Newsmakers To Feature "CASA" - September 10, 2017

This Sunday’s Newsmakers will feature the work of CASA- Court Appointed Special Advocates. 

The monthly public affairs show is hosted by Jayne Ann Bugda and Andy Mehalshick. 

They will have as their guests John Aciukewicz, Esq, Executive Director, CASA of Luzerne County, Ramah Hackett, CASA Of Luzerne County Board member and Anne Ellis, CASA Volunteer. 


 They will discuss in detail the CASA program, trained volunteers appointed by a judge to represent a child in the court system.   The upcoming Casablanca fundraiser will also be discussed. 

Newsmakers Airs

Sunday, September 10 at 6:30 am on WYOU and at 11:30 am on WBRE.


 Learn more about CASA-  Click to view the website

 A CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) is a trained community volunteer who is appointed by a judge to represent the best interests of a child   in the court system.



Each CASA volunteer receives 30 hours of training.  Also, advocates are expected to complete 12 hours of in-service training annually.


CASA Volunteers come from all walks of life, with a variety of professional, educational, and ethnic backgrounds


Statistics show that children who have been assigned  “CASA” spend less time in court and in the foster care system than those with a similar background who do not have CASA representation.


Save the Date:


 September 28, Casablanca Gala.   $95 per ticket  FM Kirby Center






Meet our Guests:


John Aciukewicz is a graduate of Gettysburg College and the Dickinson School of Law. He has been a practicing attorney in Luzerne County since 1984. Aciukewicz resides in Trucksville with his wife, Beth. They are the parents of three sons: Josh, 29; Zach, 26; and Aaron, 22.

Ramah Hackett started her career at Bell Atlantic in Washington DC as an account executive selling phone and computer systems to trade unions and to embassies. From there she and her husband, Chris moved to NEPA where she became involved in the community while raising her family.

Ramah has been involved on many committees and has served on numerous boards.


She and Chris chaired the United Way Tocqueville Society and later she chaired the United Way Annual Campaign while serving on the board. Currently she serves on the CASA and the North Branch Land Trust Board of Directors.

She is also a certified yoga instructor and most enjoys teaching yoga to children and to underserved populations in the community.


She and Chris live in Shavertown and have 4 daughters, Alexandra, Madeleine, Gabrielle and Ruby.


Anne M. Ellis, Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)

Anne attended Bloomsburg University-2 Years and American Institute For Paralegal Studies-Paralegal Certification

Anne works in Law Offices Of Eugene D Sperazza-Paralegal/Office Manager

Having seen a CASA Public Service Announcement in October, 2015, Anne was compelled to explore this unique volunteer experience, primarily due to my desire to advocate on behalf of children.

Anne underwent the approximate thirty (30) hours of required training and courtroom observation in March/April, 2016 and was sworn in as a Court Appointed Special Advocate in May, 2016 by the Honorable Judge Jennifer Rogers.

For the 1 year ‘plus’ since her appointment to this dependency case, Anne has advocated on behalf of one male child who, due to neglect and physical abuse, was taken out of his home, is in the legal custody of Luzerne County Children & Youth Services and is residing in foster care. Anne has spent considerable time with this child allowing for the formation of a unique bond. She obtained a tremendous amount of information about his past and current life and she is well prepared and well supported by the CASA organization in my singular role to make specific recommendations for what is in the child’s best interest to the Judge overseeing his dependency case.

Anne says “I consider it a privilege, really, to have this opportunity to advocate for what is in his best interest, to make considered, objective recommendations to the Court on his behalf and to stand beside him in a Courtroom”.




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