CASA of Westmoreland is a volunteer-based organization providing a voice in the courts on behalf of abused and neglected children in Westmoreland County. The recommendations of these volunteers assist the courts in determining the child’s placement in safe, permanent and nurturing homes. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and is a critical time for us to help grow awareness and donations to help these children in our community, so we appreciate the chance to share our mission with you during this month.
CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates and our organization was initiated by a group of community members, led by Family Court Judge Christopher Feliciani, who recognized the need for a CASA program to advocate for the most vulnerable members of Westmoreland County’s community. Judge Feliciani believed that CASA would be the best solution for the then 330 children living in foster care due to severe abuse and/or neglect. This initiative led to the appointment of a steering committee, and then a Board of Directors. With support from the Westmoreland County Commissioners and many community members, we were incorporated in 2006 and recognized as a 501 (c) 3 organization, and opened its doors to start advocating for children in 2007. We are now one of 950 CASA programs located around the country.
Being a Chamber member provides an organization such as ours with the opportunity to create and develop new partnerships and relationships. Our ability to serve the community is based on bringing new sponsors, donors and Advocate Volunteers into our organization. We support our Advocate Volunteers through a series of seasonal campaigns (such as our current Spring Appeal this month) as well as three special events – our annual Golf & Tennis Tournament (August), Leadership Breakfast (September) and Fall Gala (November). We invite any and all chamber members who would like to support our Spring Appeal campaign or our special events to contact us regarding donation, sponsorship and engagement opportunities. The Greater Latrobe Laurel Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce has been tremendously supportive of CASA and we believe membership is essential to any business or organization in Westmoreland County that wishes to grow and thrive.