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Among those on hand for the April 25 festivities in 2019 were (left to right) Jennifer Roosenberg, executive director of the Oakland County Bar Association; Edward Pappas, past president of the State Bar of Michigan; James Parks, then president of the OCBA; Oakland County 47th District Court Judge Marla Parker; David Carl Anderson, past president of the OCBA; and Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Martha Anderson.

– Photo by John Mei
 

Signature Event to see a shift of seasons this year

By Tom Kirvan
Legal News

A rite of spring for the past two decades, the Signature Event presented by the Oakland County Bar Foundation will take on an autumnal flavor this year due to the continued spread of the coronavirus.

The change of seasons for the event was announced this week by OCBF President Lynn Sirich, an attorney with Dickinson Wright, in a letter to supporters of the Foundation.

“Our lives have changed dramatically in the last few weeks and we have all undoubtedly felt the impact of COVID-19 personally and professionally,” Sirich wrote. “During this unprecedented time, many of us have had to make decisions that we never could have predicted.

“The Signature Event, which is the foundation’s cornerstone event and largest fund-raiser, was originally scheduled for April 30, 2020,” Sirich said. “After monitoring the nation’s situation and discussing our options for the upcoming event, the trustees made the decision to postpone the 21st Annual Signature Event to September 10, 2020 with the safety and well-being of our community a top priority. As with all of you, we look forward to this evening each year and this decision wasn’t made lightly. We are keeping a positive attitude that our situation will be much brighter at that time and we will be ready to celebrate once again with all our friends.”

Held annually at Oakland Hills Country Club, the Signature Event traditionally draws a crowd of more than 400 members of the legal community, Sirich indicated.

“In the last five years alone, the Foundation has raised more than $1.5 million at this event because of the generous support of the many sponsors in Oakland and surrounding counties,” she said, noting that the OCBF has contributed more than $2.65 million to legal assistance and legal education programs since 2002.

Last year, the OCBF “supported worthy programs, such as Legal Aid & Defender, Jewish Family Services, CARE House, Lakeshore Legal Aid, and Beaumont (Patient Legal Support Program) to name a few,” according to Sirich. The 2019 version of the event raised approximately $238,000, as a sellout crowd attended the festivities at Oakland Hills.

In 1999, an alliance with the Oakland County Bar Association created the current OCBF organization, setting in motion the means for a greater fund-raising profile and the Signature Event of today.

“If you have secured a sponsorship for this year’s event, we will still be utilizing that contribution for this fall event,” Sirich noted in the letter to OCBF supporters. “If you have already registered to join us, we will apply that registration for the fall event but if you cannot join us on the rescheduled date, please let us know and we are happy to reimburse you. Please reach out to Katie Tillinger at ktillinger@ocba.org regarding your decision at your earliest convenience.”

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