programs at the Legal Aid Society of Rochester, Legal Assistance of Western New York and Volunteer Legal Services Project.
Phone calls to attorneys -- from attorneys -- has been a traditional approach to kick-start the annual fundraiser that typically runs November-March.
Using a studio at WXXI on the morning of December 4, local attorneys secured over $17,000 in pledges in the span of 3 hours.
VLSP Board President M. Aileen Shinaman (general counsel at University of Rochester) reminded herself to tally the pledges she secured as she set an example for the dedicated Campaign for Justice volunteers.
In a little over one hour, she had $1,000, and was awaiting several call-backs.
Other phone-line volunteers included past VLSP President Frank Novak (Harter Secrest & Emery), VLSP board members Anthony Piazza (Hiscock & Barclay), Fernando Santiago (Santiago Burger Annechino), Maureen Mulholland (Monro Muffler Brake), and Tom Richards (former Rochester mayor).
“There’s a bit of trepidation in making the calls,” joked Santiago, “but it’s a lot of fun and for such a great cause.”
Scott Forsyth (Forsyth & Forsyth), Phil Spellane (Harris Beach), Mike Schnittman (retired, Lacy Katzen) and Katherine McGuire (Woods Oviatt) were also on the early morning shift, with Legal Aid Society president and CEO Carla Palumbo on hand to answer questions for volunteers.
“From the perspective of a legal service provider, I am so grateful that this community ‘gets it.’ The need for civil legal representation continues to grow,” Palumbo stated. “At the end of the day, these are the funds that allow us to represent the people we do.”
The campaign continues through March 31, 2015. Donations can be made online at www.vlsprochester.org/campaign-for-justice.html
-Written by Nora A. Jones