one-day surge in generosity across the state. Give Ozarks is scheduled for Tuesday, May 3, 2016.

CASA of South Central Missouri, located at 1701 N. Bishop Ave., Suite 1, Rolla, has chosen to participate in the Give Ozarks 24-hour online fundraising initiative this year to help cover costs associated with recruiting new court advocates and pairing them with children.

“Protecting our most precious resources, the children, is of utmost importance as they find their safe, permanent homes,” said CASA Executive Director Judy Waters.

Through CASA, a child is paired with a trained, court-appointed volunteer who meets with the child and provides information to the judge for consideration when ruling on the case involving the child.

Last year, more than 390 children in the region’s judicial circuit were in the court system. Sadly, CASA could only serve 167 of those children. A large majority of those underserved children were located in Pulaski and Maries counties.

As the group continues to work to meet the needs of all children in the area, they have hired additional staff and acquired office space for a new volunteer coordinator and an outreach coordinator in the Pulaski Courthouse. This planned expansion is going to require a tremendous amount of additional funding in order to facilitate services for at least 40 new cases in 2016-17.

In 2015, it cost an average of $926 to advocate for a child. It is CASA’s desire to be able to serve all the children in the local circuit court district.

“We are asking the members of our community to come together and help us reach the first step in accomplishing this goal, which is to raise at least $7,500 through Give Ozarks that will help give eight more children the opportunity to have a loving adult in their life,” Waters said.

In order to fully protect the children served by the CASA program and to ensure those advocates are well suited for this important assignment, CASA utilizes a high-quality standard of background screening. The cost of recruiting and training 25 new volunteers to serve those new projected cases is going to be tremendous. There will also be additional on-going cost for mileage so the CASA volunteer can be with the children while they are going through the entire judicial circuit process.

“Funds will also be used for expansion recruitment, fliers and to help finance the insurance and fuel for a car,” said Janece Martin of CASA of South Central Missouri.

CASA of South Central Missouri volunteers are requesting donations to continue advocating for the children. Visit to learn more or contact the CASA office at 573-4265437, email or visit their website at

Other nonprofits in the Meramec Region who are participating in Give Ozarks include the Bonebrake Center and Riverways Pregnancy and Family Resource Center, both in Salem; Bourbon Boosters Club, Cuba All Aboard Learning Center, Osage Trail Legacy and Steelville Ministerial Alliance Food Pantry, all in Crawford County; Missouri Rock Island Trail and Missouri Rock Island Trail-Owensville, both in the Owensville area.

May 3 is Give Local America Day when community foundations across the country will be holding similar online fundraising events to boost resources for their local nonprofits encourage new donors and raise awareness of philanthropy in general. Online giving days, a growing movement in the philanthropy field, have raised millions of dollars for nonprofit organizations over the past six years.

Meramec Regional Community Foundation(MRCF), chaired by Rolla banker Wayne Parry, is promoting Give Ozarks. MRCF is an affiliate of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks (CFO), which is hosting Give Ozarks with presenting sponsor BKD Wealth Advisors and platinum sponsors The Musgrave Foundation, The Commerce Trust Co./Coover Charitable Foundation and Ron and Janice Penney. The CFO is a regional public charitable foundation, founded in 1973, which includes 45 affiliate foundations and nearly 600 nonprofit partners and schools.

Give Ozarks nonprofits will be eligible for a number of prizes, based on their success raising funds and also the number of supporters who make online donations on May 3.

PHOTO 1 Volunteers: CASA volunteers and supporters pose for a picture with Rolla Mayor Lou Magdits after the signing of a proclamation in support of CASA.

PHOTO 2: Judge Mark Calvert swears in new CASA volunteers.

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