`

Serving their communities: Bar groups volunteer for Week of Service

October 17, 2018

Around Indiana, attorneys put aside their lawyerly work recently to paint, clean, stock, harvest, weed, plant, saw and hammer. They volunteered in their communities as part of the Indiana State Bar Association’s fourth annual Week of Service, Sept. 23-29.

Former ISBA president Andi Metzel stirred the spirit of volunteerism when she turned the Board of Governors’ typical August retreat into a volunteer day at Gleaners Food Bank in Indianapolis. The board and ISBA staff gathered at the nonprofit Aug. 24 and packed enough to feed about 1,000 Hoosier children.

Indianapolis Bar Association members kept the focus on feeding hungry families by offering outdoor activities at Indy Urban Acres and indoor work at Gleaners. On Sept. 14, attorneys picked and planted vegetables in the garden and stocked nonperishables at the food bank.

Lewis Kappes, P.C. associate Scott Oliver helped organize the event as a member of the bar association’s Professionalism Committee. “The event allowed me to get out of the office and do good,” Oliver said about the service day. “The IndyBar Day of Service gets attorneys together to work toward a common goal — improving their community.”

About 10 Lake County Bar Association attorneys and one paralegal gave up a Saturday morning Sept. 29 to clean, paint and upholster some furniture at the Hammond Boys and Girls Club. Bar association president Steve Sersic, partner at Smith Sersic, said volunteering countered some of the negative impressions the public can have about lawyers.

“It’s important to show that part of ourselves,” Sersic said.

At the opposite end of the state, about 25 attorneys from the Evansville Bar Association joined a community effort to build a new public playground along the Ohio River Sept. 21. Attorneys gathered at Mickey’s Kingdom and helped construct a treehouse, monkey bars, slide, swings and a wobble bridge.

Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC associate William Cartwright organized the day of service as chair of the bar association’s Day of Service Committee. Now he’s waiting for the playground to open soon so he can take his 16-month-old son and proudly say he helped build it.

Ice Miller LLP held a firmwide day of service for attorneys and staff at all offices across the country Oct. 5. A total of 442 participated, with the Indianapolis office boasting the strongest turnout at 283 volunteers.

In the Circle City, the Ice Miller crew volunteered with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful to help spruce up Washington Park. Partner Gina Giacone, chair of the Ice Miller Foundation, which supports the firm’s philanthropic activities, said the day not only enabled the attorneys and staff to help their communities, but also served as a great team-building exercise.

A morning crew planted trees along and cleared an area overgrown with honeysuckle and weeds, while the afternoon team endured an unexpected downpour but still was able to spread mulch around a playground, clear more brush and paint the inside of a recreational facility.

Despite poison ivy and sore muscles, Giacone said the day was a success.

“It was one of the best things we did,” she said. “Everybody was happy.”•
 

  • Evansville Bar Association members measured, sawed and hammered as they helped build Mickey’s Kingdom, a playground along the Ohio River.

  • Evansville Bar Association members measured, sawed and hammered as they helped build Mickey’s Kingdom, a playground along the Ohio River.

  • IndyBar members weathered a hot day to harvest and plant at Indy Urban Acres.

  • The Indiana State Bar Association Board of Governors spent part of its retreat at Gleaners Food Bank.

  • The Indiana State Bar Association Board of Governors spent part of its retreat at Gleaners Food Bank.

  • Lake County Bar Association members painted, upholstered and spruced up the Hammond Boys and Girls Club.

  • Lake County Bar Association members painted, upholstered and spruced up the Hammond Boys and Girls Club.

ADVERTISEMENT

Recent Articles by Marilyn Odendahl