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IBA: Indianapolis Bar Foundation Has Record Year

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Ever heard the expression, “give a little, give a lot?” Those supporting the Indianapolis Bar Foundation in 2009 did just that. Whether through a $35 contribution through the Indianapolis Bar Association’s dues renewal or a larger direct contribution; members of the legal community provided nearly $150,000 to fund a variety of community service programs and initiatives. These efforts will provide access for the public to legal services or help lawyers become better stewards of the law. And without donor support – legal community support – these programs could not happen.

“For lawyers who are interested in community outreach, the IBF is the mechanism by which most of these programs are funded,” said John R. Maley, Indianapolis Bar Foundation President. “Ask A Lawyer, Legal Line, Low Asset Wills Program, the Diversity Job Fair – all of these are supported by the Foundation. So donor money and time have a great deal of impact.”

The mission of the IBF – to advance the administration of – rang true with donors in 2009. A record number of donors gave to the IBF last year, 2,015 total. Even so, the work continues and the need for the services supported by these contributors is as great as ever.

There are some fun ways to contribute to the IBF. Coming up on July 8, 2010, is the Lawyer Links Classic, a fantastic golf outing that has gotten bigger and better each year. Put a foursome together for a fun afternoon at Broadmoor Country Club. There are also event sponsorships and hole sponsorships available – a great way to get some exposure and support the IBF.

“There are many golf outings, but there is a lot of collegiality at the Lawyer Links Classic and the money raised supports organizations that lawyers truly care about,” Maley said.

In the fall, the IBF holds its most popular event, An Evening Under the Stars dinner and auction. Attended by more than 300 legal and business community leaders each year, the dinner will be held at the Ritz Charles in Carmel. “This is the IBF’s main fundraiser, but it has become more than that – it is a place to relax and have a great time,” said Kelley Johnson, Dinner/Auction Chair and attorney with Cohen & Malad. “It’s an evening of fun, great food, and time spent with great people bidding on some tremendous auction items.”

Evening Under the Stars will be on Friday, September 10, 2010. Gather your friends, colleagues and clients for a great evening to benefit the IBF. You may register for both the Lawyer Links Classic and the annual dinner at www.indybar.org.

In 2009, these three events raised more than $74,200, on the way to helping the Foundation raise nearly $280,000. The goal for 2010 is $250,000, which Maley and the IBF board hope will be bolstered by getting even more law firms to support the annual Law Firm Campaign. “We had tremendous support from lawyers and law firms last year; the number of firms that achieved 100% of its employees giving to the IBF had significant growth,” he said. “We hope to expand that this year.”

In addition to funding new and existing programs, the IBF supports efforts that cultivate leadership in the community and assist law students, among them the IBA Bar Leader Series and the IBF scholarships for law students. Deserving members of the legal profession also are selected as Distinguished Fellows of the IBF, who show their support of the legal community in many ways. The IBF will also be launching a Senior Fellows initiative to recognize donors who have demonstrated leadership and long-term support of the IBF’s mission.

“The Foundation has grown significantly since I began work with the Indianapolis Bar in 1991,” said Julie Armstrong, Indianapolis Bar Foundation and Association Executive Director. “Back in the day the IBF was a somewhat sleepy sister to the Association. Through the vision of many past leaders the IBF’s impact and success has grown.”

Why should you give to the Indianapolis Bar Foundation in 2010? Because the IBF directly supports programs and causes that you care about as a legal professional. Plus, the IBF throws a pretty good party. Those interested in getting involved are encouraged to email Julie Armstrong at jarmstrong@indybar.org.•

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