For 30 years, Volunteer Legal Services Project Inc. has spearheaded an annual campaign to fund services and programs provided by the Legal Aid Society of Rochester, Legal Assistance of Western New York, and VLSP. A donor reception at the Memorial Art Gallery on March 22 wrapped up another successful campaign.
Campaign Co-Chairs Karen Schaeffer, Thomas Durkin, and Jonathan Falk were on hand to thank donors and sponsors. VLSP Executive Director Tina Foster, Legal Aid Society President Carla Palumbo, LawNY Executive Director Ken Perri and LawNY’s local managing attorney Lori O’Brien were also there to celebrate the conclusion of the CFJ.
Predominantly a socializing atmosphere, a brief program included a welcome by VLSP’s new leader Tina Foster, and a shout out to retired Executive Director Sheila Gaddis, who was the force behind the campaign since 2002.
WDNY District Court Chief Judge Frank Geraci Jr. reflected on VLSP founder Hanna Cohn’s efforts to make the world a better place.
“Equal justice under the law should be available to all,” Judge Geraci said. “The Campaign for Justice needs the support of the community to provide legal services to those who can’t afford a lawyer. It’s been working for 30 years.”
The Hon. Thomas Van Strydonck also spoke briefly, highlighting some of history’s famous lawyers who have worked for free or at assigned counsel rates, such as A.L. Kearns in Mapp v. Ohio and Thurgood Marshall in Brown v. Board of Education.
Sponsors for the event included Constellation Brands, Canandaigua National Bank & Trust, Bond Schoeneck & King PLLC, along with Mengel, Metzger Barr & Co.; Cochran Cochran & Yale; Buckingham Properties; GLC Business Services; DeMott Smith; Stewart Title; Lawley; Closing U.S.; Lexis Nexis; and Counsel Press.