Court Appointed Special Advocate – CASA – of Los Angeles announced that one of its most dedicated volunteers, Taryn Rudow from Dilbeck Real Estate Real Living, Calabasas office, has been named Volunteer of the Year. The award was presented at the annual volunteer appreciation luncheon that took place at the California Endowment in downtown Los Angeles. Superior Court commissioner Jacqueline Lewis, who nominated Rudow, presented the award.
CASAs are volunteers who are trained and then appointed by a judge in the dependency court to advocate for and work with children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. CASAs get to know their children and are familiar with their circumstances, show the children that someone cares, advocates for their best interests and needs and become involved in key issues in their lives pertaining to placement, school, physical health and mental health.
Rudow has worked with CASA for nine years, taking on some of the toughest cases in the system. The 2013 Volunteer of the Year recipient has worked with three siblings during her time with the organization, and continues to provide support to them despite one of the youths having “aged out” of the system at 21.
“Taryn is a noteworthy example of what it means to be a CASA,” said CASA executive director Dilys Garcia. “What all of our volunteers do is not easy and there isn’t always a happy ending. It is the daily dedication to making the life of a child better that defines a CASA, and Taryn Rudow has proven to be a pillar of that dedication in our organization.”
“I’m honored to receive this accolade, which I share with every CASA volunteer for what we all do, every day,” said Taryn Rudow. “Saying CASA is important is an understatement. There are a whole section of lost children that society ignores, and they need our support. I know that I feel as many of us do; that even though these aren’t our children, we still care deeply for them and we will do everything in our power to chase that happy ending and ensure them a bright future.”
Rudow is the mother of two children, one of who tragically died at the age of 20 in an automobile accident. Turning tragedy into charity, Rudow and her family established the KP Memorial Fund, which hosts an annual golf tournament in Calabasas raising over $300,000 to date for regional nonprofits. CASA/L.A. is one of the organizations that receive proceeds from the tournament, totaling over $80,000 over the past 10 years.