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On the Town: Foundation holds donor reception

MCBA’s Young Lawyers Section has an annual fundraiser specifically to help Teen Court. From left are Tim Lyster, YLS chair; Cookie Waller, Teen Court program manager; Jennifer Lunsford, YLS secretary; Janet Horne and the Hon. Frank Geraci.

The Foundation of the Monroe County Bar held a reception Oct. 24 at the Center for Youth on Monroe Avenue to thank those who have donated to the 2012 Raise the Bar annual appeal.

Center for Youth Executive Director Elaine Spaull was on hand to introduce several Teen Court volunteers and alumni. 

The venue provided an opportunity for donors to see how their contributions to the foundation impact Teen Court, a program developed in conjunction with the Center for Youth. Teen Court is a diversion program operated through Rochester City Court for teens who have committed first time, non-violent crimes. 

Defendants are tried by their teenage peers, who also serve as prosecutors, defense counsel and court personnel and jurors. The foundation’s support of Teen Court has been leveraged to garner additional financial support from the community.

Candice Griffin, a University at Buffalo graduate who volunteered in Teen Court at age 14, believes that her volunteer work helped her mature and presented her with opportunities that helped in high school and college. A former defendant also shared his story about being given a second chance with the help of Teen Court. 

C. Bruce Lawrence, president-elect of the foundation, spoke of several programs that benefit from foundation funding, including the Rochester Legal Clerkship Diversity Program, Lawyers for Learning’s Peace Camp and A.C.T. for the Children.

To learn more about the foundation and the $40,000 in grants awarded this year, visit

— Photos by Nora A. Jones

The Hon. Karen Morris with George Griffin, father of Teen Court volunteer alumnus.

MCBA President Connie Walker poses with Chris Werner of Boylan Code.

Loren H. Kroll and the Hon. Richard D. Rosenbloom were among the guests.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan Feldman chats with MCBA Executive Director Mary Loewenguth.

Past Foundation President Liz Wolford with Maureen Garvey.