THURSDAY, Dec. 10 — Local lawyers gathered this afternoon to give back to the community as the Ingham County Bar Foundation announced its 2015 grant recipients.

Since 2004, the Ingham County Bar Foundation has provided almost $100,000 in financial grants and donations to over of 25 Lansing-area nonprofits. The foundation, which serves as the charitable arm of the Ingham County Bar Association, raises funds through donations and fundraising campaigns run by attorneys and law offices in the Greater Lansing area.

The 2015 recipients of the foundation’s grants are the Ingham County Veterans Treatment Court, Ingham County Sobriety Court Foundation, Legal Services of South Central Michigan and Small Talk Children’s Assessment Center. Earlier today, the foundation held a press conference at Foster Swift Collins & Smith Law Firm in downtown Lansing. Foundation members met representatives from the recipient organizations to present grant checks and discuss the mission of the foundation.

“What we as a foundation want these grants to do, is to support some of the local groups that share the same core ideals as our foundation,” said Peter Sheldon, board member and past president of the foundation. “Things like promoting access to justice, continuing legal education amongst the public, expanding the availability of legal services to those who can’t afford it and fostering the honor and integrity of the profession of law.”

The Veterans Treatment Court was awarded a $5,000 grant, and the other organizations each received a $2,000 grant.

“The grant program has done so much for our organization,” said Jerre Cory, development consultant for the Ingham County Sobriety Court Foundation. “We work with four district courts in the area, including 54A, 54B, 55 and 30, so our workload can typically be pretty daunting. What these funds do is pay for counsel and consultations with our clients who are typically in desperate need of our services.”

“Each of these organizations if doing absolutely vital work,” added Sheldon. “It can be extremely difficult to bring legal services to those individuals — such as children, the elderly and veterans — who are not aware of what is available to them. What our foundation really wants to do is provide for these people who could not otherwise provide advocacy for themselves.”

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