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Great Tradition of Holiday Gift Giving Continues...

Norristown, PA - On Monday, December 13, the Montgomery Bar Association made some substantial holiday donations at its annual joint Community Outreach-Bar Foundation Holiday Luncheon.  A one-time contribution in the amount of $5,000 was made to St. John’s Soup Kitchen in Norristown.  Accepting on behalf of St. John’s Vestry was Ann T. Snyder from the Friends of St. John’s.  Another donation of $10,000 was made to Laurel House -- a domestic violence agency and shelter serving individuals, families and communities throughout Montgomery County.  Accepting on behalf of Laurel House was Deputy Director William Baldwin and Executive Director Beth Sturman.  On hand to conclude the MBA gift giving ceremonies was Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania’s (LASP) Co-Director Harvey Strauss, who accepted a check in the amount of $39,000.  This amount capped off the Bar Association’s 2010 financial contributions of $55,000 to LASP.  Of note, this amount was in addition to $16,000 raised this year by the Bar Foundation at its annual Legal Aid Golf Classic, held this past June.  According to Strauss, “In addition to monies received from the Association and Foundation, Montgomery County lawyers volunteered over of 1000 hours to LASP in 2010”.  The MBA also provides free, state-required continuing legal education to LASP volunteers throughout the year.

Left: Pictured from Left to Right:  MBA Vice President Donald J. Martin,  Laurel House Deputy Director William Baldwin, MBA President Steven H. Lupin, Laurel House Executive Director Beth Sturman,
 Ann T. Snyder from the Friends of St. John’s (accepting on behalf of St. John's Vestry) and Legal Aid of Southeastern PA Co-Director Harvey Strauss.
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The MBA’s Young Lawyers Section again partnered with the Chartwell Law Offices and other area law firms and collected gifts and financial contributions for the U.S.O. at Naval Air Station – Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove as part of our annual HOLIDAYS for HEROES Campaign. Donations were collected at the Bar Building and in lieu of admission to the Young Lawyer’s annual holiday party. In light of the imminent scheduled Base closure in 2011, MBA leadership approved a special, one-time contribution of $3,000 to the cause to help ensure a successful 2010 campaign for our troops. This year, the Young Lawyers with support from partnering law firms, businesses and organizations collected approximately $5,400 in gifts, toys, nonperishable food items and donations for the U.S.O. Since the launch of HOLIDAYS for HEROES in 2007, the MBA and its partners have raised upwards of $30,000 for locally based troops deployed overseas and their families.
Above: Members and Officers of the Montgomery Bar Association and Montgomery County Paralegals Association attended a ceremony with service members and representatives from the U.S.O. at Naval Air Station-Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove in recognition of their 2010 Holidays for Heroes Campaign.   Since the launch of HOLIDAYS for HEROES in 2007, the MBA and its partners have raised upwards of $30,000 for locally based troops deployed overseas and their families.
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Continuing to Give Back in the Classroom...

The MBA continued its giving ways in the classroom on December 2nd  as fifteen (15) two-person teams, consisting of one judge and one lawyer each, presented the third of six scheduled civics education classes to sixth grade classes throughout the Norristown Area School District.  This was part of a PBA-lead civics education initiative entitled, “Liberty and Law”.  David Trevaskis, Pro Bono Coordinator for the PBA provided course materials and conducted two training sessions for the presenters.  Three remaining one hour lessons are scheduled for the spring.  The civics education program has been very well received throughout area middle schools and to date all 500+ 6th grade students in the Norristown School District have received instruction.

Above: (Standing Right) The Honorable Thomas C. Branca and Immediate-Past President of the Montgomery Bar Association,  Mark A. Kearney, Esq. (Standing Left) present a lesson on “The Courts: Where Rights are Protected” to 6th grade students at East Norriton Middle School 205.
Above: (Standing Right) The Honorable Carolyn T. Caruccio of Montgomery County’s Court of Common Pleas and Vice President of the Montgomery Bar Association,  Donald J. Martin, Esq. (Standing Left) present the mock trial Commonwealth v. Goldilocks and examples from real life trials to 6th grade students at East Norriton Middle School 207.
Above: (Standing Right) The Honorable Lois E. Murphy of Montgomery County’s Court of Common Pleas and Bruce Pancio, Esq. of the Montgomery Bar Association (Standing Left) present a lesson highlighting the importance of trial by jury  to 6th grade students at East Norriton Middle School 219.