MBT In The CommunityMeckler Bulger Tilson Marick & Person LLP understands the importance of public and community service, giving back, and improving our communities. Our lawyers and staff are involved in numerous civic, charitable, and philanthropic organizations and events on a national and local level. Whether it is providing pro bono representation, leading non-profit organizations, organizing events, serving on boards and committees, mentoring students, or volunteering at events, our attorneys and staff are passionate about public and committee service.
Community & National Service
Steve Pearson and Angel Flight Central (AFC) pair up with Lutheran Church Charities to fly Comfort Dogs to Assist Oklahoma Tornado Survivors. Partner Steve Pearson, Board Member of AFC, has initiated a partnership with Lutheran Ministries to assist in flying Comfort Dogs to Moore, Oklahoma to provide comfort to tornado survivors. Comfort dogs, which recently served in Newtown, Connecticut following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and in Boston following the bombing at the Boston Marathon, offer relief to those dealing with traumatic events. Initially, the dogs and their handlers drove 18 hours to Oklahoma, but with the assistance of AFC, the dogs and their handlers enjoyed transportation aboard aircraft donated by Angel Flight pilots and reached Moore in just 3 hours. The volunteer pilots provide their time, aircraft and pay all associated travel costs. Steve Pearson personally flew two dogs, Hannah and Susie, and their handlers to Oklahoma aboard his Bonanza, and as you can see from the photos, the dogs very much enjoyed the ride! Plans are being made to continue a partnership between AFC and Lutheran Church Charities to assist in these missions in the future. Hats off to Steve Pearson for reaching out to assist the victims of Moore, Oklahoma!
Chicago partner, Jim Hickey, is a volunteer coach at St. Michael School in Wheaton, Illinois.
Jefferson Awards 40 Anniversary
Army general-turned-CIA director David Petraeus, who led U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and became head of the CIA in 2011, received the award for greatest public service by an elected or appointed official. Jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis and singer-actor Harry Connick Jr. received the award for greatest public service by a private citizen for their efforts to rebuild New Orleans following 2005's Hurricane Katrina. Richard Proudfit, founder of Kids against Hunger, received the award for greatest public service benefiting the disadvantaged. Amber Lynn Coffman, founder of Happy Helpers for the Homeless, received the award for greatest public service by an individual 35 or under.
Headlining the sports stars receiving Jefferson Awards for outstanding service by a professional athlete was Hall of Fame Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly, who with his wife, Jill, created a foundation in honor of his son Hunter. Hunter was diagnosed with Krabbe disease, a rare genetic disorder that affects the central nervous system, and died in 2005 at age 8. Hall of Fame hockey player Pat LaFontaine, who created a group that pays for game rooms for kids in hospitals around the country, and race car driver Charlie Kimball, a diabetic who has become a spokesman for the issue also received awards.
Scott Seaman and his wife Charlene are members of the National Board of Selectors and had the honor of presenting a national champion award for excellence in volunteering in the work place to Timothy Crawford of Nation Wide Insurance Company.
Student leaders at Benedictine Academy High School in New Jersey were awarded the Jefferson Gold Medal for the Greatest Public Service by a High School. Once again a Chicago area school distinguished itself - as Thornton Township School District 205 in South Holland finished second among 350 school nationwide to score the Silver medal.
The celebration of service concluded the way the first Jefferson Awards gala held in the original U.S. Supreme Court building concluded 40 years ago, with all of the National Jefferson Award Winners and members of the Jefferson Awards Board of Selectors in attendance taking the stage, holding hands, and singing "God Bless America."
Jerry Reinsdorf, Justice Ginsburg, Marlo Thomas, Stevenson High Are Among The 2011 Jefferson Awards Recipients
"It was an honor to present the award to Jerry Reinsdorf. Sure he is best known for delivering 7 world Championships to the City of Chicago and its sports fans. Regardless of the record of the White Sox on the field or the record of the Bulls on the court, Jerry and his organizations deliver compassion, generosity, and service to people in Chicago and across the nation on a daily basis."
Other winners include U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, actress Marlo Thomas (St. Jude's), former NFL running back Warrick Dunn, Brittany and Robbie Bergquist (co-founders Cell Phones for Soldiers), and Billy Shore. The Jefferson Awards were founded by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, U.S. Senator Robert Taft, Jr. and Sam Beard to establish the Nobel Prize for Public and Community Service.
Adlai E. Stevenson High School of Lincolnshire, Ill. won the 2011 Jefferson Award for Outstanding Service by a High School. Stevenson competed with over 350 schools across the country as part of the Jefferson Awards high school leadership and philanthropy program. Stevenson students raised over $250,000 for charity and logged over 55,000 hours of service. According to Seaman, "Jefferson Awards Students in Action high school leadership program is about passing the tradition of service to the next generation. It is amazing to see what our young leaders across the country are doing and it is rewarding to see Chicago area schools setting the standard."
