Dallas CASA’s Cherish the Children Luncheon Addresses the State of Child Welfare

Panel Includes DFPS Commissioner

(Featured image: Latosha Herron Bruff, Stephanie Elizalde, Commissioner Stephanie Muth, Cynt Marshall)*

Dallas CASA will host the 2024 Cherish the Children luncheon Friday, April 19 at The Omni Dallas with a panel of important speakers addressing some of Dallas’ greatest challenges facing children.

The luncheon’s slate of speakers includes:

LaTosha Herron Bruff

Latosha Herron Bruff is the Senior Vice President of Inclusion and Community Engagement at the Dallas Regional Chamber, where she brings more than 20 years of experience advocating for under-championed communities. Herron-Bruff previously worked at Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity, where she created a homeownership center with a digital education platform for homeowners and worked with community leaders and government officials to influence housing policy at the local, state and federal levels. She has served on the boards of Children’s Health, DeSoto Economic Development Corporation and the Southern Gateway Deck Park.

Stephanie Elizalde

Stephanie Elizalde is the Superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District, the second largest school district in the state serving 153,861 students in 230 schools with 22,222 staff members. A third-generation public school educator following in the footsteps of her father and grandmother, Elizalde has worked in both small and large urban school systems with diverse student populations and is committed to equity and excellence in education for every student. She has served students as a teacher, principal, assistant superintendent and deputy chief.

Stephanie Muth

Stephanie Muth is the Commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), which she was chosen to lead after more than 20 years in a variety of executive-level positions in the Texas Health and Human Services departments, including as director of Texas’ Medicaid program. Among her accomplishments include modernizing an antiquated, paper-based eligibility system for Medicaid, SNAP and other social services programs, overseeing a large-scale reorganization of more than 4,000 staff and 120 programs in the health and human services programs and managing the health care delivery system that provides services to more than four million Texans.

“Together, this power trio of speakers bring years of experience serving others, lifting people up and supporting them as they seek to live to their full potential,” said Dallas CASA President and CEO Kathleen M. LaValle. “The speakers promise to inspire us, challenge us and motivate us as we work to make our community a safer, stronger and more supportive place for all children.”

Cynt Marshall

Cynt Marshall, a dynamic force for inclusion and diversity, will moderate the panel. After a 36-year career at AT&T, Marshall was hired in 2018 as the CEO of the Dallas Mavericks where she set her sights on cultural transformation. Marshall is a longtime advocate for children in the foster care system. She is a board member at Dallas CASA, a former board chair and a sworn child advocate in Dallas.

The luncheon will honor philanthropist and longtime friend of Dallas CASA Betty Regard with the Caroline Rose Hunt Cherish the Children Award. As one of the original Dallas CASA volunteers and board members, Regard has supported the agency as it grew from ten volunteers in 1980 to more than 1,300 volunteers annually today. She was one of the founders of the Dallas CASA Children’s Council and is currently a member of the agency’s advisory board. Her deep, personal commitment to children on the margins has spanned more than 50 years.

The award, which recognizes individuals or organizations for outstanding contributions to helping children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect, is named for longtime friend of Dallas CASA Caroline Rose Hunt because of her constant dedication to the most vulnerable in our city and to help people who could not help themselves.

The luncheon will be hosted by Dallas CASA Children’s Council, an auxiliary group of the agency. Dallas CASA seeks to protect children and restore childhood by training and supervising community members to serve as advocates for child victims of abuse and neglect living in the protective care of the state. All funds raised at the luncheon go to support the children served by Dallas CASA.

Luncheon co-chairs are Lisa Tenorio Truppa and Jessilyn Thiboult Wilson, both members of Dallas CASA Children’s Council and longtime Dallas CASA child advocates.

About Dallas CASA

Dallas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) seeks to protect children, restore childhood and help child victims of abuse or neglect achieve their full potential. The agency’s trained and supervised community volunteers are assigned by judges to advocate for the best interests of children who have experienced abuse or neglect and are living in the protective care of the state. For many children in foster care, their Dallas CASA volunteer is the only consistent, caring adult in their lives during a frightening, uncertain time. Dallas CASA envisions a day when all children experience safe childhoods and grow into resourceful, healthy adults. Now in its 44th year, Dallas CASA serves more children than any of the more than 900 CASA programs nationwide. In 2023, 1,240 Dallas CASA volunteers were assigned to advocate for 2,151 children in protective care. For the past five years, the agency has been able to provide an advocate for every Dallas child in need. To learn more, visit dallascasa.org.

*All images provided by Dallas CASA speakers

(This Philanthropy Lifestyles eBuzz sponsored by Dallas CASA.)


Principal of Philanthropy Lifestyles (formerly SocialWhirl.com), the award-winning eBuzzNewsletter and Adams Communications Public Relations, a boutique PR firm specializing in media and community relations for small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Sharon is also a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in Dallas Business Journal, Katy Trail Weekly, People Newspapers (Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People/North Dallas People), Preston Hollow Life magazine, The Park Cities News, White Rock Lake Weekly, numerous blogs and websites and more.