Wednesday, November 13th in Springfield, members of the Illinois General Assembly, along with CASA officials, held a Capitol press conference to encourage the state’s veterans to volunteer with their local CASA group. Republican State Representative Dan Swanson of Alpha took part in the capitol event and talked volunteering to work with children. He started off by saying, “Readers make leaders. What better way to make future leaders by (taking) the time to read with them,” he said. “The veterans, last week during Veterans Day, we all celebrated. I like to talk with the school kids that, every veteran has a story. So here we have the opportunity to tell our stories to children and also read books for them (and) build that relationship, (and) build those leaders for the future and what greater way to do it than ask our veterans to help.” He added that active service duty members answer the call – and it’s time to answer the call once again. CASA, the Illinois Court Appointed Special Advocate, is part of a national volunteer movement that began in 1977. A judge in Seattle started using community volunteers – regular citizens – as a “voice in court” for abused and neglected children. Illinois CASA was founded in 1993 and is the organizing body for thirty-one CASA programs in 47 counties.