We are thrilled to report that our 50th Anniversary was a sold-out success! We were honored to celebrate with 300 judges, lawyers, and friends from all across the Commonwealth, at the Colonnade hotel, late last month. Thank you to all who participated—it was just wonderful to celebrate with you! Together, we raised over $100,000 for the MBF.
Brockton-native Ken Feinberg was our guest of honor, receiving the MBF’s Great Friend of Justice Award and delivering the keynote address. At the close of his remarks, Feinberg noted, “[I]t’s the private organizations, like the Mass. Bar Foundation, that protect what justice means in our society. It is a real distinct honor for me to receive such a distinguished award from an organization made up of people like you in this room, who I have learned to work with and love over the years, so thank you very much.”
The event showcased the MBF's half-century of contributions to legal services in Massachusetts. Through its grant making and charitable activities, the MBF has worked tirelessly to increase access to justice for Massachusetts citizens statewide. In 2014 alone, the MBF IOLTA Grants Program awarded grants totaling approximately $2 million.
"We all have reason to be very proud of the achievements of this organization," said MBF President Robert J. Ambrogi. "Thanks to all the great people who've been involved over the years as fellows, trustees and supporters, we have had a significant impact on increasing access to justice in our state."
As part of the Gala, MBF Past President Jerry Cohen presented the 2014 MBF President's Award to Roy A. Hammer for his vision and service to the foundation. Hammer was instrumental in establishing the Massachusetts IOLTA program, which is now the MBF's most significant source of funding for grants that provide civil legal services to the poor or improve the administration of justice throughout Massachusetts. Hemenway & Barnes Partner Kurt F. Somerville accepted the award on behalf of Hammer, saying "it is humbling to stand here in Roy's shoes."
The Gala also featured a silent auction and wine pull, with proceeds from the event benefitting the MBF and its continued work in addressing unmet legal needs in the state.