CAFB June News - Child Advocates of Fort Bend
CAFB June News

Happy 30th Birthday CAFB!

It’s hard to believe that it’s June already with the school year ending and Summer just around the corner.  I hope you take the time to enjoy all that Summer has to offer this year as travel, restaurants, sporting events and concerts start to open up.  We are working on Summer programming for our children and youth with N.E.S.T. and WINGS and excited to introduce more innovative activities that can be enjoyed both remotely and in person.  But right now, we are still on a high from our 30th Birthday Gala and all the wonderful support we had that evening.  It certainly was a joyous celebration of three decades serving children who have been physically abused, sexually abused and neglected.  The ballroom was a color kaleidoscope of balloons, confetti, paper mache pinatas and cupcake candles.  The video tugged at our hearts as we heard the emotional stories of tragedy and triumph from three brave children we served over the years.  The auction was unmatched in Gala history with trips, exclusive vacation homes, and of course bourbon!  Thank you to all the volunteers and board members who spent hundreds of hours over the past five months planning, procuring auction items, producing the program, setting up the room and making sure everything ran smoothly on Gala night!  We are also so appreciative of the incredibly generous donors who stepped up from pre-bidding the week before through the last moment of the evening with paddles up donations, silent auction purchases and live auction bids that raised a record amount of unrestricted dollars – so critical for us to continue to do the work we do.  A big shout out to Lisa Moore, Tarina Sheridan, Anne Bulan, Dana Mersiovsky, Jane O’Dell and the entire Development Team for executing another memorable event.  To all our volunteers, donors, board and council members and partners, thank you for your commitment and dedication for 30 years.  We have accomplished so much and helped over 19,000 children.  Keep up the fight and together, we will end the cycle of abuse for generations of children.

For the Children’s Sake,

Ruthanne Mefford
CEO, Child Advocates of Fort Bend

Thank You The Giving Doll in Alvin

Ladies from “The Giving Doll” organization in Alvin donated 30 handmade dolls to be given to the children we serve. Each doll is uniquely made with different hair color, eye color, and skin tone. The dolls each have a matching quilt, bag, and clothing. They also make military and sports dolls for boys and girls. Within minutes of being delivered, three sisters happily took home dolls to love. In fact, we’ve already put in a request for more as we only have a handful left. Thanks to the “Giving Doll” group, many other children will enjoy their labor of love.
 Shown (L to R) are volunteers Becky Fuller, Lorna Lamb, and Judy Ronnig


Thank You Delta Sigma Theta

Suburban-Houston Fort Bend Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. delivered 245 keychain bears each with a $10 gift card for food or gas attached. Thank you for your donation and your generosity to the children and families we serve.



Our VOICES FOR CHILDREN CIRCLE – Sustainable Funds, Transforming Lives

Why Sustainable Funding?  Child Advocates of Fort Bend has been fortunate to be supported over the past 30 years due to the generosity of the community and grant support.  However, most donations are annual or one-time gifts and often for restricted purposes.  Sustainable (multi-year) gifts have numerous advantages:

  • Ensures uninterrupted services for children and families
  • Facilitates forecasting and planning of resources including staff, equipment and supplies
  • Assists donors by allowing for payment to be spread over multiple years, yet be recognized at the total value of the pledge

Please consider becoming a VOICES FOR CHILDREN CIRCLE member today. Your support will transform children’s lives.  Contact Dana Mersiovsky at for more information.

Program Updates

Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC)

After more than a year of criminal trials being on hiatus due to the pandemic, our partners in the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office are gearing up for summer trials. As a result, our Criminal Court Advocates, Renee Johnson and Claudia Sorto, have been working closely with the prosecutors to help support the children and families. Testifying in court can be very stressful, so the support they provide is critical to helping reduce the trauma for families going through the process. Whether the children are local or in other counties, our criminal court advocates are there to help them feel more comfortable in testifying. Criminal Court Advocates also provide a tremendous amount of comfort to them as they prepare for seeing the person who harmed them for the first time in years. The service they provide to children and families is invaluable.

Recently, our CAC was involved in a criminal trial in Austin County. Kristy Gutierrez interviewed the victims, Fiona Remko provided expert testimony and Claudia Sorto was in the courthouse daily with the families when they were there to testify. Congratulations to Brandy Robinson with the Austin County District Attorney’s Office for her guilty verdict. The defendant received a life sentence. Because of Brandy’s diligence, the victims involved received justice.

Welcome to Clinical Family Advocate Courtney James who joined our team in May. Courtney interned with us when she was an undergrad student and we’re happy to have her on staff.

Court Appointed Special Advocates Program (CASA) and Community Engagement

Our CASA and Community Engagement teams have been busy training and planning summer programming. Congratulations to CASA Team Members Carol Thesing and Leroy Hodge and Community Engagement Director Casey Davis who recently competed TBRI Practitioner Training! We now have 7 staff members who are trained as TBRI Practitioners – 6 CASA staff and 1 from Community Engagement.

