As profiled earlier this year, the lawyers at MehaffyWeber have a strong commitment to giving back to their communities. In addition to the hours of volunteer work and the countless number of boards MehaffyWeber attorneys serve on, the dedicated lawyers and staff at the firm individually contribute thousands of dollars to charitable causes and endowed scholarships every year. It is a cornerstone tenant of our firm to ‘pay it forward’ and invest in our communities and in future generations.
Because of its long-standing tradition of giving back, the firm established its own charitable foundation in order to expand upon the volunteer work of the individual attorneys. The MehaffyWeber Foundation was established in 1990 and received its 501(c)3 non-profit status in 1992. O.J. Weber, John Bell, Gene Williams, and Clara Jo Liberto were the founding Trustees of the Foundation, and set out to cement the firm’s legacy of supporting worthy charitable organizations so important to the founding attorneys.
Since its inception, the Foundation has donated approximately $500,000 to a variety of organizations. The firm’s management committee reviews donation requests monthly, but approaches giving from a holistic view. Donations are typically awarded to non-profit organizations the lawyers and staff are passionate about, including those earning volunteer time and individual donations from the attorneys.
Several charities that have benefited from the Foundation over the past three decades include:
CHRISTUS Health is a Catholic, not-for-profit healthcare system made up of more than 600 centers, including long-term care facilities, community hospitals, walk-in clinics and health ministries. Its mission is to provide compassionate, high quality health care, improving the overall health and well-being of the communities it serves.
Julie Rogers “Gift of Life”
The Julie Rogers “Gift of Life” Program was established in Beaumont, Texas in 1994 by Regina Rogers as a tribute to her mother, Julie (a breast cancer survivor), who passed away in 1998 following complications from a stroke and heart attack. Originally, the program was created to provide free mammograms for medically underserved women. Over time, however, the organization’s services have multiplied in response to the needs of the region. Today, it is one of the largest cancer screening initiatives of its kind in the state of Texas. Since inception, the program has helped extend the lives of more than 275 medically underserved individuals who have been diagnosed with breast or prostate cancer following Gift of Life screenings. Additionally, the program has shared lifesaving healthy living information and cancer awareness materials with more than 100,000 children and adults through nearly 1,500 Sidney “Chief” Dauphin Educational Outreach Seminars. Approximately 30,000 individuals have been impacted at health fairs and back-to-school events by Gift of Life’s Don’t Smoke Your Life Away program, which focuses on educating the public on the tragic risks of tobacco use.
Home to more than 17,000 students, Lamar University, a public university, is among the fastest growing Texas colleges and universities. Lamar University maintains the lowest average tuition and fees of any university system in Texas, and is nationally recognized for its quality curriculum for all degree program levels, including Bachelors, Masters, and Doctoral degree programs. With more than 100 degree options and a community that cares, Lamar students are always proud to be Cardinals.
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Southeast Texas believes every child who has experienced abuse or neglect deserves to have a dedicated advocate speaking up for their interests in court, at school, and in the community. CASA volunteers advocate for children in need and make informed recommendations for their physical and emotional wellbeing to judges in court. CASA volunteers work for quicker, better outcomes, and show children in foster care that there is a community around them who cares.
The Symphony League of Beaumont
The Symphony League of Beaumont is a volunteer non-profit organization that supports the Symphony of Southeast Texas through voluntarism and fundraising, and fosters and encourages musical education. Throughout the year, League members volunteer their time during Symphony concerts and rehearsals, with the League’s fundraising events, League youth programs, and youth education programs. The Symphony League promotes ticket sales, provides meals during orchestra rehearsals, hosts the annual fundraising event (the Symphony Ball), provides youth music education through the after-school strings program, holds an annual String Competition for school-aged string musicians, and advocates both generally for the arts and specifically for the Symphony of Southeast Texas.
The Shorkey Center is a rehabilitation non-profit center for children with disabilities, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, aquatic therapy, and ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) therapy for children with Autism. The Shorkey Center specializes in effective individualized educational programs that include early childhood education and therapeutic services focusing on children with special needs. Additionally, the Shorkey Center offers all-inclusive daycare and summer camp programs to all children.
Jefferson County Bar Fundraiser Spindletop Spin
The Spindletop Spin was the annual fundraiser for the Jefferson County Bar Association Foundation – which is the charitable arm of the Jefferson County Bar Association. The foundation is dedicated to supporting educational programs for at-risk youth and promoting community understanding of the legal system. The Spindletop Spin was an organized bicycling event, offering four different routes ranging from 13 to 106 miles in length. The Spin (as it was referred to colloquially), retired in 2018 after a 12-year run.
Serving Our Communities
As we wrap up our 75th anniversary year, all of us at MehaffyWeber encourage everyone to lead by example and embrace the spirit of giving this holiday season. Whether through volunteer hours or monetary donations, please find a way to support your local communities and the non-profit organizations important to you and your family.