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February 19, 2020 - 3:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in CASA, news, foster care, Byron-Bergen Elementary School.

Top photo, Byron-Bergen Elementary School Council members and Assistant Principal Betsy Brown packing bags at the school for donating to CASA.

Submitted photos and press release:

Byron-Bergen Elementary School students pledged to fill 100 drawstring backpacks with toys and personal items for children being placed in foster care. They had two weeks to complete the project.

“I learned that there are a lot more kids that need help than I thought,” said Byron-Bergen Elementary School Student Council President Maryn Meier. “It’s pretty cool to be helping kids who are really in need.”

On Friday, Feb. 14th, the 100th day of school, the Byron-Bergen Elementary School Student Council delivered 143 bags and several packing boxes filled with additional items to the Genesee County Court Facility in Batavia.

They were met there by Genesee County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Board Chair Barbara Hale.

“It’s overwhelming,” Hale said. “It’s more than I could possibly have imagined.”

The spring community service project is an annual event at Byron-Bergen Elementary School, traditionally aligning with the 100th Day of School celebrations.

In the past they have raised money and collected items to benefit local non-profits, charity organizations, and, last year, the Genesee County Sheriff Department’s K-9 unit.

This year’s project was introduced by Ashley Greene, executive director of CASA.

“A child going into the foster care system is not a planned event and so, quite often, children do not have the opportunity to pack their own belongings, and might show up in a foster home with just the clothes they were wearing that day,” Greene said. “This certainly can be frightening and confusing at the time for them. And what you’ll be providing them is a bit of comfort and sense of belonging.”

Hale accepted the busload of bags and boxes on behalf of CASA.

“I just know that our children are going to be so happy to get something like this from the Byron-Bergen students,” Hale said.

Below, Byron-Bergen Elementary School officers, from left, Maryn Meier, Emma Matthews, Grace Mundell and Rena Wilson.

April 20, 2018 - 11:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in CASA, news, terry hills.


Genesee County's CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) hosted a casino night fundraiser at Terry Hills this evening. The advocacy program provides legal assistance to children in the court system due to neglect or abuse.

The event was sold out.











January 28, 2015 - 4:14pm
Event Date and Time: 
March 5, 2015 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross St., Batavia is hosting a Tale Talk on Thursday, March 5 at 7:00 pm.  Ashley Hausfelder, Executive Director of Genesee County CASA for Children, will share her experience in the field of Court Appointed Special Advocates and will relate her experiences to the “Tale for Three Counties” book for 2015, We Are Called to Rise by Laura McBride.  This book is the 13th novel for the annual one-book project and carries one theme of the importance of these helpers in the justice system.  This free program does not require registration.  For information, ple

June 2, 2012 - 1:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, downtown, CASA.

Volunteers for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) walked down Main and Ellicott streets today as both a fundraiser and a chance to raise awareness about the agency's programs.

CASA provides services to children caught up in Family Court situations.

Director Ashley Hausfelder organized the event, which was sponsored by Brockport Wegmans, Target, Lucky Ducky Daycare, Floral Fantasies, Five Start Bank, Batavia Signs, Pembroke Family Medicine, T-Shirts Etc., Darien Lake Theme Park and Coffee Culture.

May 27, 2010 - 2:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in CASA, foster care.


Representatives of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and other community groups were at the courthouse this afternoon to raise awareness, in particular, of foster care programs.

CASA set up 60 cardboard life-size cutouts representing children in foster care.

Pictured below are Tara Pariso, director of CASA, and Amanda Rissinger and Mary Shaughnessy.


April 23, 2010 - 3:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Announcements, volunteers, CASA.

From Tara Pariso:

Genesee County CASA for Children, Inc. would like to thank all of its volunteer advocates. Not only is this National Volunteer Appreciation Week,  but our advocates deserve recognition all year long for their hard work,  dedication, and caring for the abused and neglected children in Genesee  County.  The work the advocates do can be stressful, heart wrenching, and  trying at times, but in the end knowing that you are advocating for a child  in need is what makes it worth it.  A huge Thank You to all of the CASA's in  Genesee County.

*In picture: Tara Pariso, Executive Director, Thelma Montreal, Deborah Davis,  Peggy Lamb, Eric Friedhaber, Linda Buzzell, and Donna Machowiak.  Not  pictured: Lisa Cochrane, Fran Moyles, Irene McNutt, Diane Mills, Marilynn  Palotti, Amanda Rissinger, Dawn Jaszko.


October 30, 2009 - 9:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, city council, election, Julie Wallace, CASA.

"The children" is a key part of the City Council campaign platform for Julie Wallace, but when it comes to her claims of serving the kids of Genesee County, there appears to be inconsistencies in her resume.

In our Oct. 15 candidates' forum in which The Batavian and WBTA interviewed Wallace, Wallace said, "I do a lot for the children. That's basically what I want to do. I want to do more for the children than anything."

She also claimed that evening that she is a volunteer for CASA, a claim repeated in her bio in the Daily News interview earlier this week.

"I do a lot of volunteering," Wallace said Oct. 15. "I volunteer for CASA."

After being tipped by a reader, The Batavian called Tara Pariso, executive director of CASA, and Pariso said Wallace has never volunteered for CASA.

CASA stands for "Court Appointed Special Advocates" and the job of volunteers is to help children in foster care.

Pariso said her predecessor, Sara Munger, had started the application process with Wallace, but Wallace never completed the interview process required for all volunteers. Pariso said Wallace was supposed to do one of the two required interviews last week, but missed her appointment. She also said volunteers require an extensive background check, checking for any criminal record, and Wallace has not yet had a background check.

Wallace today had a different story. She didn't explicitly repeat the claim to volunteer for CASA, but she did say that Munger interviewed her and cleared her for training to begin in November.

When asked if she had that in writing, she said she did not.

"I just touched base with Tara last week, since Sara had left," Wallace said. "Everything was all set to go with Sara."

Wallace was adament that she will start training in November. 

When we spoke to Pariso yesterday, she was equally adament that Wallace had done no volunteering of any kind for CASA and that she needed to be interviewed and pass a background check before she could start volunteering.

UPDATE Monday, Nov. 2, 9:42 a.m.: We just received this e-mail from Sara Munger:

As the former director for Genesee County CASA for Children I would like to   verify some misconceptions that have been shared with your readers.  I did in  fact interview a Julie Wallace near the end of my service as the Director for  CASA for Children.  At no time during the interview did I tell Ms. Wallace  that she was accepted as a volunteer for CASA, or that she would be going  through the training process as a volunteer.  When interviewing CASA  advocates it was my policy to review all of the materials after our  interview, check at least three references (by phone, or through mail) and  complete a thorough back round check on all potential candidates.  When I  interviewed Ms. Wallace I explained to her that after reviewing her  application and completing these appropriate steps, I would then contact her  to set up a time for training.  Shortly after our interview, I stepped down  from my position as the Director, and Mrs. Tara Pariso was hired as the new  CASA director.  At this time Ms. Wallace's application was handed over to  Mrs. Pariso, and the application process and background checks had not been  completed.  Ms. Wallace did contact me to follow up with the interview, and  it was explained to her that due to current circumstances, I was not able to  move forward with her application, but ensured her that I would hand over her  information to the new director.  At no time did I indicate to Ms. Wallace  that she was accepted as a CASA advocate, or indicate that she would be  training in November.

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