Fine Dining Lawyer rounding up dinner guests to raise funds for SafeHouse Center


Meet attorney Cate McClure

McClure has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a masters of arts in education from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, as well as a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley. Since last November she has served as Senate Democratic Counsel in the Michigan Senate in Lansing, advising Democratic Senators regarding election and campaign finance laws, employment laws, and other legal matters.  

 McClure practiced law with international, national and local law firms in Los Angeles, Chicago and Ann Arbor for approximately 10 years prior to her state service, and served as an adjunct professor of Business Law at the U-M Ross School of Business and the Eli Broad School of Business at Michigan State University in East Lansing. She also has worked as a freelance journalist for The Detroit Legal News and has been a frequent contributor to the editorial pages of local newspapers.

 By Sheila Pursglove

Legal News
Violence against women costs companies $72.8 million annually due to lost productivity; almost 5.3 million instances of victimization by intimate partners occur yearly among women 18 and older; around the world, 1 out of 3 women have been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during their lifetime; 1 in 3 teens reports knowing a friend or peer who has been hit, punched, slapped, choked, or physically hurt by his/her partner; 7 in 10 rape and sexual assault victims know their attacker prior to the assault.
These horrendous statistics, quoted on the SafeHouse Center website, make women cringe.
They make Cate McClure angry – and she’s determined to make a difference.
McClure, Senate Democratic counsel at the Capitol in Lansing, is launching a Michigan Women’s Dinner Initiative, with the goal of raising funds for women’s issues.
Her first event, set for 6 to 9 p.m., Thursday, September 23 in the Ann Arbor area, will help SafeHouse Center in Ann Arbor, and there will be a short presentation about SafeHouse from its Executive Director and Director of Programs and Services.    
“My plan was to pull together a quarterly potluck dinner, hosted at different homes  — although I’m happy to host until there are other volunteers — where we can gather and donate what would have been the cost of going out to a restaurant dinner to a charity of our choice, generally addressing women’s, including children and family, issues,” McClure says. “Where possible I will arrange to have someone from the chosen charity come and speak briefly about their work”.  
“The dinners will serve to educate us about issues in our community affecting women, allow us to make a bigger impact with our pooled donations than the individual $20 or so donations would have made, and give us the opportunity to regularly gather with old friends and make new ones. 
“All women have to do is come with a dish to pass and a check for what they normally spend on a dinner out with friends – and enjoy an evening of fun, with a purpose!”  
McClure is urging friends and colleagues to spread the word and invite women to come, and encourage them to tell others.
“I have the capacity to fit a lot of women in my house and as the kick-off for this endeavor the bigger the group the better,” she says.
“It’s a potluck, so everyone brings a dish to pass. I’m a certifiable ‘foodie’ and hope to get some area chefs involved in the initiative, perhaps convincing them to bring a dish to pass as added incentive to the women who attend!  This venture truly does combine my love of food, the company of good friends, and the desire to make a difference for women.”
She also has constructed a Facebook page to help spread the word. 
“I’m very excited about this project,” she says.  “I’m hoping that over time we can make an impact in the community with it, and have a lot of fun while doing so.  Similar groups exist in other parts of the country with slightly different focuses, and they seem to be easy to organize and successful. I’m so excited by the enthusiastic response — I think we’re onto something here!”  
As well as being founding president of the Michigan Women’s Dinner Initiative, McClure currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan, Women Lawyers Association of Michigan-Mid-Michigan Region, and chairs the Compensation Subcommittee of the Board of Directors of Ash Stevens Inc. in Detroit.
Her past board service was on the East Side Cooperative Drop-In Center, Ann Arbor Lamaze Association of Michigan, Women Lawyers Association of Michigan, Cascade Hemophilia Consortium Inc., and Volunteer Lawyers for the Homeless in Chicago.
“I’ve always had an interest in women’s issues, and my legal work has touched on that,” she says.
“Now that I’m in the Senate and hear firsthand testimony about the plight of women trying to make ends meet in our state, I’ve been motivated to try to help support the many non-profits that exist to offer the safety net that the state can no longer afford.”  
For more information or to RSVP, e-mail