Photo left to right back: CASA Executive Director Anne Shenberger, Volunteers of the Year Phyllis Slutsky and Carole Cavanaugh, Social worker Jamie Raddatz, Volunteer of the Year Daniella Choynowski, Assistant Executive Director Leigh Anne McKelvey. Left to right front: Volunteers of the Year George and Ruth Ann Dreyer.
We hope everyone had a great time at our 25th Anniversary Gala this past Friday evening. It was wonderful to see many familiar and new faces supporting our mission to help children in Delaware and Chester counties’ foster care systems find a loving, safe, and nurturing home.
You may remember one of our Volunteers of the Year, Phyllis Slutsky, a former nurse educator and case manager for CHOP who has since devoted her life to children with a different set of needs in foster care. In one of her most recent cases, she helped move her CASA child to central Pennsylvania – 106 miles away, and still, she visits once a month.
Phyllis contacted us after the gala to thank us for a wonderful evening, and she wanted to share how loved she felt, especially after reading all of the comments on her son’s pre-gala Facebook post, praising his mother for her tireless work.
He said, “Yes! Tonight, my wonderful Mama, Phyllis Slutsky gets honored for her volunteer work with an amazing organization called CASA that works tirelessly on behalf of foster children. Here’s the thing with my mom: while this award is exciting and well-deserved, she has spent her entire career (see: life) helping people. When I was growing up, we were always around the work my mom did – family picnics, camps, etc. – but to me, the fact that she was a nurse, always working with sick children and in communities that needed medial resources – was the norm. I took it for granted because it was just what she did. Now, as an adult-ish person, I have a new found respect for my mom. She is and always has been a helper. This has benefited me greatly and I’m so glad she’s able to put these well-honed skills to use helping other kids who need an advocate. I aspire to be just like my mom in this way and to use the time I have in service of others. I want to be a helper just like her. Well done, Mama. You deserve this.”
While we are grateful to Phyllis for her amazing work, we are also thankful for the inspiration her son has from Phyllis’ devotion to helping others. It’s people like Phyllis who demonstrate the importance of helping those in need – and we can all begin by following in her footsteps.
Thank you all for attending a wonderful event!