Project ATTAIN Trainings

2022 Director’s Award: Senator Hassan and Senator Shaheen

The Director’s Award is given to an individual (or individuals) who has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to supporting and promoting CASA of New Hampshire. It recognizes those who have had significant and far-reaching impact in regard to advancing CASA of NH’s work on a variety of levels.

2022 Honorees: Senator Maggie Hassan and Senator Jeanne Shaheen

CASA of NH is proud to present the inaugural Director’s Award to Sen. Maggie Hassan and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, as both have demonstrated a longstanding commitment to New Hampshire’s children. Throughout their careers, from their tenure as governors to their current roles in the U.S. Senate, Sens. Hassan and Shaheen have time and again shown their support for CASA of New Hampshire and the children we serve. From Sen. Shaheen’s resolution to designate June 6 as CASA/GAL Volunteers’ Day to her work this past summer to secure $89 million for key projects in the state, which included funding for CASA of New Hampshire, she has helped CASA of New Hampshire grow as well as bring awareness to our mission. Sen. Hassan has long supported legislation and policies that support children and families, and has recognized CASA’s work in person. Speaking in 2015, then-NH Gov. Hassan said, “CASA of New Hampshire helps ensure, truly, that our most vulnerable have the right to be safe, and to be treated with dignity, and to learn and to grow in a caring and permanent and loving family. […] They [CASA of New Hampshire] are a critical partner to our child advocacy and welfare system in our state, and we need each and every Granite Stater to think about these kids each and every day.” Sen. Hassan has also advocated at the national level to ensure CASA continues to receive funding via the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA).

 

2022 Judicial Service Award: Master Thomas Cooper

In the 30 years since two New Hampshire judges took a chance on a program that promised advocacy for children by highly trained volunteers, CASA of New Hampshire has advocated for more than 10,000 children. At the heart of every one of those cases has been a judge with a life-altering decision to make. CASA of New Hampshire would not be where it is today without the support of judges all around the state who believe in the work our volunteers do and who continue to support our mission. CASA of New Hampshire’s Judge of the Year award is given annually to a judge whose outstanding contributions exemplify CASA’s mission to protect the best interest of the child and whose support helps to promote the success of the CASA/GAL volunteer program.

2022 Honoree: Master Thomas Cooper

Considerate, engaged, respectful, fair, measured — these are some of the words that come to mind when thinking about Master Thomas Cooper. He is all these things to all parties who appear before him in his courtroom. Above all, though, he always keeps the perspective of the child front and center. His decisions reflect what he believes to be best for the child after weighing the interests of all involved. Master Cooper encourages parents who might be struggling, respectfully holds parties accountable when necessary, and asks questions to better understand the challenges. Master Cooper is relatable and patient with our youth who appear before him. He easily engages with youth and puts them at ease when he meets with them. Master Cooper has always been very respectful of CASA and truly values CASA’s role in the cases before him.

— Tessa Dyer, IT Specialist and Lisa Cioffi, Program Manager

In 2021, Master Cooper was awarded the Justice William Grimes Award for Judicial Professionalism by the New Hampshire Bar Association. He has served as a Marital Master for the State of NH Judicial Branch since 2008.

2022 Community Partner Award: Kurt and Sue Mathias

Our Community Partner Award highlights CASA’s valuable community partners for their support, engagement and resources that they have contributed to furthering the mission of the work we do. CASA recognizes that we have broad and deep support from the New Hampshire community but we seek to acknowledge those people and companies who have gone above and beyond.

2022 Honorees: Kurt and Sue Mathias

After 22 years, Kurt and Sue Mathias made the “bittersweet” decision to sell Boston Billiard Club & Casino in Nashua. CASA of New Hampshire would like to recognize Kurt and Sue’s generosity over the years, which includes — but is certainly not limited to — selecting CASA of New Hampshire in 2017 as one of their nonprofits of choice to receive charitable gaming funds. Since then, their decision to choose CASA of New Hampshire has resulted in a tremendous impact, significantly helping us serve more children throughout the state. They are committed supporters of CASA in many other ways, donating both time and resources to CASA Cares, including the popular “lunch with the Governor” live auction item at this year’s event in May. We are grateful for their generous support and are honored to present them with this award — they are true community partners.

