At left, newly sworn Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Jill Lesperance is congratulated by 7th Judicial District Court Judge James Schum and CASA of the 7th Judicial District Montrose County volunteer coordinator Alma Buis. CASA recruits, screens, trains, and supports volunteers who represent the best interests of abused and neglected children in the courtroom and other settings. Under the direction of the presiding judge, formally trained CASA volunteers participate as independent child advocates and formalize their observations and recommendations in written reports used by the courts to assist in the complex and difficult decision-making process directly affecting the child or youth. Becoming a CASA volunteer is a powerful way for concerned citizens to make a difference in their communities. To learn more about CASA and its mission and child advocacy efforts, call 249-0337.