In two Warren County Professionals Give Back events, the Snell Family Foundation has raised over $20,000. At Wednesday’s event held at Bent Run Brewing, the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Warren and Forest Counties were the recipients of a $10,015 check.
See the initial donation amount revealed:
“I’m so grateful,” said CASA Director Melissa Sproveri. “There’s just really no words right now. I wasn’t expecting a lot. Anything over zero dollars I’m grateful for because we’re non-profit, but this just absolutely blew me away.”
See Sproveri’s comments at the event:
CASA of Warren and Forest Counties, led initially by Lisa Thompson as Director for 15 years before retirement, began in 2004 and is a non-profit organization. The vision of CASA is to continue to give a voice to abused children within the juvenile court system and become a local leader in advocacy by recruiting volunteers and educating the public as to the scope and availability of the service for the protection of children. Sproveri was not only grateful for the donation but also for the awareness that the event allows.
“Anything that can get our name out there to let people have a better understanding,” said Sproveri. “Any publicity, especially this big stuff, not only does the financial aspect make a huge impact but also getting people to be aware of what goes on in your community. It’s easy to sweep things under the rug if it’s not in your face, but child abuse, neglect, maltreatment, all of that happens right here.”
Snell Family Foundation’s Jeremy Snell also serves on the Advisory Committee for CASA, so selecting the organization as the next beneficiary of one of his foundation’s events was an easy decision to make.
“I got involved with CASA a couple years ago, and ever since then, seeing the funding that they need to stay alive,” said Snell. “CASA is near and dear to my heart. They give a child a voice. CASA, it’s all volunteers. They go in and they’ll actually go in and interview the teachers, the families. I couldn’t imagine being a child, an eight-year-old kid, and having to possibly face your own parents in court. And to think there’s angels on earth that represent CASA and give that child a voice, that’s what’s near and dear.”
See Snell’s address during the event:
“I am super grateful Jeremy is on my advisory committee,” said Sproveri of Snell. “They genuinely believe in the mission and everything that we are doing for our community and the children that we serve. They stand behind it.”
CASA of Warren and Forest Counties is one of 21 Pennsylvania CASA programs. Sproveri, a Warren County native also works as a Social Emotional Learning Counselor for Warren County School District’s 21st Century Program and understands the benefit of having small close communities to lean on for support.
“We have a lot of support,” said Sproveri. “As you can see by being here. It’s just an amazing opportunity that we are being given for this particular event, and all of the events that we are able to have and whenever the community reaches out to support us.”
Sproveri noted that CASA requires more than just funding and education. The volunteers are what keep the organization a continuing success.
“Everybody who is part of CASA in one shape or another, everybody’s voice matters, but it’s really the volunteers who go through the training, they have background clearances, they have interviews,” said Sproveri. “They go through a 30-hour training, and then they spend ten to 15 hours a month after the training to be able to advocate for the best interest advocacy for the children.”
CASA relies solely on donations and community foundation as well as varying grants, including a newly acquired Pennsylvania state grant that allowed the addition of a new staff member, Youngsville graduate Megan Grady, as Advocate Supervisor.
“That will help increase the number of volunteers we have which at the end of the day is what increases the number of children we have at CASA,” said Sproveri.
The Snell Family Foundation’s second event was not a solo act, as Snell gave a lot of credit to his wife and co-founder Jacqueline, his brothers, as well as Tessa Card, for making sure the event went off without a hitch.
“She’s been there to support me,” Snell said of his wife. “Even more so, the whole family kind of stepped up for this second one. Tessa, my brothers, were all there to help carry me through it. Having that community is what made this second event possible.”
Anyone interested in getting involved with CASA can visit their website at www.casaofwarrenandforest.org for more information.