ProKids celebrates volunteers’ impact on foster children

ProKids Executive Director Tracy Cook, honorees Cliff Mentrup, Ann Wong and Donna Salmon, board president Tom Cuni and ProKids CASA program director Charlotte Caples

ProKids Executive Director Tracy Cook, honorees Cliff Mentrup, Ann Wong and Donna Salmon, board president Tom Cuni and ProKids CASA program director Charlotte Caples

In an evening celebrating the heart of ProKids, four volunteers were named Advocates of the Year for their service to abused and neglected children.

Phyllis L. McCallum, Cliff Mentrup, Donna Salmon and Ann Wong each received a Darlene Kamine Advocate of the Year award, presented by Kamine, a former Hamilton County Juvenile Court magistrate. They are all volunteer ProKids Court-Appointed Special Advocates who work with children in the foster care system.

ProKids board president Tom Cuni told the Fall Fling gathering at Kennedy Heights Art Center that ProKids volunteers “treat these children with dignity and kindness” they often don’t find anywhere else.

Executive director Tracy Cook announced that for the first time the number of ProKids volunteers has fsurpassed 200. The honorees, Cook said, are four among many “amazing people in our community who stand up for hurt children, who embrace reality, but don’t lose hope and who don’t believe there is such a thing as a throwaway child.”

Outcome measures for 2015 show that 99 percent of children with a ProKids CASA volunteer are free from abuse and neglect, despite the fact that foster children are a third more likely to be abused. ProKids children are also more likely to have their mental health and educational needs identified and then receive the services they require.

ProKids recruits, trains and supports community volunteers to serve as CASA volunteers.

Click on thumbnail below to view photo gallery from the event.

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