Assemblymember Gray Honors CASA of Merced County as the Nonprofit of the Year in Sacramento

Thursday, June 7, 2018


For Immediate Release: June 7, 2018
Contact: Adam Capper (916) 319-2021

CASA of Merced County Honorees 6.6.18

Assemblymember Gray Honors CASA of Merced County as the Nonprofit of the Year in Sacramento

Sacramento – Assemblymember Adam Gray was pleased to honor the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Merced County as the 2018 California Nonprofit of the Year from his Assembly District at California Nonprofits Day at the Capitol.

Cathie Lancaster, Executive Director, Nancy Young-Bergman, Founding President, and Bette Woolstenhulme, former Board President, traveled to Sacramento to join with one hundred other nonprofit leaders to be honored by their state Senators and Assemblymembers during a celebration luncheon as part of the 2018 California Nonprofits Day.

“CASA volunteers are often the key element in improving the lives and future of children in the Dependency Court System,” according to Assemblymember Gray. “What these generous and caring members of our community do for some of our most vulnerable children cannot be overstated.”

Founded in September 2010, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Merced County is dedicated to providing quality intervention and advocacy services for abused, abandoned, and neglected children. CASA is seen nationally as a positive solution to the high volume of dependency cases, and Merced County faces one of the highest caseloads per capita in the state. CASA provides important information to the Court in order to assist the judge in making the life-changing decisions that he must make.

“Children in Merced County need our protection,” said Cathie Lancaster. “Almost 5,600 reports of child abuse or neglect in Merced County are recorded annually. As of 2017, the number of children in foster care was over 500. Many of these children are no longer able to be returned to their parents in hopes of reunification and are waiting adoption or being placed in permanent foster homes.”

California Nonprofits Day, now in its third year, was formally recognized by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 191, authored by the chair of the Assembly Select Committee on the Nonprofit Sector, Assemblywoman Monique Limon (Santa Barbara), who spoke at the celebration luncheon.  The day is organized by Assemblymember Limon and CalNonprofits.

According to “Causes Count,” a 2016 report commissioned by CalNonprofits, the nonprofit sector is the 4th largest industry in the state, employing nearly one million people. Each year, California nonprofits generate over $200 billion in revenue and bring in $40 billion in revenue from outside of California. The unpaid labor contributed by volunteers at nonprofits is equivalent to 450,000 full-time jobs every year.