GDGC Staff Pitches Favorite Charities for Firm’s Fundraising Program
Food and Flea Markets Held at Law Firm to Raise Money for Two Charities
Genser Dubow Genser & Cona (GDGC), elder law firm in Melville, invited their attorneys and staff to compete in a “Charity Pitch Day” for the firm’s annual fundraising program. Nearly one third of the employees, either individually or as a team, gave persuasive presentations before a panel representing each department of the firm as to why their charity should win. Some presentations included music, videos and statistical research and each included why the cause was personally important to the GDGC team member.
After reviewing eight charities, the committee narrowed it down to three finalists and the 2 winners were voted on by the entire staff of 40. The firm chose to raise money for two nonprofit organizations: Honor Flight and Sweet Cases- Together We Rise.
With the firm’s goal to raise $ 2,500 for each charity internally from staff members, they created several unique fundraising activities. Starting over the summer and through year end, GDGC staff members donate $5 a week to one of the selected charities in order to wear jeans to the office on Fridays.
GDGC also ran a food market in September where they cooked, baked and broke bread together, buying each other’s homemade meals and treats with all proceeds donated to Sweet Cases. All told, the food market raised alone over $2,500. The next one will be held on October 27th. And lastly, the firm will hold a flea market on November 17th where employees will sell their own items, such as new or gently used clothing, pocketbooks, household items and gym equipment.
According to senior associate attorney Diana Choy-Shan, “the charity competition was a brilliant idea. It’s easy to become one dimensional at work by doing your work and going home. By selecting our favorite charity, we identified who we are outside of the office walls, which contributes to how we work together.
“Clients respect and like our charitable work because we give back to the community,” says Jennifer Cona, Esq., managing partner, GDGC. “Our staff enjoys sharing greater goals and making an investment of their time and effort together to care for others. And it is not just millennials who are seeking broader engagement and connection to a larger purpose. Programs like this are win-win.”
Not only did the employees learn more about each other through this competition, they developed their presentation and speaking skills and improved teamwork, all while giving back to the community.
ABOUT THE WINNERS AND THEIR CHARITIES
Janet Russell, legal assistant, presented on behalf of Honor Flight. She and her family have been involved with the organization for five years and she has served as its treasurer for the last several years.
The organization raises money for World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans to spend the day in Washington D.C. visiting five war memorials. This tribute to war heroes includes an all-expense paid flight to D.C., meals and a hero’s welcome.
“It is thrilling to see hundreds of people clapping and welcoming the 50 vets with their guardians when they arrive home from their flight to McArthur Airport on L.I.,” says Janet. “There is generally a band playing and people holding welcome home posters.”
SWEET CASES – TOGETHER WE RISE
Diana Choy-Shan, Esq. and partner Ken Kern, Esq. chose Sweet Cases – Together We Rise as their charity and did a team presentation. The organization raises money to supply foster children with duffle bags and suitcases. Without Sweet Cases, foster children typically carry all of their belongings in garbage bags as they move from home to home.
This charity pulled at the heartstrings of Diana and Ken, especially because they are both new parents. While they work with and help the senior population, they realize that kids are also vulnerable, especially when they don’t have one family and home.
“When my sister told me about this charity, I was sold,” says Diana. “With foster kids moving so often and carrying every possession they own, such as a stuffed animal or blanket, a suit case or duffle bag will help them move with more dignity.”
Genser Dubow Genser & Cona is recognized as a leading elder law and estate planning firm on Long Island. The firm has been ranked the #1 Elder Law firm by Long Island Business News for the past 6 years and has been a finalist in the HIA Business Achievement Awards. GDGC is also recognized for its charitable works and has received the Outstanding Corporation Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals. The firm provides creative advocacy and cutting edge planning strategies and has been featured in many publications including: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, L.I. Business News, Investor’s Business Daily, USA Today, The Daily News, The New York Post, Kiplinger’s, Reader's Digest and many others. GDGC attorneys have appeared as guests on WNBC-TV, WABC-TV, CNN-fn, News 12, WLNY News 55 and many radio stations including WOR, WCBS AM, WBAB and WFAN.
Genser Cona Elder Law is a full service law firm based in Melville, LI. Our firm concentrates in the areas of elder law, estate planning, estate administration and litigation, special needs planning and health care facility representation. We are proud to have been recognized for our innovative strategies, creative techniques and unparalleled negotiating skills unendingly driven toward our paramount objective - satisfying the needs of our clients.
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