LEWISBURG - On Thursday morning, an organization that works to help abused and neglected children navigate the court system marked a new chapter in its history in this region.
CASA - Court Appointed Special Advocate - which recently marked its 10th anniversary in Lycoming County, now will operate as Susquehanna Valley CASA - Voices for Children, in the four-county region of Lycoming, Northumberland, Union and Snyder counties.
Since 2003, Lycoming County CASA has been headquartered in the Williamsport YWCA.
The program now will have its home office in the Union County Government Center in Lewisburg.
A ribbon-cutting at that building to mark the change was held Thursday.
"This move to Lewisburg is significant," said Susquehanna Valley CASA Director Judy Jones before the ceremony. "We needed a central location."
Jones says that the Lewisburg office will allow CASA to "enhance efforts to decrease the number of children waiting for volunteers."
Eight new volunteers will be inducted on Tuesday, Jones said, and another recruitment season is underway.
"This is accelerating the growth of the program overall," Jones said. "If someone in Lycoming County working on a case is having transportation difficulties we go to them. The judges there are thrilled we came to this place, to unify our efforts."
This iteration of CASA has a brand-new, 17 member governing board, Jones said.
"In the future, Columbia and Montour counties have expressed interest in CASA," Jones said. "As we expand further out we would probably start some remote offices. For now, we're thrilled to be here."
CASA - Susquehanna Valley will hold a motorcycle run on Sept. 7 to support its program, with registration at 9 a.m.; the run begins at 10 a.m., with entertainment from 12 to 3 p.m. at the Winfield Firemen's Field, in Winfield. For tickets or to sponsor the event, call 988-2200 or visit susquehannavalleycasa.com.