As one of the co-chairs of the 2014 Campaign for Justice, Tom Richards saw an opportunity to thank loyal donors who give above a certain dollar level.
“As we reviewed the past giving records,” Richard explained, “we saw that a very substantial amount of the total campaign dollars came from individuals who gave $300 or more. Many of those individuals had loyally supported the campaign for many years.”
He called on long-time CFJ supporters Carolyn Nussbaum and Michael Schnittman to help implement a recognition program.
“By creating the Justice Society and holding the reception, we hoped to recognize these existing donors and hold them out as examples to which others could aspire,” Richards said.
Campaign co-chairs Richards, Maureen Mulholland (Monroe Muffler Brake Inc.) and Jeremy Cooney (City of Rochester chief of staff) were both busy thanking guests at the Feb. 5 Justice Society Donor Reception at the Memorial Art Gallery.
Hot and cold hors d’oeuvres were available along with cocktails and a free pass to tour the gallery. Jeff Benatar, a pianist from the Eastman School of Music, played a baby grand on the stage. The atmosphere was celebratory, including a few brief remarks by Richards and Mulholland.
With a campaign goal of $275,000, Richards reported a total of $282,000 in pledges to date.
Mulholland took a few minutes to thank the evening’s sponsors – Canandaigua National Bank & Trust, Constellation Brands Inc. and D4 LLC – who covered reception costs. She acknowledged agency leadership in attendance, including Legal Aid Society CEO and President Carla Palumbo, Volunteer Legal Services Project Executive Director Sheila Gaddis, and Lou Prieto and Ken Perri, both of Legal Assistance of Western New York.
“The campaign also appreciates the support we receive from the Monroe County Bar Association, the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys and the Rochester Black Bar Association,” Mulholland added, next mentioning the important role of the judiciary.
One of the long-time, loyal individual donors, Janice Iati, explained her passion for the campaign in a recent email: “I started my legal career as a law guardian in Monroe County Family Court. It was there I developed a deep appreciation for the importance of access to justice for all people. The agencies that rely on the campaign are a vital part of the access to justice and we all benefit when they thrive.”
The invitation list for the Justice Society Donor Reception included 401 individuals with about 20 percent attending the event while outdoor temperatures lingered in the single digits. The campaign has 912 donors … so far.