CASA of the Mid-Shore Celebrates Hope

To celebrate the hope that Court Appointed Special Advocates bring to the lives of children in foster care due to abuse or neglect, CASA of the Mid-Shore hosted a reception at The Ivy Café in Easton on April 25. Joined by the Honorable Stephen Kehoe, the Honorable William Jones, the Honorable Lynn Knight, the Honorable Brett Wilson, and the Honorable Jamie Adkins, CASA of the Mid-Shore’s Board of Directors, staff, and friends gathered to honor the CASA volunteers who devote their time to work with some of the most vulnerable children in our region. Guests enjoyed a variety of delicious hors d’oeuvres and drinks while having the opportunity to gather for a shared and worthy cause.

CASA’s volunteers, guests, staff, and board members surround guest speaker, Taylor Pyles and his dog Desmond, for a parting photo with blue pinwheels symbolizing child abuse prevention.

The evening’s highlight was a moving presentation from guest speaker, Taylor Pyles, who was accompanied by his gentle service dog, Desmond. Taylor explained that his childhood experiences in foster care led him into a career as a police detective before deciding to dedicate his time to improving the lives of children placed in foster care. Taylor subsequently founded the Blue Ribbon Project,, a grassroots organization that provides numerous services to children and adults impacted by abuse or neglect.

Taylor explained that children often enter foster care with only the clothing on their backs, which was his experience as a child. Wanting to change that dynamic, Taylor, who lives in Anne Arundel County, created Backpacks of Love. New backpacks with developmentally appropriate, new, everyday necessities are provided to children of all ages upon entering foster care. Taylor is interested in providing Backpacks of Love to all jurisdictions in Maryland. By the time Taylor’s presentation concluded, there were few dry eyes in the house, and the evening’s guests gave Taylor a rousing ovation of applause.

CASA’s Executive Director, Robin Davenport, warmly welcomed guests stating, “Our CASA volunteers are skilled, compassionate, creative, and brave as they speak up on behalf of children in foster care due to abuse or neglect. Our volunteers are committed to facilitating better outcomes for children who have been mistreated. As you’ve heard me say many times, their very presence tells children that their lives matter. CASAs really do give hope to children.”

Robin and the CASA staff hope to help facilitate the provision of Backpacks of Love to children in their service area of Talbot, Dorchester, Queen Anne’s, and Kent counties.

To end the evening, guests (including Desmond) posed for a photograph holding blue and silver pinwheels, the national symbol of child abuse prevention. Representing innocence and whimsy, the pinwheels were also “planted” in the gardens of The Ivy Café’s courtyard.

To learn more about becoming a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer, or to support CASA of the Mid-Shore, call 410-822-2866 or visit


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Allison Rogers


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