State Rep. Jud McMillin (R-Brookville) recently presented Delores Dobbs with the Sagamore of the Wabash Award on behalf of Gov. Mike Pence. McMillin explained, “The Sagamore is the highest honor that the governor can bestow and is only presented to distinguished Hoosiers who have made incredible contributions to the state. Dobbs received the award for dedicating 30-plus years to protecting Hoosier children.”
“Delores is one of the most selfless Hoosiers I have ever met, and I was honored to be able to present her with the Sagamore,” he said.
In the early 1990s, Franklin County Tri Kappa Sorority was tasked to create a Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program for southeast Indiana. The program was designed to comply with state law, which requires that children involved in abuse and neglect cases shall receive a CASA or court-appointed guardian. Club members, alongside Dobbs, organized and built the program from scratch in order to protect children in the region.
After the program launched in Franklin County, membership has since dwindled. With very little assistance, Dobbs has singlehandedly kept the program alive for the past 15 years. As she approaches her 80th birthday, Dobbs continues to safeguard children within the courtroom, Department of Child Services, schools and hospitals. With a new system set to launch Jan. 1, 2014, Dobbs will be able to retire, knowing that children there will be protected.
Of her volunteerism, McMillin said, “On behalf of southeast Indiana, we are forever grateful for the countless hours spent and energy devoted to protecting some of our most vulnerable children.”
Dating back to the mid-1940s, the Sagamore Award was created by Gov. Ralph Gates.
More information about the CASA program is available at www.in.gov/judiciary.