For far too long lawyers have felt the dislike and distrust of the public, but not on Saturday as the LGBT Committee, with LGBT members and allies of the Monroe County Bar Association, joined in the Pride Festival and Parade in Rochester.
I had the pleasure of walking with a great group of people, including a wonderful team of supporters, and our sponsor, Bond Schoeneck & King PLLC. The BSK team was represented by Ed and Bridget Hourihan, Bethany Centrone, David Pieterse, and Allyn Van Dusen. In addition, we were joined by Peter Pullano, and members of his family, as well as Scott MacPherson, our LGBT Committee Co-Chair, and others. If anyone is interested in joining the LGBT committee, as an ally or as an LGBT community member, please let us know!
We had a booth at Martin Luther King Jr. Park, that was staffed by MCBA members Richard Link and Greg Franklin, with information about the MCBA and our Lawyer Referral Service. There were lots of great supporters; fellow lawyers, large businesses; and other non-LGBT centered non-profits that were there in the parade and standing along the route. Some of the folks that we saw were: RIT, University of Rochester, LawNY, Mayor Lovely Warren, Supreme Court Candidate, Excellus BCBS, Family Court Candidate Maritza Buitrago, Time Warner, Canandaigua National Bank, Wegmans, Thomson Reuters and others.
The route stretched from Park Ave to The Strong and lasted about an hour for those of you that do not know, that is 1.7 miles (Thank God my orthopedic was not there). It was amazing to see the crowds of people that lined both sides of the streets. What was even more amazing was to witness the community reaction as we marched down the streets with Ben leading us in chants: love your lawyers, standing up for justice, lawyers love pride (a Bond favorite) and other phrases. Who knew that this public event or any event could create this much of an impact?
People were standing and applauding, “high-fiving” us and creating uproars of cheer. One parade viewer yelled out her lawyers name and said “I do! I love my lawyer. She is Awesome!” And the team at Bond, once again was very engaging and took great care of all of us. Bethany, thank you for bringing brownies to hand out, and Bridget and Ed, I could not have made it without that water. Ben-good job getting everyone active and animated! I knew we would put those cheerleading skills to work.
Whatever the reaction, we had a great presence at an event where more than 10,000 people were in attendance and we got people talking about us, which is excellent.
I know that I have already said it at least a dozen times, but Ben prefers a baker’s dozen, so here is one more thank you to Bond for underwriting everything; helping us raise public awareness of MCBA; and for showing that lawyers DO care about the community.
Thanks for checking in,