Hearts of Yolo Profile: Muvvie Marks

Thursday, Jul 7, 2016

A registered nurse, Muvvie Marks has always had a caring heart. One of six children, Muvvie married in 1963 and went on to have six children of her own. She and her husband, Steve, now have 21 grandchildren. “Children’s voices and laughter are just a way of life for me. I can’t imagine how quiet the world would be without them.” In addition her career as a nurse, Muvvie also worked for Vision Quest, where she recruited staff to work with delinquent children who were not incarcerated.

Born and raised in Woodland, Muvvie’s hobby was horseback riding. In fact, she and Vicki Murphy used to ride together often and had many “riding adventures and happy trails” with one another as they shared a family friendship that dated back four generations. When Muvvie’s youngest child was ten, she began thinking about doing more volunteer work. “I saw in the local paper that they were starting a CASA organization in Yolo County and it just spoke to me. I wanted to help foster children. I called Vicki and said, ‘we have to do this. Let’s get in on the ground floor’” And “do this” they did.

As with Vicki, Muvvie also became a member of CASA’s first board, drawing on her background in both healthcare and working with at-risk youth. The more she did, the more she wanted to do. “After I joined the board I also really wanted to become a CASA, so I signed up for the next training.” She was assigned to a nine year old boy named William, and remained his CASA until he turned 18. Today he is 27 and they are still in touch. “I just treated him like I would my own child. I advocated for him, taught him things, and gave him unconditional love and support.” Part of that meant following him through several placements from Yolo to Yuba to Sutter County. “I wanted him to know that I would follow him wherever he went and would always be a part of his life.”

In fact, Muvvie still is a part of his life. In a couple of months, she is going to watch his ceremony to become an Ensign in the US Navy and she’s never lost touch. “We’ve been in each other’s lives for 18 years now.”

As with Vicki, we also consider Muvvie one of our “founding mothers” at CASA. As she reflects on the early days, she remembers many dedicated hearts supporting the organization, much like now. “Money was really tight when we were getting the organization going. For fundraisers, established families all over the county would graciously open their homes and host fundraisers for us. I couldn’t believe their complete generosity and devotion to the cause.” She also speaks fondly of the staff throughout the years. “Edie Udhall was one of the first staff members and she really knew how to get things done for kids in court. She was such an asset. And now, the current executive director, Tracy Fauver, has just taken CASA to the stars. We have really gotten lucky with the most amazing people.”

Thank you for all that you’ve done, Muvvie. It takes one to know one!

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