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ProKids Celebrates Its Community Support


ProKids celebrated a number of its supporters at its annual November Soiree. ProKids depends on the energy of its volunteers and the generosity of its donors to serve more than 500 abused and neglected children each year in Hamilton County. By recruiting, training and supporting volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs), ProKids works to keep children safe and to move them toward stable homes where they can thrive.

Those honored at the Soiree included:

  • Former ProKids CASA Volunteer Merilee Turner, who died in May. The annual award for the volunteer of the year was re-named in her honor at the Soiree. “Merilee served her ProKids children with openness, objectivity and kindness,” said ProKids Community Director Jennifer McKettrick. “In her four years with us, she did everything she could to fill the void that is in our children’s lives.”
  • Susan Sweeney Kreuzmann of Glendale, who has been a CASA volunteer for two years. She was honored with the Merilee Turner Volunteer of the Year Award for her work as a ProKids CASA volunteer as well as other work she does for ProKids. “ProKids draws volunteers from all walks of life,” Kreuzemann said. When CASA volunteers work with Hamilton County’s abused and neglected children you do something that impacts one person. And you can see where that can impact the world.”
  • A group of supporters who have been a backbone of support to ProKids. Billy and Valerie Thomason of Hyde Park, Ben and Amy Russert of Hyde Park, Dick and Joanie Paulsen of Hyde Park and Jeb and Nirvani Head of Indian Hill were named as the 2014 Community Builders of the Year. “They have exemplified servant leadership in its highest form,” said ProKids Executive Director Tracy Cook. “Quietly, and without ego, they make sure ProKids can reach waiting children. By lending their voices to children who have been abused and neglected, they have helped change the arc of thousands of children’s lives in our community. Their work has created a new legacy of growing up safe and confident for today’s children and will for generations to come.”

ProKids envisions a safe, permanent and nurturing home for every child. As a nonprofit organization in Hamilton County, Ohio, that mobilizes the community by training and supporting volunteers who break the vicious cycle of child abuse and neglect. ProKids Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA volunteers) speak up for abused and neglected children, guiding them to safe environments where they can thrive.