Minneapolis (3-22-05): -- The Hennepin County Bar Foundation announced today that its BAR BENEFIT 2005 set a record -- for the seventh consecutive year -- for contributions from the legal community in support of local legal service programs. Phillip Trobaugh, chair of the planning committee, and Foundation President Katherine L. MacKinnon thanked all concerned.
Karen Lee Sorbo, professional auctioneer, urged attorney generosity as they bid on a Mountain get-away, Timberwolves team-autographed sports collectibles, a wine and chocolate evening, a continuing legal education pass, and an opportunity to ride with Santa at the Holidazzle Parade. Donors celebrated an increase over last year, with $80,000 donated to the Foundation through ticket sales, direct contributions and the live auction. An additional $19,000 was raised for the Volunteer Lawyers Network at the event through a silent auction and raffle.
Over 450 members of the bench and bar enjoyed the evening of fun and fundraising Wednesday (March 16) at the Radisson Plaza Hotel. Honorary chair U.S. Attorney Thomas Heffelfinger hosted the evening and also presented the HCBA’s Pro Bono Publico awards. Recognized for their service to the community through volunteer service were attorneys Gregory R. Merz, Karen J. Canon and the Hon. Bruce A. Peterson. Also recognized were eight firms for their successful participation in the Pro Bono Challenge by providing pro bono services of at least 3% of their 2004 billable hours.
Founded in 1968, the Hennepin County Bar Foundation is dedicated to the mission of ensuring the fairness of, and accessibility to, the legal system by promoting public understanding and confidence in our system of justice. Toward this end the Foundation makes grants each year to community organizations involved in public legal education and the delivery of legal services to the citizens of Hennepin County. Over $500,000 in grants have been distributed in the last decade, supported in large part by the Bar Benefit, as well as individual contributions from the Hennepin County legal community.