Lincoln CASA volunteers earn Presidential Volunteer Service Awards

Published 5:57 pm Friday, April 19, 2024

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Six volunteers with Lincoln County’s CASA program have been honored for earning the Presidential Volunteer Service Award.

“These six volunteers represent several firsts for Lincoln County and CASA in the region,” said Executive Director Melynda Jamison. “These are the first six Lincoln County CASA volunteers to ever earn the Presidential Volunteer Service Award, which requires investing a truly impressive amount of time in improving children’s lives.

“They also include our first ever CASA volunteer to earn a Gold-level award outside of Fayette County, and our first ever Friend of CASA to earn an award.”

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The volunteers were honored at Stanford’s City Council meeting Thursday night, where Mayor Dalton Miller helped Jamison present them with their awards. Stanford helps fund the Lincoln County CASA program, which provides volunteer advocates for abused and neglected children in the family court system.

“They’re just another voice for the children,” Miller said. “They hold the courts and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services accountable.”

The six 2023 PVSA recipients are:

  • Priscilla Miller, who earned the Gold PVSA for volunteering for more than 500 hours;
  • Judy Papania, who earned the Silver PVSA for volunteering for more than 250 hours;
  • Ava Crow, Anne Flynn and Ruth Putnam, who earned the Bronze PVSA for volunteering for more than 100 hours; and
  • Cassie Bottoms, who earned the Bronze PVSA for volunteering as a Friend of CASA for more than 100 hours.

Each volunteer received a pin, medallion or medal based on the level of their award; a certificate and a letter of thanks signed by the U.S. President.

Lincoln County’s CASA volunteers advocated for 12 abused and neglected children during 2023. During that year, there were 134 new victims of abuse or neglect in Lincoln County and likely more than 260 children with open family court cases.

“So we definitely need to serve a lot more children and we’re working to grow,” Jamison said. “But those that are serving here have really been instrumental and have been putting the hours in to work with Lincoln County youth.”

CASA volunteers are matched with children in the family court system who need an advocate. Each volunteer visits their child monthly, talks to adults in their child’s life and reviews medical and educational records. While volunteers can go above and beyond like the PVSA recipients, on average a CASA volunteer contributes between 5 and 10 hours a month.

CASA volunteers’ reports help family court judges make more informed decisions and can lead to improved outcomes for children, including more services they need to thrive and shorter times in the system.

Anyone interested in becoming a CASA volunteer can email or call (606) 442-1355 for more information. A training for new volunteers in Lincoln and Garrard counties begins June 4 in Garrard County; and a regional training for new volunteers will be held in Lexington June 24-28. You can see the schedules for all upcoming trainings at


About CASA of Lexington

CASA of Lexington’s trained and supervised volunteers advocate through the family court systems in Bourbon, Fayette, Garrard, Jessamine, Lincoln, Scott and Woodford counties to ensure all victims of child abuse and neglect are safe and thrive in a permanent home. Changes such as where the child lives or goes to school, changes in social workers, teachers and friends, as well as the uncertainty of what life holds, can be very overwhelming for these children.  The CASA volunteer is there to help recognize what the child needs, work to minimize these detrimental changes, and advocate for positive changes for the child’s future. Learn more at, by calling (859) 246-4313 or by emailing