Legal Services of Eastern Missouri celebrated 12 community leaders and partners with its “For the Common Good” awards on Aug. 24. (See a photo gallery at the bottom of this story.)
“This annual event is a valued opportunity to show our deep appreciation for the volunteers and civic leaders who demonstrate exceptional dedication to furthering community engagement and foster networking and partnering on behalf of those who are in need of services that Legal Services provides,” said Legal Services Executive Director and General Counsel Dan Glazier in a press release.
Below are the 12 recipients and a brief review of why they were chosen for these awards.
Lawrence J. Kettenbach Jr. – Robert Walston Chubb Award for sustained commitment to Legal Services
As a Legal Services board member since 2012, Larry has chaired Legal Services’ Board Facilities Committee since its inception and has led efforts to determine and act upon headquarters facility needs, demonstrating great judgement and leadership, while devoting many hours of his time to this task.
Enterprise Holdings, Inc. & Baker McKenzie – Hon. Richard B. Teitelman Award for volunteer service.
Baker McKenzie, in partnership with Enterprise Holdings Inc. and Legal Services’ Youth & Family Advocacy Program and Education Justice Program, provided substantial volunteer support in the creation of the Missouri Homeless Youth Handbook.
Clair Antoine and the St. Louis Anti-Violence Project (STLAVP) – Melton M. Lewis Equal Justice Award
Clair Antoine serves as the Executive Director for STLAVP, which is an organization committed to ending relational violence in LGBTQ+ Communities. Clair is a tireless advocate for the community, including for folks who are LGBTQ+ service providers doing domestic and sexual violence work and has partnered with Legal Services’ Lasting Solutions Program in this effort.
Orthodontic Centers of Missouri – Melton M. Lewis Equal Justice Award
Dr. Osmond Jones and his team at the Orthodontic Centers of Missouri have been providing orthodontia services to children on Missouri Medicaid for over 30 years and have been working with the Legal Services, Advocates for Family Health program team, for more than 15 years, providing services when very few others will because Medicaid carries a significantly lower reimbursement rate than self-pay or employer insurance payment rates.
St. Joseph Housing Initiative – Eddie Mae Binion Community Service Award
St. Joseph Housing Initiative is a valued partner of Legal Services’ Neighborhood Advocacy program, renovating homes in disinvested St. Louis neighborhoods and offering them for sale at an affordable price to low-and-moderate-income first-time homebuyers. They also provide down payment assistance, home-buyer education and supportive services for first-time homebuyers.
Julia Chaney-Faughn – F. Wm. McCalpin Pro Bono Award
Julia Chaney-Faughn has served as a Judicare attorney for the Legal Services’ Hannibal office since 2016. To date, Julia has represented 107 Legal Services clients. She is a valuable asset to the Judicare program and has always been willing to help when called.
Jeffery T. McPherson – F. Wm. McCalpin Pro Bono Award
Jeffery McPherson, an attorney with Armstrong Teasdale, began working with Legal Services as a law student and has maintained a pro bono partnership ever since, helping clients with landlord-tenant issues, domestic violence protections and access to public benefits.
Rose Tanner – Hon. John R. Essner Young Lawyer Award
Rose Tanner, an associate with Thompson Coburn, is a Young Friends of Legal Services Board member and is an active pro bono volunteer, taking on landlord-tenant cases. She also helps mentor younger associates at the firm to encourage them to engage in pro bono service with Legal Services.
Ebony Sheckles – Hon. John R. Essner Young Lawyer Award
Ebony Sheckles is an active volunteer with the Legal Services’ CED Microenterprise program, helping low-income entrepreneurs with business legal matters. Since joining the pro bono program just one year ago, she has assisted four different clients and has logged more than 100 hours.
National Health Law Program – Gerald R. Ortbals Law Practice Award
The National Health Law Program (NHeLP) has been a valuable partner to Legal Services for decades and is the premier public interest health law firm in the nation. Most recently, they have helped in Legal Services’ private duty nursing litigation and have co-counseled almost every major health litigation case with Legal Services since 1993.
The Missouri Independent – Media Award
The Missouri Independent and most notably reporters, Clara Bates and Rebecca Rivas, have consistently highlighted many issues facing Legal Services clients, including problems with Medicaid, P-EBT, SNAP benefits and homelessness, as well as spotlighting issues of access to justice.
Mayor Gary Johnson – Rory Ellinger Legislator Award
As an Alderman, Gary Johnson, now Mayor of Jennings, drafted, sponsored and ultimately enacted a city ordinance that allocated Jennings’ ARPA funds to provide emergency relief, allowing tenants displaced by poor housing conditions to receive funds to assist them in their time of need. When elected mayor, he has continued to support his residents in securing safe housing.
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