Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of the Heartland volunteer Vicki Schmidt received the Bob Babbage Volunteer of the Year award from the Kentucky CASA Network during the organization’s annual conference in Lexington on Oct. 4. Judges, volunteers and program staff from across the Commonwealth nominated the award winners for their excellent work to advance the CASA mission.
Schmidt has served as a volunteer advocate for CASA of the Heartland for over 13 years, and since swearing in as a volunteer, she has served 26 children on 10 different cases. She has also logged over 150 hours of continuing education since becoming a volunteer.
Schmidt's dedication to CASA of the Heartland, both through her family's personal contributions and her involvement with the Schmidt Family Foundation, has successfully raised funds for the organization throughout her tenure as a volunteer.
“I’m deeply honored to receive this recognition,” Schmidt said. “Over the past 13 years, the mission of CASA of the Heartland has become a chief pursuit in my life because it is a mission that is truly valuable to our community. I remain committed to volunteering and advocating for this wonderful organization for the benefit of area children.”
In addition to her volunteer and fundraising efforts, Schmidt has assisted with recruitment of community advocates by being involved in the interview process, has been involved in marketing videos and has frequently been involved with conferences, panels and networking events for the benefit of CASA of the Heartland.
“Vicki’s commitment to CASA of the Heartland is truly exceptional,” said Rose Harris, Chair Emeritus of the CASA of the Heartland Board of Directors. “Her dedication and involvement in various aspects of the organization, from recruitment to advocacy, have been invaluable to our cause.”
CASA of the Heartland Executive Director Michelle Kail said Schmidt is not only instrumental in advocating for children, but she also often makes herself available to help guide and mentor newly-trained volunteers.
“Vicki is not only an outstanding advocate for children but also a source of inspiration for our volunteers and staff,” Kail said. “Her willingness to mentor and guide newcomers is a testament to her passion for our mission. We are so fortunate to have her on our team.