In 1988, Kappa Alpha Theta began an extensive search for a new philanthropy, seeking a nonprofit organization to be a true partner in one of the Fraternity’s goals: exercising the widest influence for good. The winner—The National Court Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian ad Litem (CASA/GAL) Association for Children—fulfilled Theta’s criteria of having a high impact on women, a diverse geographic network and an established need.
Choosing National CASA/GAL as their philanthropy gave Theta members opportunities to contribute through direct service and leadership, as well as monetary gifts. It presented opportunities for Thetas to benefit as well, through personal growth and service to their communities.
Janet Paine Peters and Marjorie Crane Schnacke were presidents of Theta Fraternity and Theta Foundation, respectively, when the choice was announced in 1989. “The enthusiasm of all involved was immediate,” Janet recalls. “Ideas for involvement on both sides opened.”
Both of these women understood that Theta’s impact would be valuable at the national and local levels, and each committed herself to service. Following her tenure as Theta Foundation president, Marjorie served on the CASA of Shawnee County, Kansas, advisory board. An alumna of Theta’s Kappa Chapter at the University of Kansas, she passed away in May 2005. After two terms as Fraternity president, Janet continued to volunteer for Theta in a variety of roles and was a member of the Friends of Child Advocates board in Los Angeles County and the California State CASA board. She is an alumna of Theta’s Beta Omega Chapter at Colorado College.
“I think both the National CASA/GAL leadership and our Theta Foundation and Grand Council were surprised at the fit of the two groups. It offered our members a variety of ways to help. We both won.” – Janet Paine Peters