The Atlanta Lawyer — The Atlanta Lawyer December 2012
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The Season Of Giving
Lynn M. Roberson

The Atlanta Lawyer highlights this month celebrations of the season and the extraordinary generosity of our member attorneys and our special ability to really enjoy ourselves. The winetasting for the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation (“AVLF”) in early November was a real highlight for me this year as I was invited to serve wine to the attendees. This role helped my popularity tremendously! I even had repeat customers. One lawyer claimed his brother had stopped to sample the wine I was serving and recommended he try it himself. I happen to know this lawyer’s brother was not attending the affair so he was making excuses to take another taste. All of the donated grab bag bottles of wine were sold, too. This event is incredibly important to the continuing viability of AVLF as many of its prior sources for contributions have dried up or become less generous in light of the recession. Our member lawyers recognize that in a recession, not only are charitable contributions harder to come by, but the need is so much greater. Such a sterling example was demonstrated earlier this year by ALL the judges of the Fulton County Superior Court, who came together to make sure AVLF’s Guardian Ad Litem program did not have to be sacrificed.

The Atlanta Bar Secret Santa continues to bring joy to children in the DFACS program who might not have as memorable a holiday celebration without the generous donations of our members. And our Atlanta Santa Project brings so much joy to children who would not have a merry Christmas without our fabulous Santas (a.k.a, Judge T. Jackson Bedford, Jr., John Bailey, M. Gino Brodon, Mike Brewster, Don Edwards, Brian Johnson, Judge Christopher J. McFadden, Gary Spencer) and his elf helpers. When you read the stories of some of the participants and recipients of this program, you see how much your generosity of time and money can make a difference by letting children know they are cared about by many people they do not even know.

In early December, many of our members gathered to celebrate many of our lawyers who have published books or music. It was a great party “Up on the Rooftop”. This year was the second year of this fabulous celebration at Ventanas. And, like last year, the weather cooperated so everyone could enjoy the panoramic skyline view from the venue and its outdoor rooftop patio. Atlanta lit up at night is truly inspiring – especially if you have lived here as long as I have and seen all our skyscrapers rise over time. Atlanta Bar Board member Karen Fultz and her committee (Greg Presmanes, David Schaeffer and Rita Sheffey) really did a fine job putting the event all together. And, of course, nothing gets done at the Atlanta Bar without the invaluable assistance of our staff. We are all so grateful for Diane O’Steen and her many outstanding staff “elves” (Mariana Pannell, Byron Lomas, Michele Adams, Kari DeLoach, Mary Lynne McInnis, Tanya Windham, Brantly Watts,

Denisha Wise, Carla Brown, Lucia Keller and Amber Johnson) who get the job done no matter what – and do it with smiles on their faces!

During this season of giving I remind you also of our own Atlanta Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the Atlanta Bar, which supports many of our programs, including the Minority and Diversity Clerkship program, Truancy Intervention Project, and so much more. This year marks the Foundation’s 25th year and they have worked diligently to raise extra funds to establish an endowment. Please consider giving generously to this most worthy charity. The Foundation will be good stewards of your funds. It has been capably run for several years with the assistance of Executive Director Sally Hogsette. Our own past president, Liz Price, currently serves as the Foundation’s president this year and is doing an outstanding job!

So during this end of year focus on those in need, please join with the Atlanta Bar and it many sections, all of whom have been doing their part in bringing a little light into what can sometimes feel like a dark world.
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