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    Inside the Bar: Give Kids a Lasting Gift

    Your donations to the Wisconsin Law Foundation help provide gifts to kids that last beyond the holiday season, and provide you a tax break.

    George Brown

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    Wisconsin LawyerWisconsin Lawyer
    Vol. 78, No. 12, December 2005

    Give Kids a Lasting Gift

    Your donations to the Wisconsin Law Foundation help provide gifts to kids that last beyond the holiday season, and provide you a tax break.

    by George C. Brown,
    State Bar executive director

BrownThe winter holidays are upon us.

    Gift giving abounds. Many of us focus on children, as we shop, wrap, and anxiously watch for the wide-eyed smiles we hope to receive when the gifts are opened.

    Some of the gifts we give will be used and enjoyed for many years; some for only a short time. And sometimes, as I have personally experienced, the box provides more creative fun than does its contents.

    There is another form of giving that happens this time of year, a kind of giving that can have an impact for a lifetime. Through donations that you provide, the Wisconsin Law Foundation gives gifts that help children and young people throughout their lives.

    For example, this past year the Foundation provided donations of between $800 and $2,000 apiece to seven county-based teen courts in Wisconsin. Teen courts bring young people who have committed nonviolent ordinance violations before peer jurors for sanctions that go beyond the traditional fines. Some Foundation grants help pay for marketing materials, printing and postage, travel expenses, and other costs to operate these courts.

    Other grants to these teen courts in Marinette, Jefferson, Dodge, Vernon, Clark, Buffalo/Pepin, and La Crosse counties provide support for special projects these courts develop. In Clark County, the grant supports efforts to create a series of Web-based interactive programs providing alcohol education and prevention. In Jefferson County, the grant supports the production of an English/Spanish DVD to educate young people as well as judges, sheriff's departments, and juvenile court workers about the purpose and workings of teen courts.

    Still other Foundation grants support families navigating the legal system. The Family Law Project at the U.W. Law School will develop a legal information resource manual for incarcerated parents. The Milwaukee-based Wisconsin Family Assistance Center for Education, Training and Support will develop a roster of attorneys to assist families of children with disabilities. The Tenant Resource Center will have the resources to translate its agency brochures and materials into Spanish.

    And other Foundation grants will help teach students about the government and our justice system, whether by supporting students' participation in State Youth in Government Day in February and high school social studies teachers' continuing education through the Judicial Teacher's Training Institute.

    In addition, High School Mock Trial and the Diversity designated funds provide continuing support for the High School Mock Trial Program and for the State Bar Diversity Counsel Program, including the Minority Clerkship Program.

    As you can see, the Wisconsin Law Foundation helps give lasting gifts to kids through its annual grants program. When you help provide these gifts, you provide a gift to yourself - a tax break - through your generous donation to the Wisconsin Law Foundation.

    For more information or to donate to the Wisconsin Law Foundation, please contact John Daugherty at (800) 728-7788, ext. 6038, or org jdaugherty wisbar wisbar jdaugherty org.