Memphis Bar Foundation Awards Grants, Inducts New Fellows
At its annual Fellows reception on Wednesday, October 5, the Memphis Bar Foundation (MBF) awarded grants of almost $50,000 to eight non-profit organizations and inducted 35 new Fellows. The amount awarded tops last year’s total—previously the highest amount ever awarded— by $7,000. Organizations receiving grants were CASA of Memphis & Shelby County Inc. for their volunteer recruitment and training program; Community Legal Center for their Immigrant Justice Program; Exchange Club Family Center for their Safe Exchange/Supervised Visitation Program; Mediation and Restitution/Reconciliation Services (M.A.R.R.S.) for their juvenile mediation program; Memphis Area Legal Services for the “It Just Takes One” Campaign to expand volunteer participation; Memphis Bar Association Diversity Committee for the Summer Law Intern Program; National Civil Rights Museum for the Brown v. Board of Education courtroom; and the Pam Cobb Endowed Paralegal Scholarship Fund at Southwest Tennessee Community College.
In addition, the Irvin Bogatin Social Justice Award was presented to Danielle McCollum, a recent graduate of the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. Claude Gatebuke, a first-year law student, received the Bogatin Scholarship. The Bogatin Award and Scholarship are sponsored by the Bogatin Fund, created by the family and friends of Irvin Bogatin, to honor his legacy of pursuing social justice. Mr. Bogatin, an attorney for over 65 years, died in 2008.
Thirty-five new Fellows of the MBF were inducted at the event. The 2011 Fellows class includes:
Richard H. Allen, Jr., Allen Summers Simpson Lillie & Gresham, PLLC
James B. Summers, Allen Summers Simpson Lillie & Gresham, PLLC
Jeffery E. Thompson, Martin Tate Morrow & Marston, P.C.
Hon. Lonnie B. Thompson, General Sessions Court, Civil Division
Christopher L. Vescovo, Thomason Hendrix Harvey Johnson & Mitchell, PLLC
C. Barry Ward, Ballin Ballin & Fishman, P.C.
Amy Weirich, District Attorney General
Hon. Robert S. Weiss, Circuit Court, Division VIII
Jason G. Yarbro, Butler Snow O’Mara Stevens & Cannada, PLC
New this year, the MBF announced its first Sustaining Members. These individuals are Fellows who have completed their initial pledge, but who have elected to contribute an additional amount to further the Foundation’s work. The Memphis Bar Foundation Board voted last year to donate all funds received from Sustaining Members to the National Civil Rights Museum for its Brown v. Board of Education courtroom. A check for $4,150 is being presented to the Museum.
Sustaining Members for 2011 are:
Platinum Level Shepherd D. Tate
Douglas M. Alrutz
Gold Level Ben C. Adams, Jr.
Judge John Donald
Lewis R. Donelson
Joe M. Duncan
Judge Donna Fields
Jason P. Hood
Connie Lewis Lensing
George T. “Buck” Lewis
S. Shepherd Tate
Silver Level Amy J. Amundsen
Judge Robert S. Benham
James S. Gilliland
Joedae L. Jenkins
Judge David S. Kennedy
Jim Neal Raines
Judge Donn Southern
The Memphis Bar Foundation is the charitable foundation affiliated with the Memphis Bar Association. Over the years, the Foundation has supported causes in four primary areas: scholarship, equal access to justice, professionalism, and lawyer assistance.