EVERY 8 AND A HALF MINUTES A CHILD IS ABUSED OR NEGLECTED IN THE STATE OF TEXAS. GIVING THESE LITTLE ONES A VOICE IN COURT IS THE JOB OF A COURT APPOINTED SPECIAL ADVOCATE OR CASA. CASA VOLUNTEER BYRON WEBB IS THIS MONTH'S SPIRIT OF TEXOMA AWARD WINNER...A MAN WHO'S GIVING A VOICE TO THE CHILDREN WHO CAN'T SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES. BYRON WEBB STARTED AT CHILD ADVOCATES BACK IN 2006 AS AN INTERN. HE WENT ON TO BECOME A CASA... AND REALIZED THERE WAS A HUGE NEED FOR MORE FOLKS TO STEP UP AND HELP. Get the ball rolling, because one the ball starts rolling as we've seen so many times before the momentum just takes you into the process and carries you through and of course the staff here is just wonderful and helpful and guide you through the process and you will fall in love and you won't ever want to stop. THAT LOVE IS TRULY SOMETHING BYRON TAKES TO HEART... WHILE IN SCHOOL AT M-S-U HE WROTE A GRANT AS A CLASS PROJECT AND CHILD ADVOCATES RECEIVED MONEY AS A RESULT... THOSE FUNDS FUEL RECRUITMENT OF MORE VOLUNTEERS. He's not just thinking about it or throwing ideas out he is one of those people who puts those thoughts into action and really tries to make a difference. BYRON WAS MAKING A DIFFERENCE BY VOLUNTEERING COUNTLESS HOURS AS A CASA... AND THROUGH THAT SERVICE HE SAW A BIGGER NEED. I took a couple of cases and part of my frustration with doing those cases was part of our work was handled in hallways at the courthouse, you know it seemed like the kids weren't actually getting into the courtroom, not that the judges, they were doing the best they could with what they had, but there were just some barriers in getting real justice for these kids. THAT'S WHEN BYRON SET OUT TO IMPROVE THE COURT SYSTEM OVERALL... HE TESTIFIED BEFORE THE TEXAS HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE... AND ALTHOUGH THE MONEY FOR A FAMILY CENTERED COURT DID NOT COME THROUGH THE LEGISLATURE BYRON STAYED FOCUSED. WITH THE HELP OF MANY, INCLUDING STATE REPRESENTATIVE DAVID FARABEE AND WICHITA COUNTY JUDGE MARK PRICE, HIS DEDICATED WORK PAID OFF. JUDGE ALICE BONDOURANT WILL NOW HEAR ALL OF THE CASES INVOLVING CHILDREN IN ONE COURTROOM. You almost can't put it into words the difference he has made because if you think about Byron's role in bringing the child protection court to this area you know that is something that is going to impact the lives of children for years to come. Every child that now comes into the system is going to have their case heard before one judge who is now going to be able to offer more time to that case and that family and hopefully come out with better outcomes for those children in a more timely manner. HIS DEDICATION TO THE CREATION OF THE SPECIAL COURT EARNED HIM THE LONE STAR PROUD FOR KIDS SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD FROM TEXAS CASA. BUT PERHAPS THE REAL REWARDS COME IN THE FACES OF THE LITTLE ONES WHO NOW HAVE A VOICE. Just pick up the phone and call. CASA needs your help today those kids out there they need your help today, there are so many kids out there that still need a voice when they can't speak for themselves and CASA provides that for them So if you can just give a few hours of your week you can really change a kids life forever. FOR HIS PART IN MAKING THOSE CHANGES HAPPEN... BYRON WEBB TRULY HAS THE SPIRIT OF TEXOMA. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT BECOMING A CASA GIVE THEM A CALL AT 766-0552. FOR HIS INVOLVEMENT WITH THE PROGRAM KELL WEST REGIONAL HOSPITAL CONGRATULATES BYRON WEBB... AND IF YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO TRULY POSSESSES THE SPIRIT OF TEXOMA LOG ONTO OUR WEBSITE TEXOMAS HOMEPAGE DOT COM TO NOMINATE THEM NOW.