Almost 5 years ago now the Foundation asked for us to consider an event that would be exclusive to the Foundation. “What about a Foundation Luncheon?” was one of the suggestions, and you have me to thank when I came back with a determined “NO” because we don’t need another community luncheon. I was fully supportive of the idea of an event but asked for some time to explore other Foundation fundraiser ideas from all of my bar friends. When exploring a national bar website through the ABA I learned about an event held in Virginia called Jazz For Justice. They partnered with the music department of a local college, and in that instant I knew we had a winner.
After all, Rochester is the home of the world re-known Eastman School of Music, not to mention home to the Rochester International Jazz Festival. We reside in the Telesca Center for Justice — the only model of its kind in the nation where the bar association, along with the bar foundation, all co-locate with civil legal service providers. With that, Elaine Cole and I called on the late Doug Lowry, the Dean of the Eastman School of Music at that time, and sought his support for providing the musical talent. Dean Lowry responded by telling us that at this time he was receiving over a 1,000 requests each year seeking an opportunity to collaborate with their talented musicians, and the majority of these requests were denied. But not ours because Dean Lowry really liked the mission and vision of the event — it was all about justice. And with that, Jazz for Justice was born! At this year’s event, we will be honoring Dean Lowry.
On Friday, March 21st, we will be celebrating the 4th Annual Jazz For Justice. The event is co-chaired this year by Bruce Lawrence, Foundation President-Elect, and Jennifer Meldrum, a tireless young lawyer leader. Jazz For Justice is all about incredible music, delicious food from all over Rochester, wine and beer to enjoy with friends, a wonderful silent and live auction, but most of all it is about having an event that is about pure fun! There are no long speeches. There are no CLE credits to pick up. There is no required seating. For $50/person, this is a really nice way to spend the evening with your spouse, partner, love interest, friend, colleagues, family or neighbors. For that very reasonable amount you will go home full and happy.
But most of all, you will support the Foundation of the Monroe County Bar, your Foundation, in continuing to do really good work, supporting the Rochester Diversity Clerkship Program, or the DEAFund, the Rochester Teen Court Program.
This is a Jazz casual event — so come however the spirit moves your inner jazz soul. I am thinking about wearing my very cool red cowboy boots again, but need to figure out the rest of the outfit so my jazz spirit is moved! So come on — it has been a long, cold winter. A night of good jazz, food and drink, and lots of great people could be as great as a warm spring day.
Registration is super easy —http://www.mcba.org/Foundation/JazzforJustice/Register/. Oh by the way, the event is held at Harro East, 155 North Chestnut Street and valet parking will be available.
So please join me for a night of jumping jazz.