UPDATED: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 3:19pm
Waco, Tx — CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of McLennan and Hill Counties are mourning the loss of Executive Director Susan Burt, program leader and tireless advocate for abused and neglected children in the community. Burt suffered a heart attack Friday, October 12, and she will be greatly missed by her colleagues, volunteers, and the countless children whose lives she impacted through her work.
“Susan was so much more than our director. She was a child advocate, a leader, a hero, and our friend,” said CASA Supervisor Carrie Tatum.
The 6th annual CASA 5k run/walk on October 20, at Waco’s Central Texas Marketplace will be dedicated in Burt's honor.
Though Burt will not see the inaugural “superhero” theme of this year’s 5k run/walk come to fruition, she celebrated many “firsts” for the CASA program in recent months. Under her leadership, CASA became a stand-alone agency in September, after 18 years as a program partner of the Advocacy Center for Crime Victims and Children. Burt began as a CASA volunteer in 2001, and, since that time, served as Supervisor, Program/Executive Director, and Board Member for Texas CASA.
Dian Turner, Vice President of the CASA Board of Directors, recalled Burt's joy during an October 2 open house event for CASA’s new location at 2223 Austin Avenue. “Susan pulled me aside with tears in her eyes and said, ‘I've achieved my dream,’” said Turner.
CASA’s beloved hero and friend will be honored at Saturday’s October 20 fun run/walk. Registration information is available at www.casaforeverychild.org, and onsite registration (between Newk’s and Panera Bread) begins at 7:00 a.m. on the race date. Race events will begin at 8:00 a.m. Race proceeds will help carry on Burt's dream of advancing the CASA mission - "to advocate for every abused and neglected child in the McLennan and Hill County court systems".
Donations may also be made to the Susan Burt Memorial Fund, which is specifically designated for CASA children. The money will help with the purchase of clothes and special items, as well as vounteers, for recruitment and retention efforts. Checks should be made payable to “Susan Burt Memorial Fund” and mailed to: Community Bank & Trust, Attention: Gary Pilant, CASA Board Secretary, P.O. Box 2303, Waco, Texas 76703. They can also be delivered to any of the bank’s three locations. Plans for a formal memorial service to celebrate Susan Burt’s life and legacy are forthcoming.