|BAR FOUNDATION ANNUAL REPORT-
The 2011-12 fiscal year was another successful year for the WV Bar Foundation as it continued its progress from a striving to a thriving entity in fulfilling its mission of improving the administration of justice and the provision of legal services for West Virginia’s citizens.
As the philanthropic organization for the state’s legal profession and justice system, the Bar Foundation strengthened its commitment to initiating and supporting those programs and activities that benefit men, women and children.
During the past year, the Bar Foundation’s Board of Directors, a diverse group of fifteen judges and lawyers from all parts of the state, made policy decisions to initiate new activities, reduce its administrative costs, enhance its grant making process and implement an endowment fund. Through its various committees, the Board received and reviewed numerous strategic actions that included decisions to keep moving the Bar Foundation proactively into the future.
In the middle of the year, the Board was faced with a difficult situation in determining what needed to be done with the two buildings that it had owned and leased for ten years and twenty years as they became vacant. After serious consideration, the Board placed them on the market with one being sold in May, 2012, and the other being placed under contract shortly thereafter. Once both facilities are sold, the Bar Foundation proposes to initiate an Endowment Fund beginning with a half million dollars.
The Board of Directors fulfilled its desire to keep providing more grants to worthwhile charitable entities that meet the Bar Foundation’s mission. With more than $40,000 granted, the Bar Foundation has distributed almost $150,000 to various groups around the state in just the past five years. A proud moment for the Bar Foundation was the provision of its first Public Service Scholarship to a deserving student at the West Virginia University College of Law.
Two other “firsts” occurred in the past twelve months—the Lunch and Laughs with a Legal Legend program and the ALPS Lawyer Leadership Institute. The Lunch and Laughs activity was a friendly “roast” of WVU President Emeritus and College of Law Professor, David C. Hardesty, Jr. The event in Morgantown in October, 2011, was well attended, well received and well supported. More than $25,000 was designated for Professor Hardesty’s law student scholarships and for Bar Foundation grants. A fun time was had by all and it will become an annual affair.
The ALPS Lawyer Leadership Institute, sponsored by ALPS (Attorneys Liability Protection Society) gave outstanding leadership training and guidance to a small group of younger lawyers, who have demonstrated potential to be leaders in the legal profession, in their communities and in the state. Excellent presentations were made by knowledgeable judges and lawyers in a weekend retreat atmosphere at Stonewall Resort in May, 2012. The evaluations were so overwhelmingly positive that the Board of Directors will continue the endeavor.
For the 14th year, distinguished judges and lawyers were honored as Bar Foundation Fellows during the annual dinner in Charleston in April, 2012. Approximately 150 persons from all parts of the state attended the black
tie optional activity where sixteen lawyers and three judges joined less than 350 individuals who have previously achieved this high honor out of more than 5,000 judges and lawyers in West Virginia.
Again, the Bar Foundation had a clean audit from the independent accounting firm as well as monthly bank reconciliations by a separate accounting entity. The Board of Directors gives a high priority to its financial responsibilities during its quarterly meetings and throughout the entire year. One needed expenditure was to improve and enhance the Bar Foundation’s website—www.wvbarfound.org—which was accomplished in the fall, 2011. The popular Bar Brief, a twice monthly electronic newsletter, keeps Bar Foundation members informed about the good work and the services provided by the philanthropic organization.
Elected to serve as Board members for three year terms and as the Officers for 2012-13 were:
President-William Tracey Weber, Jr.-Weston
Vice President-Harry Hatfield-Madison
Since its inception in December, 1988, the WV Bar Foundation has been taking progressive actions to assist and support the state and her citizens. The 2011-12 fiscal year was another example of the Bar Foundation’s
|BAR FOUNDATION GRANTS-
As part of its best practices process, the Bar Foundation and its Board of Directors require a report from the worthwhile non-profit organizations that receive Bar Foundation grants. The reports are received one year after the grant funds have been distributed.
A grant to the WV Association of Counties helped fund the award winning documentary on West Virginia’s courthouses. Called ” a gift to the state”, the Association’s Executive Director, Patti Hamilton, stated that the documentary film was provided to K-12 educators, university faculty and public libraries in addition being shown on the statewide public broadcasting system.
The Monongalia County Child Advocacy Center received a grant to help fund a free therapy program for child abuse victims. Dr. Laura Capage, the Center’s Executive Director, reported that one child victim’s picture of how she felt after coming to the Center “was sunshine, rainbows and positive words such as “happy” and “love.”
Scott Miller, the Executive Director of Just for Kids expressed his gratitude for a Bar Foundation grant which provided Stewards of Children training for over 150 adults in the community and the purchase of an additional 250 training packets for future sessions. He went on to say that “Just for Kids is having a considerable impact in the three counties we serve regarding awareness and prevention.”
The Liberty Day program operates in numerous states to promote a better understanding of the Declaration of Independance and the U.S. Constitution for school students. Here in WV, a Bar Foundation grant enabled community
leaders to make these important presentations in various schools where it was reported that there was not “an unsatisfied teacher.”
For numerous years, the Bar Foundation has given grants to support “The Law Works” legal education program on the statewide public broadcasting system. The well regarded television program is hosted by Bar Foundation Fellow Dan Ringer, who recently stated that-“In fact, in the thirteen years The Law Works has been on the air, I have never received a negative comment concerning the show, its guests or its topic selections.”
On July 4, celebrate the independance that citizens enjoy in West Virginia and in the United States.
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[wpmlunsubscribe]Thomas R. Tinder, Esq.
West Virginia Bar Foundation
2008A Kanawha Blvd., East
Charleston, WV 25311
The philanthropic organization for West Virginia’s legal profession and justice system.
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