2020 Celebrate Kids! award winners

For more than 25 years, Ohio CASA has had the honor of celebrating advocates who go above and beyond for children. Our annual awards recognize both new and experienced CASA Volunteers, social workers, attorneys, and state leaders. Past winners include Rita Soronen of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, and Governor Mike DeWine, whose leadership as the Attorney General of Ohio allowed for CASA programs across the state to grow more than 30%.

We are proud to present this year’s honorees:

Rising Star Volunteer, Michelle Garro

Michelle was nominated by her local program for her tenacity and dedication to her cases. She has been a CASA Volunteer since February of 2019, and has since garnered support from her full-time employer for her local program in Summit County.



Pro Star Volunteer, Carole McCague

Carole’s strength and persistence has led her to be involved with CASA for nearly 20 years. Since volunteering with Delaware and Union counties, she has helped 30 children. Additionally, Carol has donated 1,300 hours, and driven more than 1,000 miles in the name of best interest advocacy.



Attorney Advocate, Michael Hurst

Michael has represented true partnership with our Geauga County CASA program. From facilitating CASA training to offering his legal knowledge to CASA directors, his innovative approach has helped youth across the county.



Mary Ellen Social Worker, Tracy Hughes

Tracy is the epitome of going above and beyond for youth impacted by the foster care system. As a Foster Program Manager at CareSource, she has the opportunity to work with many CASA Volunteers and youth we serve. Her leadership and teamwork has resulted in countless positive outcomes for children and families.



Youth Voice, Mindy Hughes

Nominated by a young adult at the Northeast Ohio Youth Advisory Board, Mindy has made it clear that her first priority is the well-being of youth. Even after turning 18, Mindy continued to work with this youth to ensure their needs were met as they transitioned to adulthood. Mindy is a supportive, professional, and considerate Independent Living Counselor, and we are proud to honor her as the inaugural Youth Voice Award winner!



Child Advocate of the Year, Judge Anthony Capizzi

Judge Capizzi has been a strong advocate for youth, serving as a voice for children on issues such as trauma, the role of social determinants in promoting Health and Social Equity, evidenced-based services for youth, and is a long time supporter and advocate of Ohio CASA. Additionally, he has served as Administrative Judge of the Montgomery County, Ohio Juvenile Court since 2004. And, in 2019 he was appointed by Governor DeWine as one of two judges to serve on the statewide Children Services Transformation Advisory Council.



If you’re interested in a copy of our winners’ full biography or nomination, email us at ohiocasa@ohiocasa.org