Altered: OCBA changes plans for its Annual Meeting, awards event

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By Tom Kirvan
Legal News

In terms pandemic casualties, events are of a secondary nature considering the real-life consequences that have claimed thousands of Michigan victims since the coronavirus outbreak reached the Great Lakes State in mid-March.

And yet, the number of annual events that have been cancelled or postponed continues to grow in the area legal community, causing pain nonetheless.

The latest is the Oakland County Bar Association’s Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony scheduled for Thursday, June 4, a showcase event that will appear in “virtual” form – at least in part.

“As with many of you, the OCBA has had to make some difficult decisions over the past couple of months,” said Executive Director Jennifer Roosenberg in statement sent to the OCBA membership. “After monitoring coronavirus activity in our region and assessing what decisions the governor may make over the next few weeks, the OCBA Board of Directors has decided it would be best to make the following changes to our upcoming Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony.”

First, according to Roosenberg, the Annual Meeting will go virtual, while secondly, the Awards Ceremony will be postponed until autumn.

“In order to comply with our bylaws and allow us to transition from one bar year to the next, the Annual Meeting portion of the event will still take place on June 4, 2020 via GoToMeeting,” Roosenberg indicated. “As usual, we will provide a State of the Bar, thank outgoing President Dan Quick and our bar leaders from the past year, and swear in incoming president Keefe Brooks. The event will be free to attend.

“The Awards Ceremony portion of the event will be postponed until the fall,” she added. “We are considering our options and weighing in the fact that many other events have been rescheduled for the fall. We will share more details as soon as we have them. Our award winners and 40-year honorees deserve recognition for their incredible achievements and contributions, and we look forward to gathering to do so.”

Earlier this spring, the Oakland County Bar Foundation was forced to reschedule its 21st Annual Signature Event, a traditional April extravaganza at Oakland Hills Country Club.

“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,” said OCBF President Lynn Sirich. “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.”

The Signature Event, which was scheduled for April 30, 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.

For those who have already registered for the OCBA Annual Meeting, “we will be in contact to discuss your preference for how you would like to handle your registration,” said Roosenberg. “Refunds will be issued to those who are unable to attend the rescheduled Awards Ceremony in the fall.”

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