Local CASA volunteer receives statewide award

Dave Peppler

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (ADAMS) – Allen County Casa Volunteer Dave Peppler has been named the 2020 Indiana CASA Volunteer of the Year. On Saturday, September 26th Dave received an award during the Annual GAL/CASA Conference being held virtually from Indianapolis.

Peppler has been a volunteer for the Allen County CASA program since 2014. Dave is dedicated to the mission of the Court Appointed Special Advocate program and has proven to be a dedicated problem solver.

Recently, Peppler went above and beyond by assisting his CASA child, Erson. Erson was born in Haiti and was brought to the US as a 12-year-old by his father. He was in foster care for four years. Erson, with the assistance of Dave, navigated the process of obtaining legal permanent resident documentation and becoming a naturalized US citizen for more than two years. Erson’s and Dave’s perseverance paid off and Erson became a citizen on June 26 at the USCIS office in Indianapolis.

Dave is always willing to go above and beyond the call of a CASA volunteer. When first asked why he wanted to be a voice for children Dave stated, “I believe the work you do, joining in solidarity with human weakness and suffering in protection of children is vitally important for our community. I admire community action and believe each of our deeds will be judged solely on the measure of love we put into them.”

Not only does Peppler’s love shine through his loyalty and compassion but he also assists CASA volunteers who are just joining the program. Allen County CASA looks out for the best interests of abused and neglected children in Allen County. According to Nancy Springer, Director, “Our team of about 140 volunteers provides a voice for children involved in child abuse and neglect cases, advocating for the best interests of these children who might not otherwise have a voice. These individuals have a heart for children in our community and want to make sure that abused and neglected children do not get lost in the court system. We are so thankful for the work of all our volunteers, and especially, on this day, the work accomplished by Dave Peppler.”

Allen County CASA is affiliated with Indiana State Office of GAL/CASA, which is part of the Indiana Supreme Court, Division of State Court Administration. Allen County CASA is also a member of the National Court Appointed Special Advocates Association.

Anyone interested in becoming an advocate for children should contact Mell Depew, Volunteer & Recruitment Coordinator, at (260) 449-7190.