Remembering Marty Crimmins
By Melissa Protzek, Esq.
Recently, I’ve paused to reflect on the hundreds of people who have volunteered their time and effort on behalf of our CASA program. I am in awe of the thousands of hours our advocates give to kids, the innumerable people who have helped us run successful events and spread the word about our mission, and those individuals who have led our organization through service on our Board of Directors. Each person has been a volunteer for CASA, and each has given to our agency in their unique way.
One of our very special volunteers passed away in September, and we mourn the loss of former Board of Directors President Martin Crimmins.
Marty holds a very special place on that list of great CASA volunteers. Marty was Board President when I became Executive Director in 2005. He and I spent a great deal of time together as we worked to assure the stability of our organization during some turbulent times. I can say unequivocally that CASA in Allegheny County is a vibrant, healthy, and impactful organization because of the efforts of Martin Crimmins.
During our time of need, Marty led a core group of board members who didn’t retreat when the going got rough. Marty used his leadership capabilities and professional skills to set our organization on a solid path. It took a tremendous amount of leadership and innovation to achieve this, and Marty was leading the way. He not only brought leadership and innovative ideas to the table when we needed them most; he also brought a great sense of humor and will power to do whatever had to be done to keep our organization afloat without sacrificing the quality advocacy we provided to the kids we serve.
Above what he gave personally, it was his passion for the mission and his huge heart for children that enabled him to convince others to pitch in and get involved with a struggling organization. CASA would not have survived at that time without the leadership, humor and perseverance of Marty Crimmins. Because of the steps he took 17 years ago, CASA is proud to say that we have trained nearly 1,000 community members who have served 2,000 vulnerable children. CASA is thriving today because of Marty Crimmins.
Our deepest love and sympathies extend to Marty’s wife, Melissa and his three daughters who were the greatest joy in his life. May they find a measure of peace knowing that Marty impacted thousands of children and that impact will be felt for generations to come.