Community Involvement

USPP-Tri Lakes, LLC Gives Back

Nikolas Ritschel Foundation

The Story of Nikolas Ritschel

Nikolas Ritschel was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, Synovial Sarcoma, about a month before his 18th birthday and joined heaven a month after his 21st birthday. Nik realized that many cancer patients in his age group were too old to take advantage of “kids” programs and yet too young to have their own resources. He wished there was something to provide respite to this age group and give them the encouragement. We then founded the Nikolas Ritschel Foundation.

Our Goal

The goal of our fundraising efforts is to enrich, encourage, and strengthen the faith and hope of our young adult cancer warriors. During a period of time where good news is difficult to find, the Nikolas Ritschel Foundation is able to provide a helping hand that can truly change the life of the young cancer warrior and their family. Please see how you can help


“Friends, I first want to thank each of you for your generosity and donation to Nik's Home Run. The event was held at a local baseball field in Loves Park, IL and although it may have been bitterly cold and windy for the trot, the event more than warmed up the hearts of those who participated. In total, the ExxonMobil team donated over $3,500 to this wonderful event, this is enough money to provide 1/2 of a wish for a local adolescent to help make their dream come true! Thank you so much for making this dream a reality. Your kindness and giving was certainly recognized throughout this event. Thanks again for stepping to the plate and knocking one out of the park!" 

With great gratitude,

Clif Morris
Exxon Mobil Fuels Marketing
Territory Manager


USPP-Tri Lakes, LLC supports Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) a program of Child Advocacy in Gratiot County. The CASA program recruits, trains, and supports volunteers to represent the best interest of abused and neglected children in the courtroom and other settings.

 is an organization that pairs trained volunteer advocates with children involved in abuse and neglect cases in the county. Volunteers advocate for children in the system to ensure their needs are met and that their voice is heard throughout the permanency process.

CASA Volunteers have a very high capacity for good decision making, strength in character, commitment and ability to speak in Court. Their volunteer work is often very uncomfortable, but they are committed to children. Our Volunteers are matched with a sibling group and conducts an individual investigation by meeting regularly with foster parents, teachers, biological parents, therapists, and doctors, to make recommendations to the Judge about their best interest. 

Since its creation by the family court judge in Seattle, Court Appointed Special Advocates has become one of the most effective programs of its kind. Children who are appointed a CASA Volunteer are:
  • More likely to find a safe, permanent home
  • More likely to receive services while in the system
  • More likely to stay in fewer foster homes
  • More likely to have consistent, responsible adult presence
  • More likely to pass all courses in school

The Impact
In 2021, CASA had 19 Volunteer Advocates in Gratiot County. Those 19 Advocates were able to serve 36% of the children involved in an abuse and/or neglect case in the community. Each volunteer donated approximately 10-15 hours per month of their time to watch over children in the system and to advocate on their behalf until the children were placed in a safe, permanent home. With over 2,168 hours spent in 2021, we still were not able to reach all of the children in foster care. In 2022 our goal is to reach more children, but we need help. 

Mission Statement
CASA of Gratiot County’s mission is to provide advocacy for neglected, abused, and at-risk children in the Family Division of the 29th Judicial Circuit Court, promote the best interest of the child, and establish safety and permanency for all children.

For more information about becoming a volunteer, or if you wish to make a donation, please see Child Advocacy’s website at or call (989) 463-1422. 

Contact Us Today!