Legal Assistant, Arleen Burke, volunteers at The Anti-Cruelty Society
Jim Argionis On Patrol To Prevent Teenage Underage Drinking: Chicago partner, Jim Argionis, is a volunteer with the City of Park Ridge Police Department's Parent Patrol. The Park Ridge Parent Patrol was instituted last year as a method to help keep the youth of Park Ridge safe by preventing underage drinking. The Park Ridge Police have partnered with the Maine Community Youth Assistance Foundation in establishing the Parent Patrol. Parent Patrol volunteers receive training including information on current community efforts to address teen alcohol use and background on underage alcohol prevalence and methods to keep teens safe from the dangers of underage drinking. The program began with volunteers during prom and graduation and now has been extended to the entire year. Parents sign up for night time shifts during weekends when Parent Patrol members either ride along with Park Ridge Police Officers or remain on call. The message sent by Parent Patrol involvement is that parents in the community are involved and care enough about the problem to watch and provide support to help keep teenagers safe.
A recent article in the Chicago Sun-Times Park Ridge Herald-Advocate reported:
Parent Patrol volunteer Jim Argionis was riding with a police officer when the call of the party came in. He described his role as that of an observer and as a physical example that parents in the community are keeping an eye on the city's youths. "It's a good program to let the homeowners and the children themselves know that there is another person looking out for them," Argionis said. He compares the Parent Patrol to a Neighborhood Watch, where police and parents work together to curb underage drinking. "I think just by being present it lets (the teenagers and parents) know it's something serious and the children should be avoiding it," Argionis said. Each weekend this summer a Parent Patrol volunteer will be on call. Like Argionis the volunteers can also ride with a Park Ridge police officer during his or her shift if they choose. The Parent Patrol was developed by the Park Ridge Police Department last year, and dozens of volunteers have been trained to be members. The June 17 incident was the first time a patrol member responded to a party in progress.
The Angel Flight "Wings & Wedges" Golf Outing was held on September 17 at the Grand Geneva Resort and Spa in Lake Geneva Wisconsin: For the third straight year, Steve Pearson Chaired and MBT sponsored the Angel Flight "Wings & Wedges" Golf Outing. The proceeds benefited Angel Flight Central, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides free aviation travel within the Midwest to children and adults in need for health care and for other humanitarian purposes. Several MBT attorneys supported this important cause. Steve Pearson is a veteran pilot and donates his services to this organization.
Congratulations to Jenny Goltz 2010 recipient of the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law Outstanding Young Lawyer award for Her Pro Bono Work: Congratulations to Jenny Goltz, an associate in MBT's Labor and Employment Group, and the 2010 recipient of the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law ("CLCCRUL") Outstanding Young Lawyer award for her pro bono service. Jenny handled a pro bono case for CLCCRUL where she succeeded in obtaining a substantial judgment on behalf of a hate crime victim.
MBT Attorneys Chad Main and Kevin McHugh Recognized for Excellence in Pro Bono Service: MBT attorneys Chad Main and Kevin McHugh were presented with an Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Service by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The annual Awards are presented to area attorneys for their contributions in helping those most in need of assistance through pro bono work before the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Main and McHugh were nominated by District Court Judge Blanche M. Manning for their work in representing an indigent individual in federal court.
Chicago Blood Cancer Foundation launched to raise money & awareness for lymphoma, leukemia, and myeloma research: Scott Seaman is one of the co-founders of Chicago Blood Cancer Foundation, a non-profit committed to curing lymphoma, leukemia, and myeloma by promoting awareness and raising money for blood cancer research.
MBT Participates in "Out For Blood" Bike Ride to Cure Blood Cancer: Congratulations to Brett Heinrich, Mike Marick, and Joe Studer for participating in a bike ride in September and raising thousands of dollars for cancer research. Several members of the MBT family supported this event.
Report to the White House & Senate on the State of Volunteering in America: Scott Seaman serves on the national board of selectors of the Jefferson Awards for Public Service. The Jefferson Awards were founded in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, U.S. Senator Robert Taft, Jr., and Sam Beard to establish a "Nobel Prize" for public and community service. Scott was among the delegates involved in presenting a report to Vice President Biden, Senator Reid, Senator McConnell, and a host of other senators and elected officials on the state of volunteering in America.
MBT Sponsors "Battling and Beating Cancer" TV Show: Scott Seaman and his wife Charlene McMann co-host "Battling and Beating Cancer" a cable television show addressing cancer and health related issues and featuring interviews with leading physicians and researchers. Dorothy Gaicki and Kristi Kerns are executive producers of the program.
Tilson Co-Chairs National Finals of ABA's Student Trial Advocacy Competition: MBT co-founder Joe Tilson is the Regional Co-Chair and Co-Founder of the Midwest Regional Trial Advocacy Competition, which is sponsored by the Employment Law Section of the American Bar Association. Law school students were judged on their advocacy skills and courtroom presence at each stage of the trial. Each team consisted of four law students, two serving as lawyers and two acting as witnesses for the trial. Federal judges, law professors and prominent employment lawyers from around the nation serving as evaluators. U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kennelly judged the final round of the competition, in which a team from Northwestern University emerged victorious on November 18, 2012 in a field of 20 teams from the Midwest Region.
"Our competition began nine years ago as a pilot program and has steadily grown into a national competition with eight regions. Each year, we continue to be impressed by the polished trial skills shown by these law students."