Peggy Rudden. File photo by Glory Weisberg
Peggy Rudden. File photo by Glory Weisberg
Peggy Rudden has been elected to the National CASA Association, sharing her skills with 945 other CASA programs throughout the U.S.
The National CASA Association began operating in 1977 in Seattle.
Rudden helped put Arapahoe County’s Advocates for Children CASA program together, starting in 1981. In 1985, she and community volunteers brought the volunteer CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) program to the county’s 18th Judicial District and the next year the nonprofit began operating, eventually leading Rudden to complete a degree in criminal justice.
Fast forward to 1991 when she became a caseworker and then in 2000 she became the Advocates for Children executive director.
“Peg has been an inspiration to all who know her. She is truly one of the premier child advocates in the country,” said longtime co-worker Valerie Lunka.
Rudden is a visionary, understanding just how frightening it can be for a young child to have to face strange grownups in a courtroom and perhaps other settings as well, just to tell her/his tale of abuse.
How would your own young offspring have faced this situation?
But the CASA program uses well-trained representatives to attend the court hearing for a child. According to the website www.casaforchildren.org, no special background or education is required to become a CASA volunteer. Each person gets 30 hours of training “in courtroom procedures, social services, the juvenile justice system and the special needs of abused and neglected children.”
We have heard over the years how hard it is to avoid bonding with a child, then when the case is completed, not see the child again. These are very special people who know how to handle this task and in Arapahoe County, as well as throughout the nation, be able to keep doing this for perhaps years. Empty nesters and others find this rewarding and fulfilling.
Rudden now oversees the 400 volunteers working at the address, which also now has a paid staff of 14.
Through the years since 1985 when we met, Rudden’s always been on hand for brainstorming benefits and this ongoing leadership means continuity and that means not having to “re-invent the wheel” so to speak.
Rudden is now set to add her experience and expertise to the CASA program beyond the borders of Arapahoe County, strengthening the cause.
We congratulate this mother of six, a born leader.
Interested parties can visit adv4children.org.
Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver notes that Denver was selected as one of only three cities in the U.S. to participate in the 30th Annual Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project. They plan to improve Denver’s Globeville neighborhood, but to make this happen, Habitat Metro Denver needs more than 350 volunteers a day from Oct. 6-11. Details about President and Mrs. Carter’s visit to Denver are available from Habitat Metro Denver. Contact Robyn Burns, Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver at 720-496-2712 or by cell at 303-726-1793.
Denver Health Foundation events
The Denver Health Foundation has three upcoming events, starting with the April 27 NightShine Sparkle, Shine & Celebrate Another Electric Year. The National Western Events Center is the ongoing host for the annual benefit that attracts an arena full of supporters. Train is the featured performer and the event is black tie. Pat Hamill is gala chair and James and Pamela Crowe are 2013 Denver Health Stars. Email Candice.email@example.com or call 303-602-2978.
On May 4 Open Your Hearts to Newborns in Need has its annual drop off event, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Volunteers will be stationed at the Denver Health Medical Center at 301 W. 6th Ave, which is near Bannock Street. They are collecting items for a Warm Welcome Bag for the more than 3,000 babies born each year at Denver Health who need basic items to help them care for their new babies.
Among suggested items are disposable diapers and baby wipes, baby wash and shampoo, convertible car seats, blankets, clothing that is easy to wash and newborn size socks and booties. For more details on this citywide collection effort, visit www.denverhealthfoundation.org.
May 8 is the date for the Newborns in Need Program Baby Shower at the Governor’s Residence at the Boettcher Mansion, 5:30-7:30 p.m. and reservations are required. This is a heart-warming event with several volunteer agencies and individuals helping supply the hospital with needed items such as those listed above. Boy Scouts help unload guests’ autos. All items must be new.
We hate them, yet find them indispensible at certain events. We’re talking about nametags. They come in various forms from hanging lanyards to clips, pin on with and without plastic covers and peel offs. None are welcome by tuxedoed or gowned guests and for good reason. Here we quote from the back of Post-It Super Sticky adhesive name badges, PVC-Free. “Not recommended for use on leather, suede, silk, velvet, corduroy, vinyl or delicate fabrics.” Trying to use them gracefully, more than one woman has stuck nametags on her purse. Bad idea as they may damage them.
One avid reader said the lanyards just don’t go with luscious and delicate gowns because that’s where the “good” jewelry goes. Pins of any kind snag fabric.
In defense of these pesky little things, they are invaluable for conversing with total strangers, especially when you’re name retention challenged. In one ear, out the other without stopping to memorize even a first name and there to bail you out is the clear-as-day nametag.
We’ve even seen creative guests put the things on their actual skin, be it chest or arm and wow, is that a bad place to put one as it can leave its shadow behind or takes your body hair when ripped off and it looks dorky.
Then what about the way names are printed on them, especially those hand written by the guest at check-in? I can’t read those tiny scrawled names no matter how hard I squint and forget it if you think I’m taking out my granny glasses just to decipher your name.
As noted in a previous etiquette piece, it’s just good manners to use the new person’s name several times to help you remember it and also required for introducing your new acquaintance to a friend who saunters over while you’re in mid-conversation.
Personal opinion is to avoid using nametags at galas or other formal attire benefits.
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