My Dad’s 82nd birthday was coming up and for the life of me I just could not think of an appropriate gift to get him. He already had plenty of Packer wear, shirts, and ties. He never wanted or needed many material things and when pressed, he would always suggest something practical. One year he asked for jumper cables. It was the perfect gift. I think he got a charge out of it.
org lmartin wisbar Larry J. Martin is the executive director for the State Bar of Wisconsin.
I wanted something that would mark his special day. But what? Then a perfect opportunity presented itself. Our local St. Vincent de Paul was launching a capital campaign to build a new food pantry. There was a real and growing need in our community. Over the years I had noted how my dad and mom quietly gave their money and volunteer time helping those in need. I knew what I wanted to do.
To honor my dad, I gave a donation, to help build the pantry, of $1 for every year of my dad’s life. It was a small gesture, but one that I hoped reflected the values with which my parents had raised me.
Just three months later I held my dad’s hand as he passed away. Every year since, to mark his birthday I make a donation in his honor to help sustain the pantry.
Over the years that I have worked at the State Bar of Wisconsin, I have had the privilege of working with hundreds of incredibly talented members who give unselfishly of their time, talent, and treasure to further the improvement of justice and advance the legal profession.
One of those individuals was Dave MacDougall. When Dave was the incoming president of the Senior Lawyers Division, he and I worked on a program intended to bring together young lawyers and senior lawyers at the Annual Meeting & Conference. Unfortunately, Dave fell ill, and he never got to participate in the program we had planned. When he died, I wanted to find a meaningful way to honor his memory.
As many others have begun to do, I made a donation in his honor to the Wisconsin Law Foundation. Not only does a contribution help advance its mission and work, but because the Foundation essentially lives off four percent of the corpus each year, contributions help to build a permanent legacy that will serve generations to come.
Many attorneys have celebrated the life of a colleague, friend, or loved one with a contribution to the Foundation. It is developing into a growing tradition.
There are many ways to mark a person’s passing or another milestone. I simply wish to share one way that I have found meaningful. By supporting the charitable activities of the Wisconsin Law Foundation, you can both honor someone’s memory and make a powerful investment toward the future. I hope you will consider joining me.
Contribute to the Wisconsin Law Foundation
To make an “in memory/or in honor of” contribution, contact Beth Drake via email at org bdrake wisbar wisbar bdrake org, or call (800) 728-7788, ext. 6171, or (608) 250-6171. A notification of your generosity will be shared with the family of the individual.