MBF Celebrates Grant Recipients and Presents President’s Awards

MBF President Janet Aserkoff and the 2017 President's Award Recipient, Attorney Ted Cohen.

MBF President Janet Aserkoff and the 2017 President's Award Recipient, Attorney Ted Cohen.

The Massachusetts Bar Foundation (MBF) recently presented President’s Awards to attorney Robert C. Ware, Esq., Williamstown, and to attorney H Theodore Cohen, Esq. of Cambridge. Given annually, the MBF President’s Award recognizes exceptional MBF supporters for their commitment to increasing access to justice for the most vulnerable in Massachusetts. The awards were presented at two recent events honoring grant recipients as well as MBF supporters.

H Theodore Cohen has been one of MBF’s most dedicated members of its Society of Fellows since 1998. Attorney Cohen is very involved in the grant review process, having served on a regional Grant Advisory Committee every year since 2001. Professionally, He was town counsel for Reading from 1972 through 2001, then practiced municipal law, real estate, and land use at Keegan Werlin until his retirement. Currently, he serves as the chair of the Cambridge City Planning Board. Attorney Cohen graduated from Brown University and the University of Chicago Law School. He received his award at the Eastern Mass. MBF Grantee Reception, which was held at Burns & Levinson, LLP, in Boston.

“Ted is someone the MBF can always rely on,” said MBF President Janet F. Aserkoff of Boston’s Rappaport Aserkoff & Gelles, “It is our great privilege to honor his outstanding support of legal services and the Massachusetts Bar Foundation in this way.”

MBF Vice President Harvey Weiner presents Attorney Bob Ware with the 2017 President's Award.

MBF Vice President Harvey Weiner presents Attorney Bob Ware with the 2017 President's Award.

Robert C. Ware has also been a grant reviewer every year since 2001. As a member of the Western Mass. Regional Grant Advisory Committee, Attorney Ware has volunteered his time and expertise traveling throughout the four western counties, visiting applicants and helping to ensure the MBF distributes funds effectively in this underserved region. He is a solo practitioner specializing in estate planning and probate matters. Attorney Ware graduated from Williams College with honors and received his law degree from Georgetown University. Prior to 1993, he was in private practice in North Adams, Massachusetts. He also worked as a litigator for the Federal Communications Commission. Attorney Ware is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. He is a founding member and former President of the Williamstown Film Festival, as well as a former President of the Williamstown Rotary Club. Ware received his award at the Central & Western Mass. grantee reception, which was held at UMass Amherst.

“Bob’s exceptional commitment to working to increase access to justice, and his generosity towards the Massachusetts Bar Foundation, has not gone unnoticed. We are proud to honor him for all that he does,” said Aserkoff.

The receptions were also an opportunity for the MBF to celebrate its current grant recipients and their work, which includes providing civil legal services to people who otherwise could not afford them and improving the administration of justice in the Commonwealth. These programs help thousands of individuals and families in Massachusetts who have legal issues relating to domestic violence, housing, access to special education services, healthcare, discrimination, and many more. This year’s grantee speakers were Elinett Oquendo Burgos, a 2017 recipient of the MBF Legal Intern Program Fellowship and former intern at Mass. Advocates for Children, and Jada Ficarra, a high school student from Springfield and participant in the 2017 Judicial Youth Corps Program.

This year, the MBF awarded $2 million in grants through its annual Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Grants Program. These grants will fund 84 programs conducted by 56 nonprofit organizations throughout Massachusetts. Representatives of many of these organizations were in attendance.

 

Click here to view photos from the events.