April 2014 Bar Bulletin
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April 2014 Bar Bulletin

Breakfast With Champions Raises More Than $301,000 for Pro Bono & Diversity Programs

By Joel Feldman


One thousand guests joined the King County Bar Foundation at its 14th annual Breakfast With Champions fundraiser on March 19 at the Westin Hotel. The event raised more than $301,000 for KCBF's funding priorities of pro bono civil legal aid and diversity programs.

During this year's program, the guests were welcomed by Hon. Charles Burdell, Jr. (Ret.), who once again emceed the event. KCBF President Mary Jo Newhouse also welcomed the crowd to the hour-long program, which concluded with a thought-provoking keynote speech from Harvard Law professor and legal theorist Charles Ogletree.

University of Washington Senior Lecturer Kimberly Ambrose, a past Bar Scholarship recipient, also spoke to the crowd and shared her personal experiences that brought her to a career in the legal sector. She went on to talk about the importance of diversity in the legal sector and how contributions to KCBF's diversity programs can affect current and incoming students at the local law schools.

In this academic year, the Foundation has provided more than $130,000 for 53 scholarships to students at the Seattle University and University of Washington law schools. Since 1970, more than 800 scholarships, totaling more than $2 million, have been awarded.

The Foundation also premiered a video highlighting the King County bar's Pro Bono Services (PBS) programs. The video told the story of Ronica, the wife of a deployed soldier, who was facing a wrongful eviction. Thanks to the Housing Justice Project and her pro bono lawyer Kelli Smith, she was able to stay in her home. The video can be seen at www.KCBF.org, under the Breakfast link.

Following the video, Colleen Kinerk, KCBF past president, made an impassioned plea to encourage guests to make a donation in support of the Foundation's pro bono and diversity initiatives. Every dollar contributed to the Foundation last year resulted in $7.53 in legal services or helped leverage an education for a minority law school student in King County.

The King County Bar Foundation would like to thank the sponsors, table captains, guests, trustees, staff and volunteers for making the 2014 Breakfast With Champions a success. Special acknowledgements are extended to the members of the Breakfast planning committee, who volunteered their time and energy to organize this event: Eric P. Gillett (chair), Kate Battuello, Judge Burdell, Vanessa Power, John R. Ruhl, Donald B. Scaramastra and Scott A. Smith.

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