Thanks to the recently updated CFE digital resource pocket guide, we have a new resource for volunteers.  Volunteers are encouraged to watch their emails for details on tool time trainings coming later this month.

Faced with a growing need for male volunteers to work on recent cases, Jennifer Brown has been recruiting and interviewing volunteers for a MEN OF CASA training this summer.

We’re hosting our 2nd NEST Movie Night Incentive Party on June 4th in the CAFB parking lot. The first one got rave reviews from the kids. This time the drive-in movie will be Moana. Coney Island hot dogs will be served by CASA staff when the movie starts.

WINGS summer planning is in full swing beginning with the WINGS Drive-Thru Graduation Celebration at the CAFB office on Saturday, June 19th from 11am – 1pm.

Our CASA team has had a busy month. Volunteers have been busy advocating for children’s needs and testifying in court (virtually). The WINGS team has mailed out their Quarterly Box and the focus this month is setting goals and future planning. Stay tuned – our NEST and WINGS teams are planning their summer programs and will decide later this month if those will be in-person or virtual.



Reading is Fun and Valuable!

A volunteer who is a part of the “Let’s Talk About It” BOOK CLUB recently mentioned that one of the books they read (Trauma and Recovery by Judith Hermann MD) is parallel to the case that she was offered and that reading the book gave her a better understanding of the situation her child is going through and how to advocate for him.

All active volunteers are invited to join the book club which meets on the first Monday of each month. Contact Deann Rueff at for more information or to join the club.  



Infant & Toddler Monthly Open-Door Topic Talk

The Infant and Toddler Team is hosting monthly Open-Door meetings to give advocates assigned to infant and toddler cases an opportunity to drop in, ask questions, staff cases, or just say hi to fellow advocates. June’s Topic Talk Open Forum is scheduled for June 7 from noon to 1:00. Volunteers are encouraged to submit questions for this month’s talk.

For details or to participate, contact Renee Lukefahr at or Carol Thesing at



LAT Champions NEEDED!

Call to Action!

This legislative session is heating up with important legislation related to our state’s most vulnerable youth.  The Legislative Advocacy Team (LAT) needs your help in letting our representatives know which bills CASA has identified as being the most impactful for children in foster care.

By becoming a LAT Champion, you will receive notifications when bills are in critical stages with a request for you to help.  The LAT will send you a Bill Alert with a sample letter you can copy and forward to your Representative or Senator within 24 hours.  You may research the issue and write your own email also. Receiving letters from constituents lets our elected officials know which issues are important to us and which bills, out of many, will best serve our youth.  The task is not cumbersome.  This past legislative session there were 14 Bill Alerts.  To become a LAT Champion of Fort Bend, contact Rhonda Kuykendall, chairwoman of Child Advocates of Fort Bend LAT.

Contact Rhonda Kuykendall at

Like LAT Champions of Fort Bend on Facebook:

Find out who your Representative and Senator are:




Fluor Cares and Golf for Greater Houston

Golf for Greater Houston is excited to announce its return for 2021 and CAFB is a beneficiary for this 12th annual charity event! Mark your calendars for Monday, October 4th at Black Hawk Country Club in Richmond, TX and let us know if you are interested in playing on a team. Contact Lisa at to learn more.




Don’t Forget. . .

Child Advocates of Fort Bend is registered for AmazonSmile. This is a program through that will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Ft Bend County Child Advocates, Inc. To shop via AmazonSmile, go to




30th Birthday Gala Celebration SUCCESS

Many thanks to the volunteers and staff who worked tirelessly to make our first live event – our 30th Birthday Gala Celebration – a huge success. We were proud to partner with Lori Renfrow, Phoenix Design, Mandap Creations, Johnny Bravo and Michele Fisher. Special shout outs to Pat Somers, Vickie Looney, Nancy Olson, Beverly & Rick Martinez, Michelle Cano, Lisa Ybarra, Alexis Jackson, Carrie Fix, Lin Wooten, Dana Loper and so many more. You guys are the hands that hold our village together!


It’s NEVER Too Late to Help!

Missed the Gala this year, but still want to help the agency? Contact Lisa at to discuss the many ways we need your help with our programs and services for the kids.

Mark your calendars!


June 1, 2021 Voices for Children Tour
Via Zoom

To participate or for details contact Dana Mersiovsky at



June 4, 2021 NEST Incentive Party
6:30pm – 8:30pm
CAFB parking lot


June 7, 2021 Infant & Toddler Open Door
Noon – 1pm
Via Zoom

To participate or for details contact Carol Thesing at


June 8, 2021 Volunteer Social
6pm – 8pm
Lupe Tortilla

Contact Jennifer Brown at to RSVP or for more information


June 19, 2021 WINGS Graduation Celebration
11am – 1pm
CAFB Office


July 6, 2021 Voices for Children Tour
Via Zoom

To participate or for details contact Dana Mersiovsky at



July 15, 2021 Voices for Children Tour
Via Zoom

To participate or for details contact Dana Mersiovsky at



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