College Columns May 2017 - Page 6

Foundation Raises and Grants Record Amounts in 2016

Mark D. Bloom, Chair

ACB Foundation

and pleasure to report that 2016 was another record year for the Foundation. Not only did donations from our Fellows exceed $300,000 for the first time in history -- $303,958 to be exact – but in combination with other funding generously provided by the College we were able to award a record $468,000 in grants – almost $150,000 more than the previous record set in 2015.

As much as I hate to bore you with statistics, permit me to express my gratitude to the 529 Fellows – 72% of whose 2016 contributions met or exceeded their gifts in the prior year – who caused us to exceed both our record 2015 total and 2016 target by just over 10%.

For the first time we rolled out our Four Figure Club, a target for those in position to donate $1000 or more. The response again was overwhelming, with 100 Fellows participating at that special level.

As in the past, we relied so heavily on our Circuit Campaign Chairs to motivate the extraordinary level of giving that enables us to set new records year after year. This year in particular, the Foundation would like to recognize all of those Campaign Chairs whose tireless efforts – pushed, prodded and encouraged by our Treasurer Marti Kopacz -- produced this outstanding result:

William W. Kannel (1st Cir.)

Kenneth H. Eckstein (2nd Cir.)

David B. Stratton (3rd Cir.)

Guy A. Davis (4th Cir.)

R. Patrick Vance (5th Cir.)

M. Colette Gibbons (6th Cir.)

Vincent E. Lazar (7th Cir.)

Scott J. Goldstein (8th Cir.)

Thomas E. Lumsden (9th Cir.)

David E. Leta (10th Cir.)

Mark M. Maloney (11th Cir.)

The Stretch! The exemplary work of the Foundation is gaining increasing notice across our profession. As reported elsewhere in these Columns, on May 5, 2017 I proudly accepted on behalf of the Foundation the first Access to Justice Award presented by one of our long-time grant recipients, Dade Legal Aid/Put Something Back. Nothing as Foundation Chair has made me prouder than to accept this award in my own hometown of Miami, in recognition of the Foundation’s nationwide contribution to providing access to justice for consumer debtors all across the country.

In addition, on May 7, 2017 I appeared on behalf of the Foundation at the Presidents Roundtable Meeting and Breakfast at the Annual Meeting of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys in Orlando. Sharing our vision and experience with the NACBA audience, the other panelists from such familiar organizations as the ABI, NCBJ, NABT, and others like the National Association of Consumer Advocates, National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees and The Creditors Bar Association, reminded me again of the leading role that our Foundation plays in the delivery of pro bono bankruptcy legal services to those truly in need.

And the Pitch!Again in 2017 there remains so much to be done. Our Pro Bono Committee headed by Jim Baillie already is out soliciting and beginning to evaluate grant applications from legal services organizations across the country, and with more federal budget cuts looming the need will be greater than ever. In response, the Foundation has established the following goals and objectives for 2017:

• Increasing overall participation, at least a return to record 2015 level of 553 Fellows


It’s baseball season once again, and inspired by the great Column that it appears in this edition from our Board of Regents Chair Rick Mikels, I’m offer to you the play-by-play of the Foundation.

The Wind-Up! Once again this May, I have the privilege