CASA Volunteer of the Year

Each year, the YLD selects a Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) volunteer from nominations made by Tennessee's local CASA agencies. The award recognizes a volunteer who goes the extra mile in his or her work with children in the state. The winner is honored at a dinner in January and presented with a cash award. The volunteer's local agency also receives a cash award.

CASA volunteers are appointed by the courts to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children and to ensure they do not get lost in the legal system or languish in an inappropriate group or foster home. YLD members also provide other services to CASA agencies in the state, including serving on agency boards, providing training for volunteers and offering pro bono legal services.

Past Award Recipients

2005
Regina Saffel, Jackson
Madison County CASA
Learn more about Ms. Saffel

2006
Suzanne Harrison, Nashville
CASA, Inc. of Davidson County
Learn more about Ms. Harrison

2007
Toni New, Kingsport
CASA for Kids Inc.
Learn more about Ms. New

2008
Don Merzlak, Mosheim
CASA of Northeast Tennessee
Learn more about Mr. Merzlak

2009
Tony Janco, Gallatin
Sumner County CASA
Learn more about Mr. Janco


2010
Daniel Rowland, Johnson City
CASA of Northeast Tennessee
Learn more about Mr. Rowland

2011
Paul Hughes, Fall Branch
CASA for Kids Inc.
Learn more about Mr. Hughes

2012
Raymond M. Wood, Manchester
CASA Works Inc.
Learn more about Mr. Wood

2013
Dale Hedges, Clinton
CASA of the Tennessee Heartland
Learn more about Mr. Hedges

2014
Jack McNew, Harriman
CASA of the Ninth Judicial District
Learn more about Mr. McNew

2015 Award

The Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyer's Division will announce the nomination process for the 2015 CASA Volunteer of the Year Award in October 2014. Please encourage your local CASA directors to nominate a hard-working volunteer from their organization for this statewide recognition. For more information contact Katrina Atchley Arbogast.

10 Year Anniversary

The CASA Volunteer of the Year Award marked its 10-year anniversary in 2014. A commemorative video featuring past award winners was developed by Katrina Atchley Arbogast and the staff at Tennessee CASA. Watch it on YouTube.