Remembering a special CASA volunteer

Larry Limpf

News Editor

An Oregon woman who was murdered in 2021 is being remembered for her dedication as a volunteer with the Lucas County Court Appointed Special Advocate program that helps abused and neglected children.
The CASA Rising Star Award, handed out every two years, has been renamed to honor Johey Crawford, a volunteer for five years with CASA.
Judith Leb, director of the Lucas County program, paid homage to Crawford during the CASA award ceremony earlier this month at the Hilton Garden Inn, Perrysburg.
“Johey’s loss leaves a hole where love, passion, and humor melted together into an amazing woman who was so grateful to CASA for giving her the opportunity to serve,” Leb told a crowd of about 335 people. “No Johey, thank you. In your honor and memory we hereafter and in perpetuity name our next award after you: the Johey Crawford CASA Rising Star Award.”
Crawford was sworn in as a volunteer by the Lucas County Juvenile Court on Sept. 15, 2016 and accepted her first case that day.
In her five years as a volunteer she served 31 children and 12 families. In addition to volunteering with CASA she worked as a pediatric nurse at Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor.
“She put her pediatric nursing experience, her diligence, her love for children, and her heart and soul into every case, and earned rave reviews from the judge,” Leb said. “Johey advocated with fierce devotion for her guardian children, and in one case, Johey’s advocacy truly contributed to the saving of that child’s life. Johey was a phenomenal person.”
Crawford won the Rising Star Award herself in 2018.
Her husband, Knute Huber said last week he was pleased his wife would be remembered through the award.
“This shows something good can come out of a tragedy,” he said. “Especially if more people are moved to become CASA volunteers.”
Malcom Fisher was convicted of aggravated murder and burglary. According to court records, he went to their Hazelton Drive home and, with a shotgun, shot the lock off the front door and shot Crawford. He woke his daughter, then 9-years-old, and left, taking the girl with him. The girl is the granddaughter of Huber and Crawford.
Lucas County CASA also recognizes the efforts of those involved in the program with the Power of One award and, although it isn’t affiliated with the Lucas County Children’s Services Department, the program has a Caseworker of the Year award.
Currently, there are slightly less than 200 volunteers with the Lucas County CASA, Leb said, and more are needed.
A training class starts in January and interested persons can register now. Volunteers must be 21 and older. The application form is available at


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