March Volunteer Spotlight: Mr. Merkle “Skipper” Kornegay

 


It is difficult to find the words to describe someone whose presence was bigger than himself. A man whose heart was as big as he was, a man full of compassion and wisdom, a man who would go above and beyond for something he believed in. This is the description of a man that we lost on February 10, 2019 -- Mr. Merkle “Skipper” Kornegay. 

Mr. Skipper was an influential member of CASA since his swearing in on February 22, 2006. He advocated on 11 cases for a total of 22 children, four of which he was actively working. Mr. Skipper was no ordinary advocate; he had no problem traveling hundreds of miles for his CASA children. He would melt at the sight of a new picture and eagerly share it with CASA staff. He would take the stand and testify with little to no notes like it was his easy chair at home. He knew his kids, he knew his cases, and he knew what he was recommending was right. He never lost focus of the children’s best interest in any of his cases. Not only the staff, judges and other local interested parties took note of this, in 2010 Mr. Skipper was named Louisiana Advocate of the Year.


Mr. Skipper also joined the board of directors in 2010 as one of the only board members to actively have a case. As a board member he was instrumental in fundraising. He sold draw down tickets like hot-cakes. His style was pretty much to drop a ticket off and say, “hey you owe me $100.” And who was going to argue with Skipper? In both 2014 and 2015 Mr. Skipper was named as CASA of Terrebonne’s board member of the year. In 2015, he single-handedly raised approximately $15,000 for CASA of Terrebonne. Skipper hated being awarded these titles. He didn’t do it for the recognition. He didn’t do it for the accolades. He did it because of his passion to help. I know there are several other organizations who are trying to find the words to express their gratitude, as well as their sorrow. Many people woke up on February 11 to realize a man they deemed immortal was no longer a saint on Earth. May his legacy live on through the countless lives that he touched through the years. I know we, the Staff of CASA of Terrebonne, will be forever changed because of his presence in our lives.

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