THE PERSON BEHIND THE BADGE: LARRY HILGERS
It comes to no surprise to anyone that knows Larry, that he has a big heart for kids. A native Texan, Larry grew up in Amarillo, with traditional family values, where his grandparents played a key role in guiding their extended family. His parents were always there for him, helping him stay focused on relevant matters and giving him a little nudge here and there to stay the course. Larry studied chemical engineering at Texas Tech and after 28 years in oil and gas, decided to switch gears and became a certified financial planner, which he did for 10 years. He loved the investment side of his work and meeting and working with people. Larry is now retired.
Larry has lived in LaGrange for fifteen years with his wife, Ann. He has two children and four grands that bring a big smile to his face. He plays tennis and dabbles in woodworking, in particular, birdhouses, which once came in real handy for the kids at church. Through the sale of Larry’s birdhouses, the church kids were able to raise money to help them attend camp. Which brings us to how he found CASA.
His work at his church came to an end and he started looking for something else to become involved in. After seeing an ad in the paper for a CASA Informational Session, he decided to “show up” thinking that since he often worked with kids at church, this could possibly be a natural extension of that, except for the difference in the environment. And fortunately for CASA, he has been “showing up” ever since.
Larry was sworn in as a CASA Volunteer in April of 2015 and has worked on an array of cases ever since.
Larry reflects on how meaningful his CASA work has come to be, especially when he sees his CASA kids light up when they see him in front of their school or outside their placement. In that moment, he knows he made the difference, as he can feel it in his heart. He then knows they get it, that they understand his role and, in part, understands that he has no hidden agenda. Larry admits he is challenged by the suggestion that parents would not be 100% for their kids, but is glad he can be the constant in their lives during this time. Larry finds it very gratifying to be able to care and advocate for them to give them every opportunity they deserve.
Donna Cashion, Advocate Supervisor, sums it up well. She states, “Larry is a true Texas gentleman that is an inspiration to all. I admire his dedication to CASA, the children, and the families we serve. Larry is a consistent and reliable Advocate that I would love to clone!