Dagel award

Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg, a Hawarden native, presents Tricia Dagel of Sheldon an award for volunteerism on Sept. 12.

SHELDON—Tricia Dagel of Sheldon received a Governor’s Volunteer Award from Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg during a special recognition ceremony held Sept. 12 in Storm Lake.

Dagel was recognized for her work as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). She has been a dedicated volunteer advocate for eight years.

A CASA is a volunteer advocate screened and trained to become the “eyes and the ears” of the court.

The individuals are assigned a family and they review records, talk to parents, children, social workers, teachers and others who have knowledge of the child’s situation.

The CASA then writes a report to the court with recommendations and continues to monitor the child’s progress by attending staff meetings and court hearings.

CASA advocates help children move through the child welfare system quicker to a safe and permanent home.

“Neighbor helping neighbor is as Iowan as a pork tenderloin at the county fair — we’ve seen it time and time again,” said Gov. Kim Reynolds. “Volunteerism is who we are as Iowans. I’m honored to recognize those who continue to give back and help their fellow Iowans.”

More than 540 Governor’s Volunteer Awards are being presented this year during ceremonies held at several locations around the state.

It is estimated that more than 27,000 hours of service, with an economic impact of more than $693,000, were contributed by this year’s honorees during the past 12 months.

“Volunteering of your time and talents has a positive impact on our communities and the people being helped,” Gregg said. “The dedication of volunteers often encourages others to get involved, which is why Iowa continues to be a top state in volunteerism.”

Anyone who would like to make a difference in the life and become a CASA Advocate is encouraged to contact Melissa Loehr with the Iowa Child Advocacy Program at 1-855-372-0358 or e-mail the CASA program coordinator at melissa.loehr@dia.iowa.gov.