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Campaign for Justice volunteers secure another $19K

Fellow retirees Paul Richardson and Michael Schnittman were at WXXI bright and early to call colleagues for donations.

Fellow retirees Paul Richardson and Michael Schnittman were at WXXI bright and early to call colleagues for donations.

WXXI provided a studio and bank of phones for the 2015 Campaign for Justice morning phone-a-thon on Dec. 3, when volunteer callers reached out to colleagues to secure $19,454 in the three hour telephone blitz.

Adding the newly secured dollars to existing pledges pushed the fundraising total past the halfway mark as the campaign strives to reach its $280,000 goal.

The personal telephone calls are one of several approaches used to contact attorneys and organizations in the effort to raise funds for Volunteer Legal Services Project Inc., LawNY and the Legal Aid Society of Rochester. An evening of calling kicked off the individual donor outreach, bringing in over $54,000 in one evening of telephone contact.

The campaign cabinet, headed by Frank A. Novak, Harter Secrest & Emery LLP; William Q. Lowe, Harris Beach PLLC; and Arline L. Santiago, ESL general counsel, includes numerous subcommittee chairs seeking donations from major law firms, vendors, general counsel, out-of-town firms that regularly have Rochester courts and younger attorneys.

David Tennant, partner at Nixon Peabody LLP, and Mike Schnittman, retired Lacy Katzen LLP attorney, headed this year’s subcommittee on the phone-a-thon and individual solicitations.

The Law Firm Challenge, led by Bill Lowe, is an attempt to acquaint attorneys under the age of 40 with the campaign’s purpose of providing civil legal services to the serious needs of the underserved community. Rochester’s poverty levels make it the fifth poorest of the top 75 U.S. metropolitan areas.

Last year’s Campaign for Justice effort totaled $283,606 in pledges against a $275,000 goal. To date, $277,226 of those pledges has been received.

— Photos by Nora A. Jones