(12-21-21) CASA of Mercer County is pleased to announce that it has sworn in 9 volunteers in its inaugural swearing-in ceremony for the Mercer County Juvenile Court on December 20, 2021.  Mercer County Probate/Juvenile Court Judge Matthew L. Gilmore presided over the ceremony and sworn in the new volunteers.  Mercer County Juvenile Court Magistrate Richard M. Delzeith was present as the Court Administrator for CASA of Mercer County.  CASA of Mercer County Executive Director Nick Schulze and Coordinator of Volunteer Services Kip Wright were also present.

Please join the program in congratulating the following volunteers as Mercer County’s first set of Court Appointed Special Advocates:

  • Chuck Meyer of New Bremen, who is currently employed at Crown Equipment in New Bremen.
  • Deb Hemmelgarn of St. Henry, who is currently employed at the MED Foundation in Coldwater.
  • Nikki Hemmelgarn of Coldwater, who is currently employed as a teacher in Coldwater.
  • Beth Smalley of Celina, who is currently employed at Mercer County ESC in Celina.
  • Angela Gibbons of Celina, who is currently employed at Crown Equipment in New Bremen.
  • Lisa Post of Celina, who was formerly employed at The Ohio State Medical Center in Columbus.
  • Sandy Dieringer of Celina, who was formerly employed at Foundations Behavioral Health Services in Celina.
  • Tannar Rutschilling of Celina, who is currently employed at Crown Equipment in New Bremen.
  • Ted Bertke of Celina, who was formerly employed at Leugers Insurance in Maria Stein.

The swearing-in ceremony was the final step taken by these community members after 30 hours of pre-service training prior to being sworn in to serve as a Court Appointed Special Advocate. Training equips community volunteers with all the skills needed to advocate for children who have been abused and/or neglected.

Now, as Court Appointed Special Advocates these volunteers will be appointed to cases open in juvenile court due to abuse, neglect, and/or dependency. They are then tasked with getting to know the children, becoming familiar with their special circumstances, and then making recommendations to the Court on what is in the children’s best interest. EVERY CHILD deserves someone in their corner amplifying their voice and their story. CASA volunteers are ordinary community members that make an extraordinary difference in the lives of children.

CASA of Mercer County is now accepting applications for its next training. They would love to talk to you about this new and impactful volunteer experience. If you would like to learn more about how you can make a difference in the lives of children in your county, check out CASA of Mercer County at www.mercercountycasa.org or on Facebook.