Court advocate for abused kids honored by Lions

Dorothy Rinderle, a longtime volunteer with Mesa County’s CASA, court appointed special advocates, is honored as the 2013 Hometown Hero for the Grand Junction Lions Club.

“She looks at children and thinks all children should have the opportunity for a good family life.”

“She doesn’t just care about our family, she cares for all kids.”

“It’s like now that she’s retired she’s more busy. We have to call to make an appointment with her.”

“She’ll drop whatever she’s doing to help you out.”

Sound like someone you know?

These kind words describe Dorothy Rinderle, as told by family members. The longtime advocate for abused and neglected children was named Tuesday as the 2013 Hometown Hero by the Grand Junction Lions Club.

“It was very unexpected,” Rinderle said, smiling and looking a little flustered after she was called to the podium in a banquet room at Two Rivers Convention Center.

“I was angry at them when they all took off and I wasn’t invited,” she joked of her family’s efforts to keep the award a secret.

As tradition goes, Rinderle’s family was quietly seated in another area of the room, waiting for the news to sink in that she was the honoree.

Rinderle is a 15-year volunteer with CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates of Mesa County. Her responsibilities include filing paperwork, attending court and visiting families, all with the goal of ensuring the best outcomes for abused and neglected children.

Rinderle is respected by judges and attorneys and is considered one of the most reliable CASAs, Reford Theobold said in her introduction.

Rinderle retired two years ago from Mesa Developmental Services, which is now called Strive.

She was 40 when she attended then-Mesa State College to earn a degree in behavioral psychology. She previously had worked as a butcher, at Brach’s Market, and a baker, at Homestyle Bakery, “but not a candlestick maker,” Theobold joked.

Rinderle’s husband, Jim, said on a video about his wife that she had rough beginnings as both parents were deaf.

Jim and Dorothy have two daughters, Janel Tanner and Carrie Sheata; and a son, Jason Rinderle.

Rinderle was also awarded $1,000 to go to her favorite charity, CASA.

“When it comes down to the bottom line, I do make a difference in children’s lives,” she said.


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