Dr. J. Robert Lovett and CASA win Donley Award

On April 13, 2017, Community Services for Children will present the Inez and Edward Donley Award for Children’s Advocacy to Dr. J. Robert Lovett, retired Air Products executive, and The Court-Appointed Special Advocates for Children, known as CASA. The event takes place at DeSales University Center at noon. Tickets are $50. Sponsorships are available.

Given for the first time in 1996, Community Services for Children established this prestigious award to acknowledge public service at the local, state, and/or national levels which has significantly improved the quality of life for children. Mr. and Mrs. Donley, who exemplify the spirit of the award, were the first recipients. We continue to honor their example by naming the award for them.

The judges who made the selections were Lin Erickson, Executive Director of The DaVinci Science Center and past recipient of the Donley Award; Marci Ronald, Executive Vice President of the United way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, also a past Donley awardee; and Thomas Donley, son of the original awardees and namesakes, Inez and Edward Donley.

Dr. J. Robert Lovett   Dr. Lovett was recruited to work at Air Products by Edward Donley, his mentor and friend and for whom he has modelled his life for service beyond self. He and his wife Sandy have devoted their lives especially to at-risk youth in Allentown. He has served in leadership roles in a number of organizations whose missions are dedicated to improving the quality of life for children, including founding chair of The DaVinci Science Center; chair of the Baum School for Art; board member of Communities in Schools, Community Bike Works, the Lehigh Valley Early Learning Coalition, Community Action Development Corporation of Allentown, and Building 21. Dr. Lovett is a “matchmaker,” able to bring people and resources together to maximize both.

Court-Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA)  The mission of the Lehigh County CASA program is to provide consistent, credible, and trained volunteers who investigate, facilitate, monitor, and advocate for Lehigh County’s abused and neglected children in juvenile dependency court. CASA volunteers serves as the eyes and ears of the Court. Input from these dedicated CASA volunteers assists the Court in making sound decisions that will provide safe, secure and permanent homes for at-risk children who have become wards of the state. Findings show that children who have been assigned CASA volunteers tend to spend less time in court and in the foster care system than those who do not have CASA representation. Judges have observed that CASA children also have greater chances of finding permanent homes than non-CASA children. A special emphasis is placed in children aged 12 and under.

In addition to the Donleys, past individual recipients include Ms. Marci Ronald, Mrs. Beverly Bradley, Senator Pat Browne, Dr. John vanBrakle, Chief Roger McLean, Mrs. Rebecca Gorton, Mrs. Ardath Rodale, Mr. and Mrs. Lee Butz, Mr. Kostas Kalogeropolous, Mrs. Patricia W. Levin, The Honorable Edward G. Rendell, Dr. Arthur L. Scott, Mr. Scott Fainor, Dr. Diane Scott, The Honorable Jeanette Reibman, Mr. L. Jack Bradt, Mr. Peter Carpino, Mrs. Marlene “Linny” Fowler, and Dr. and Mrs. Peter Likins.

Past recipients of the Organization Award are The DaVinci Science Center, Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley, Northampton County Medical Society Alliance, Computer Aid, PPL Corporation, Education 2020!, St. Luke’s Hospital & Health Network, The Women’s Leadership Initiative of the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley; PNC Financial Services; Just Born, Inc; The Harry C. Trexler Trust; Bethlehem Steel Corporation; Agere Systems; Air Products & Chemicals, Inc; Lehigh Valley Health Network; CoreStates Bank; and Binney & Smith, Inc (now “Crayola”).

For additional information, call Community Services for Children at 610-437-6000, x2101, or log onto www.cscinc.org/events.

Community Services for Children is a regional leader in early childhood education, affecting the lives of 40,000 children annually. Its Head Start program is recognized as a national center of excellence.