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Campaign For Justice 2002-03 Fundraiser A Rousing Success

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

  • Organization: Volunteer Legal Services Project
 

The 2002-03 Campaign for Justice fundraising drive was “a stunning success,” according to the Executive Director of Volunteer Legal Services Project Sheila Gaddis.

“The extraordinary support the campaign received in this tough economy from the local legal community, foundations, and other friends of legal services for the poor is an incredibly positive reflection on this community,” she added.

As of mid-August, the campaign raised $193,500, an increase of more than $26,000 compared to the prior year.  New initiatives for support from non-lawyer friends of legal services, businesses and foundations produced very positive results.

“We decided to seek support outside of the legal community because the need to raise more funds was of paramount importance, and the response has been gratifying,” stated Steve Brown, the coordinator of the campaign.

Brown also reported that the three co-chairpersons of the campaign, James C. Moore of Harter Secrest & Emery, Ralph Peek, CFO of Hudson Hotels Corp. and Fran Weisberg, President/ CEO Lifespan, are deeply thankful for the strong showing of support for the campaign.

“They are thrilled at the success of the campaign and consider it a fitting tribute to the memory of Hanna Cohn,” noted Brown. 

Cohn, the former executive director of VLSP, coordinated the campaign since its inception in 1986 until her sudden death in January of 2002.

The increase in funds raised by the campaign is greatly needed by the three local legal services programs supported by the campaign:  Volunteer Legal Services Project, the Legal Aid Society and the Monroe County Legal Assistance Corp. Each has suffered significant funding cuts this year.

The campaign will also help support the Hanna S. Cohn Community Lawyer Fellowship, a new legal services fellowship that will provide legal services to low-income clients in matters that the area legal services programs have been unable to address. The primary support for the fellowship will be provided by Cohn’s extended family and an endowment set up in her name after her death.

Brown also noted that the campaign would gladly accept payment of campaign pledges from those who have not yet paid. “If half of the unpaid pledges were paid, we would make our original goal of $200,000. Getting there would be a dream come true.”

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