Jefferson: Child advocate is 2006 CASA Volunteer of the Year

PORT TOWNSEND — When Mike Beers, coordinator of Jefferson County’s Guardian ad Litem program, told Patricia Scott that she had put in 2,200 volunteer hours, she was surprised.

“Is that a lot?” Scott asked.

It was a lot, Beers told her, the equivalent of working a full-time job for a year.

On Saturday, Scott was recognized for her dedication and persistence by being named Washington State’s 2006 CASA — Court Appointed Special Advocate — Volunteer of the Year.

Scott is the first person from Jefferson County to receive the award, Beers said.

It was presented during the state CASA conference in Yakima last weekend.

She was one of seven people nominated for the honor, which comes with a $500 prize from the Gloria Panitch Memorial Children’s Fund.

Half of the award will go to an individual child of Scott’s choosing, the other half to a project or organization that benefits many children in the court system, Beers said.

Scott has decided to give the latter to the Guardian Friends of Jefferson County, the fundraising auxiliary of the county’s Guardian ad Litem program.

“They are former guardians ad litem who realized that kids have unmet needs and want to try to fill those needs,” Scott said.

“It could be music lessons or sports equipment.”

Scott has been a volunteer for 11 years in the Guardian ad Litem program, which provides adults that are appointed by the court to represent the best interests of a child or incapacitated adult involved in a Superior Court case.

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