Linda Egbert Outstanding Advocate Award
In September of 2017, CASA of New Hampshire unexpectedly lost a dear friend and outstanding advocate – Linda Egbert of North Hampton. A dependable, compassionate and a true champion for the children she worked with, Linda touched the lives of 26 children over her 10 years as an advocate. Linda was also a longtime member of our CASA Cares and Spring Fashion Show committees. Her dynamic personality and passion for CASA is deeply missed. With the generous support from Linda’s husband and family, CASA is honored to announce the creation of the Linda Egbert Outstanding Advocacy Award. The recipient exemplifies the role of the CASA volunteer – someone who has gone above and beyond in their advocacy work and made a tremendous impact in the lives of children.
2021’s Honoree: Mark Linehan
Mark Linehan is described by his program manager Shiloh Remillard as a committed, kind, hardworking, dedicated advocate. He is non-judgmental and is empathetic to the trauma in which the children he works with have been subjected to.
And he is always willing to lend a helping hand. As a Peer Coordinator for several advocates Mark offers knowledge and experience from his years of volunteer experience with CASA.
As an advocate, he provides a strong voice for the child, something he can do because of his natural talent to build relationships and a rapport with all of the children he works with. While he has done an admirable job working with children and youth of all ages, Shiloh says he has a particular talent for working with teens and always ensures that the children and youth he advocates for feel supported, heard and cared for.
Mark has been an advocate for nine years and in that time has volunteered to help 12 families with 31 children.
In his nomination, the writer shares a story about Mark’s unflagging commitment to his cases, including one particular case that involved seven children who ended up in numerous placements across two states despite having a deep connection and bond with their guardian who was trying but struggling to meet all of their needs.
“The children were aware they each had issues and they all had strong bonds with each other and their Grandfather. Mark continued to advocate for therapy for the children, education for the Grandfather, sibling visits/contact among the children and ongoing services for the family once the children were reunified,” his nomination reads. He was able to look past the dysfunction and messiness of their lives and see what was in the children’s best interest, which was staying with a family that has lots of love, with a Grandfather who better understood how to parent teenagers, as well as, ongoing support from family services to start helping the family heal from the trauma they all had experienced.”
Mark remained committed to all seven children throughout the case, driving thousands of miles, spending hundreds of hours visiting and writing court reports and emails, making sure each child’s individual voice was represented so the best outcome could be written.
In a recommendation letter to go with his nomination, one peer reflected on Mark’s dedication to this same case.
“I see the compassion that Mark has for each child as if they were his own grandchildren,” the letter says. “Each child looks forward to seeing him. Each child knows that they can speak to Mark by phone day or night. Whatever the outcome of this case, it is clear that Mark’s passion is selflessness and that it is focused on each child’s safety, permanency and well-being.”
Congratulations, Mark, on a job well done!
Congratulations to the 12 other 2020 nominees: Dianne Macon, Mary Brown, Lisa Davis, Sharon Rohlfs, Anne Ambrogi, Karen Leavitt, Mike Davis and Jeanmarie Foisie. And thank you to our esteemed panel of judges: The Hon. John Emery, Clair Cushman, Lou Catano, Stephen Egbert and 2020 Honoree Mike Laroche.