2017 was, again, an important and diverse year for the Leesfield Family Foundation. Our contributions, grants and scholarships continue to assist the less fortunate and deserving students, victims of natural disasters and community activities with efficient and rapid response.
Our continued support for Americans for Immigrant Justice allowed us to co-sponsor the 21st Annual Awards Dinner with two contributions totaling $5,000, promoting and assuring the respect and validity of our immigrant population.
From our founding days, immigrants, regardless of when they arrived, have always made a huge contribution in building this country. Nothing is different now, except irrational anti-immigration rhetoric that must be resisted by all Americans.
For the third consecutive year, we took an active role in supporting the Fatherhood Task Force with contributions in April and November, as well as public relations support for this very important cause. Holly Zwerling, President and CEO, along with a team of volunteers and interested teachers and parents, will make the Fatherhood role in the American family stay strong and vital.
Daniel L. Leyton and his work in Lawyers for Children America is so important. That is why we are proud to support the legal counseling work provided to children in the court system who are not represented when issues that directly affect their legal rights and future are in the courts. We plan to continue this commitment at the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018.
Our efforts to respond quickly and vitally to natural disasters around the country and the world continued with significant contributions to the Greater Houston Community Foundation Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.
This hurricane was only the first of too many 2017 life changing disasters, including wild fires, hurricanes and floods. The Leesfield Family Foundation is ready to help as these unexpected events occur.
Our signature event for the year surrounded the fund raising efforts by the Lotus House/Sundari Foundation.
We cannot recognize enough the efforts of Constance Collins, President and Martin Margulies, and many others as the construction of a new facility for the homeless women and children nears completion. We are proud to be part of that undertaking and will continue to do so.
The Clinton Foundation continues its important work around the nation in improving skills in the health, wellness and economic development of so many neglected world citizens. Providing vaccination, medical care and teaching productive farming methods are just a few of the Clinton Foundation’s work we support. Now, with the leadership and commitment of President Clinton, the American opioid crisis is squarely in the Foundation’s sight. No doubt, we will see continued progress and advancement in understanding and treatment of this national health threat.
Our scholarship commitment continues for its 23rd consecutive year, awarding scholarships to two outstanding law students, Heather M. Schneider and Gina Rosemarie Simeone, at the American Association for Justice Annual Convention held in Boston this past Summer. There are now 27 Leesfield Scholars who continue to make a major contribution to the trial bar and our organization. The AAJ/Leesfield Law Student Scholarship is endowed in the future and will be presented each year at the AAJ Annual Convention. Heather is a recent graduate with honors from New England Law|Boston. Being the first in her family to graduate college, her goal is to pursue a legal career addressing the challenges of poverty and discrimination of disadvantaged children and families. Gina started her third year at Suffolk University Law School concentrating in trial and appellate advocacy.
As the Foundation enters its 28th year, the Leesfield family continues to receive scholarship and grant requests and appropriately responds with support as we complete 2017 and receive next year’s challenges.
Please see scholarship recipient history below.