2022 John McDermott Champion of Children Award: Carol Goldstein

John McDermott was a man whose life was committed to changing the future for New Hampshire’s youth. He spent his entire career in law enforcement and juvenile justice working diligently to improve the lives of children. John knew and believed the committed work of one or many could, and would, change the course of events and impact generations to come. John McDermott’s life was an example of how relentless advocacy can move mountains and turn the thinking of a single child in need around. The John McDermott Champion of Children Award is an annual award that celebrates the work of one person whose tireless advocacy has influenced the lives of many.

2022 Honoree: Carol Goldstein

Carol served as the juvenile clerk in the Nashua family court for 30 years before her well-deserved retirement this year. From the start, Carol has been a huge supporter of CASA of New Hampshire. She always took the time to meet and get to know each CASA volunteer, and would help by reaching out to CASA if a court report was late, or to facilitate in scheduling judges to speak at trainings and events. She is always in attendance at the CASA Cares gala, annual meetings, and important gatherings. Carol is incredibly committed to the philosophy of family reunification. In the courthouse, her vast knowledge and experience were invaluable to parents and children. Carol did a tremendous job of building a rapport and explaining court proceedings to them. Carol is lively, energetic, and one of the hardest workers CASA knows. She has  always been CASA’s go-to person; an enthusiastic, reliable, and unwavering Champion of Children.

— Bernadette Melton-Plante, Program Director

Past honorees:

2021 – Lou Catano
2020 –Sylvia Gale (Posthumous)
2019 – Judge Willard “Bud” Martin
2018 – Governor Christopher Sununu
2017 – Gail Snow
2016 – Sue Meagher
2015 – Kristi Lamont
2014 – Ann Larney
2013 – Sandra Matheson

 

2022 Linda Egbert Outstanding Advocacy Award: Jeanmarie Foisie

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.

2022’s Honoree: Jeanmarie Foisie

Jeanmarie Foisie has been a CASA advocate since 2013. In that time, she has tirelessly advocated for 15 CASA kids, volunteering approximately 2,400 hours, driving more than 19,000 miles, and making 369 visits. Jeanmarie is a strong and committed advocate who undertakes her work as a CASA with uncompromising respect for everyone involved in her cases, especially her CASA children. Through her dedicated advocacy, Jeanmarie is able to make connections with the children for whom she advocates, as well as the parties and service providers on her cases, resulting in better decision making and better outcomes for her CASA kids. She truly understands the role of a CASA, because her objective in every interaction is to achieve the best interests of the children for whom she works so diligently. Jeanmarie’s unwavering commitment to achieving successful outcomes is inspiring to everyone she encounters. Jeanmarie embodies all of the best qualities of a CASA advocate, and we are honored by her dedication to improving the lives of New Hampshire’s children.

Congratulations to all the 2022 nominees: John Rozek, Dianne Macon, Kurt Hastings, Jan Bettencourt, Lucy Weber, Rich Gibadlo, Jennifer Green, and Mary Brown

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Summer Training Series

The CASA training team will be offering three different trainings this summer. Each training will be offered on two different dates/times. 

Trauma and Shame
Wednesday, June 8, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. OR Monday, August 8, 9-11 a.m.

This training was offered at the 2021 AG’s Conference. The focus is on understanding how shame is developed as a result of trauma and what can we do as a CASA to assist in reducing shame. Simple yet profound.

What Can “I” Do?
Friday, June 24, 9-11 a.m. OR Wednesday, July 27, 4-6 p.m.
This training was previously offered to the North Country Support group. As a CASA, we often can be frustrated with the system and/or lack of progress by parents. This training is geared towards you if and when you feel frustrated on a case. 

Gender Fluidity-Lived Experience
Wednesday, July 13, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. OR Monday, August 22, 4-6 p.m. 

This training will incorporate individuals who live with gender fluidity and/or gender identity. It will help us understand what our kids with gender fluidity need from their CASA. Come with openness to learn how we can advocate for Best Interest for our gender fluid children/youth. 

The Zoom link below will be used for each of these trainings.
(Meeting ID: 871 8635 0291 & Passcode: 816106) 
 

A Driving Force for Good: Cars for CASA

In 2016, Nancy Phillips, the founder and owner of Nancy Phillips Associates, an auto dealership brokerage agency, founded Cars for CASA. This partnership of automobile industry colleagues financially supported CASA’s largest fundraising event, CASA Cares, for many years. Sheree Kaplan-Allen, president and owner of Kaplan Auto Group, is one of the dedicated members of Cars for CASA.

Sheree first learned about CASA after buying Milford Suburu through Nancy Phillips. Nancy asked if she wanted to attend CASA’s annual fundraising gala and be a part of her charitable organization, Cars for CASA.

