Judge Alumbaugh Volunteer of the Year Award – 2020

Ellensburg, Washington (February 22, 2021) – Court Advocates for Children celebrates its 36th year as a nonprofit, providing best-interest advocacy for children in Kittitas County.  Our mission is to provide trained independent volunteers who promote and advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the justice system of Kittitas County.  Court Advocates for Children supports and promotes court appointed special advocate (CASA) volunteer advocacy so every child who has experienced abuse or neglect can be safe, have a permanent home, and the opportunity to thrive.

In becoming effective advocates, CASA volunteers become more: they become a vital part of facilitating support for children – in and outside of court.  “Each year, through the Judge Alumbaugh Volunteer of the Year Award, we honor an individual that inspires us to become better, and to do better, on behalf of the children we all serve,” said Sandra Bankston, Executive Director for Court Advocates for Children.  “Volunteers are the cornerstone of our organization and are vital in advocating for the abused and neglected children of Kittitas County.”

Each year, Court Advocates for Children honors an individual for their commitment to outstanding volunteerism and advocacy. The Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes one outstanding volunteer for their valuable and selfless commitment, dedication, and contribution to our mission & vision. 

This year the 2020 Judge Alumbaugh Volunteer of the Year Award goes to Sharon Lawrence, whose service to others is more than just a volunteer activity – it is a way of life.  In one year, Mrs. Lawrence’s dedication to providing best interest advocacy for the children she serves and commitment to the program has been tremendous.

Sharon Lawrence:  Lawrence began as a CASA in Kittitas County on August 08, 2019.  However, Mrs. Lawrence was not new to the CASA program.  She previously served as a CASA volunteer in King County for ten years. 

Lawrence chose to become a volunteer CASA in King County and continues here in Kittitas County for the opportunity to be a voice in court for the children who have experienced abuse or neglect.

It is said that all it takes is one person to make a huge difference in a child’s life”, said Lawrence.  “I don’t expect to be that person, but I try to ensure there is at least one person in the life of every one of my CASA kids that are committed to the well-being of that child.”

Mrs. Lawrence lives in Roslyn with her husband of forty years, Tom, and their ten-year-old Corgi, Minnie.  For fun Lawrence enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, remodeling a rustic log cabin, and traveling with her husband in their Road Trek camper van. 

Lawrence has successfully advocated for over thirty children in her time as a volunteer CASA. Mrs. Lawrence’s zealous advocacy for those she serves is inspiring. We are fortunate to have volunteers as committed and persistent as Sharon Lawrence. We look forward to her continued engagement in our mission. Thank you, Sharon!

Become a CASA Volunteer:  Court-appointed special advocate (CASA) volunteers make a life-changing difference for children who have experienced abuse or neglect.

Each volunteer is appointed by a judge to advocate for a child’s best interest in court. Our volunteers help judges develop a fuller picture of each child’s life. Their advocacy enables judges to make the most well-informed decision for each child.  If you are interested in becoming a CASA volunteer go to our website (www.casaprogram.org/volunteer) for more information.

About Court Advocates for Children: Court Advocates for Children for Kittitas County is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.  Court Advocates for Children is a child advocacy program currently serving 109 abused, neglected, and/ or abandoned children ages birth to eighteen years in Kittitas County. We provide trained independent volunteers who promote and advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the justice system of Kittitas County.  We envision a community that is aware of and committed to the efforts of Court Advocates to secure a safe, permanent, and loving home for abused and neglected children in Kittitas County.