FORSYTH COUNTY — A local nonprofit that advocates for abused, neglected and foster children in Forsyth County is gearing up to honor some of its most valuable supporters and volunteers and is asking the community to help highlight them.
Court Appointed Special Advocate, or CASA, of Forsyth County honors National Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month each April by holding its annual Light of Hope ceremony.
Nominations are now open for community members to name those who have been a “light of hope” for children in the county.
The event itself, set for April 21 at 7 p.m. in the Lambert High School auditorium, is designed to raise awareness about the role the community has to support and celebrate children, said Janet Walden, executive director of CASA.
“There is no better time than April, National Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month, to celebrate and honor people who go out of their way to be the difference in a child’s life,” Walden said. “CASA advocates for children in our county who have been abused or neglected. We see firsthand, daily, what a difference one caring person can make in the life of a child.”
Maybe he’s the coach who takes time to give a compliment, an encouraging word or a high five to a withdrawn child, Walden said. Winning a game is nice, but his real goal is to build self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment in a child who might not receive any at home.
Or maybe she is the tutor who knows the pink cupcake with colored sprinkles will be just the thing to celebrate a perfect spelling test score.
Or the couple who goes out of their way to mentor the struggling third-grader at school every week and visits them on campus.
Last year’s honorees included Julie Brennan, Dianna Delaney, Amy Gamez, Kathy Goodberlet, Maureen Headrick, the late Kathy Jolly, Michelle Miltz, Cathy Morse, Adam and Whitney Rodes, Stacy and Todd Staley, and Kenya Wooden.
Nominations will be accepted until 5 p.m. on March 11.
Forms can be found online at forsythcountycasa.org or by calling (770) 886-4082.