Erin E. Clifford, partner at Clifford Law Offices, is Co-Chair of the annual Lawyers Lend-A-Hand to Youth Spring Awards Celebration to be held virtually Thursday, April 29. She also serves as President of its Board.
Clifford, along with Board Vice President and co-chair Brian Monico of Hale and Monico, will host the evening that is a fundraiser to promote mentoring and tutoring programs supporting Chicago youth. For more than 25 years, Lend-A-Hand has been awarding financial grants to those in need.
The evening will be marked by the presentation of the Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Philanthropic Award to Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White for his dedication, leadership and outstanding contribution to the spirit of good works and public service, particularly to children and youth of the area. Aside from his political role, White is best known for founding the Jesse White Tumbling Team in 1959 that helps to keep Chicago’s youth away from gangs and drugs, setting them on a path of hard work and success. More than 18,000 young men and women have performed with the group over the years.
The tumbling program promotes academic excellence and provides academic tutoring support through certified teachers and volunteers. More than $1 million in scholarships have been awarded to these students in the past 20 years.
New this year at the Lend-A-Hand program is the My Hero Award that honors an attorney for contributions to a tutoring or mentoring program. The 2021 recipient is Daniel Cotter of Howard & Howard Attorneys who has served as the Lend-A-Hand Board President, member, fundraiser and volunteer for the past 30 years. Perhaps he is best known for his competitive weightlifting where people are encouraged to make donations to Lend-A-Hand based on the number of pounds he lifts. This effort alone has raised about $250,000 over the years.
The Thomas A Demetrio Award of Excellence is being presented this year to Access Living, an outstanding tutoring and mentoring program that impacts the lives of Chicago area youth. Named for the founder of Lend-A-Hand, Access Living is being honored for its Disability Justice Mentoring Collective that matches disabled Chicago youth with a trained, caring adult who also has a disability or a strong connection to someone with one. The goal of this program is to build a community of young people who exhibit an awareness of the disability justice movement, self-advocacy skills and disability pride, helping them to choose and maintain individualized and satisfying lifestyles.
To register for the event, go to www.lawyerslendahand.org. The program, which includes a silent auction, will be held 7-8 p.m.