The importance of CASA’s mission was evident to Sheree. “There are many children and youth who are in abusive and neglected homes who need an advocate. This often means being ‘heard’ in court and finding a good home where they can feel safe, loved and are nurtured. CASA and its volunteers work tirelessly and selflessly to help each child that they can, in every way possible,” she explains.

The Kaplan Auto Group, which includes Milford Suburu, Mercedes-Benz of Portsmouth, and Rochester Toyota, is committed to giving back.  “It’s very important to all of us at Jake Kaplans’ to give to the communities in which we live and work,” Sheree adds.

Most recently Nancy Phillips and her team raised over $170,000 for CASA. We are exceptionally grateful for their dedication to CASA’s mission.

Dan Dagesse – DCD Automotive Holdings
Dan Enxing – Volvo Cars Exeter
David Rosenberg – Canobie Lake Toyota
Bob Macdonald – Bernstein Shur
Nancy Phillips – Nancy Phillips Associates
Johanna Cicotte – Third Time/Cicotte Automotive Company
John Loschiavo – Lebanon Ford
Sheree Kaplan-Allen – Mercedes-Benz of Portsmouth
Anthony DiLorenzo – Key Auto Group

The Meyers Family

Donor Spotlight: Larry and Hilary Meyers

The Meyers FamilyLarry and Hilary Meyers, along with their amazing family, have been supporters and friends of CASA for many years. Their son Seth (who you may have heard of) has donated two tickets to his show, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and a virtual “Happy Half Hour with Seth” to the CASA Cares live auction, helping the organization to raise thousands of dollars for our advocacy work on behalf of children experiencing abuse and neglect. We are thrilled that Seth will be donating a virtual happy hour again this year at CASA Cares on May 6th, in addition to donating personalized signed copies of his newly released children’s book, I’m Not Scared, You’re Scared.

In a recent interview with CASA staff, Larry shared more about his and Hilary’s dedication to CASA’s mission.

How did you and Hilary first hear about CASA?   

I am not sure exactly when I first heard about CASA. It could have been at the CASA golf event, but my wife Hilary was certainly well aware of CASA from her years as a teacher in the Bedford school system.

Why is CASA important to you?   

There are many worthy causes, but even though our sons are grown and have long been out of the house, I don’t think as a parent one ever forgets what it was like to have children at home. For Hilary and I, as well as our sons Seth and Josh, the years when the boys were at home were joyful times. Knowing that every child does not have that same experience is heartbreaking. The CASA volunteers are a truly valuable part of the support system for children under court supervision. A CASA volunteer, not part of the court system or state’s child welfare apparatus, can take time to get to know “their child” on a one-on-one basis, in some cases over many months or years, and they can offer the court an invaluable perspective to assist in crafting an outcome that is the in the best interest of the given child.

I have met several CASA volunteers, many of whom I knew socially, and to a person they relate how fulfilling the experience as a volunteer has been. Many have worked with more than one child. I am not a CASA volunteer. While I have the empathy, I am also impatient by nature. I would just want to “fix” the situation, and the situations of the CASA kids are not simple or easily fixed. So instead, I try to support CASA financially or any other way that I can.

You are so involved in the community/other organizations. Can you share some of your wonderful partnerships?

While CASA deals with abused and neglected children under supervision of the civil courts, the Child Advocacy Centers of New Hampshire deal with victims of child abuse in New Hampshire through centers that bring together law enforcement, counseling and other professional services under a single roof to compassionately help heal and sustain the victims of abuse while interfacing with law enforcement to punish the abusers. CAC and CASA deal with many of the same issues and occasionally the same kids.

What is something that you did not know about CASA until you became more involved?

The huge number of abused and neglected kids in a state the size of New Hampshire was shocking. In 2021, CASA served 1412 children. If you think child abuse and neglect is a problem that can’t happen here….well it does happen here, and New Hampshire is fortunate that CASA exists to deal with the result.

What would you like people to know about our mission/programs/impact?

CASA wants to provide advocacy services for 100% of New Hampshire’s abused and neglected children. They are the vehicle that insures that the child’s voice is heard as the kids navigate what must be an overwhelming and confusing engagement with the court system. CASA works to coordinate with all of the public and private child welfare agencies in the state to deliver the best outcomes for the kids they serve.

 

We would like to thank Larry, Hilary, Seth and Josh for their unwavering commitment to New Hampshire’s children.