Irwin L. Trauss, Esq.
Supervising Attorney with Philadelphia Legal Assistance Center in Philadelphia, PA
Deputy Director of Legal Practice, Community Legal Services, Philadelphia, PA
Recipient of the 2015 PLAN Excellence Award
March 24, 2015
Deborah L. Freedman, Esq. has a distinguished record of public service consistently working to provide better access to justice for those without a voice or power. Ms. Freedman currently serves as the Deputy Director at Community Legal Services in Philadelphia where she started as a lawyer in 1992. She has held several positions at CLS including Interim Executive Director, Managing Attorney of the Law Center North Central, Managing Attorney of CLS’ Family Advocacy Unit and Supervising Attorney in both the Welfare and SSI Units. Her motivation for justice and ability to develop strong relationships haves allowed Ms. Freedman to become an exceptionally skilled lawyer and manager. Ms. Freedman is credited for raising the bar for CLS’ legal practice by improving supervision and evaluation systems, adopting holistic models of client service and facilitating staff training and compliance. She currently serves on the Boards of HIAS Pennsylvania, the Community Justice Project and Society Hill Synagogue. She is an active volunteer with Living Beyond Breast Cancer, where she is part of a team of volunteers who staff a helpline for survivors of breast cancer.
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Susan K Danforth is the Lancaster County Pro Bono Coordinator for MidPenn Legal Services. She is widely regarded as one of the key reasons for the success of pro bono in Lancaster County.
Edward Van Stevenson, Jr. Esq., is a managing attorney with Neighborhood Legal Services Association in Pittsburgh whose efforts are an inspiring history of dedication and commitment to the poor. In addition to representing clients who have nowhere else to turn for help, Stevenson supervises law students and coordinates the involvement of students from Pittsburgh area law schools in the delivery of civil legal aid; Video Rating: / 5
Catherine Herman, Fiscal Manager for Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania and
Evelyn Pankey, Administrative Coordinator of Community Legal Services together demonstrate the crucial importance of fiscal and administrative employees to the mission of the legal aid community. Video Rating: / 5
Kathryn M. Kenyon, Esq., attorney and partner with the law firm of Pietragallo, Gordon, Alfano, Bosick and Raspanti, LLP in Pittsburgh, was honored with a 2013 Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Excellence Award on March 20, 2013.
Staff Attorney, North Penn Legal Services, Sunbury, PA.
Joseph R. DeCristopher, Esq. has worked for North Penn Legal Services and its predecessor program, Susquehanna Legal Services, since 1979. He joined legal aid shortly after his graduation from Rutgers University Law School. Mr. DeCristopher handles a wide variety of cases for clients but focuses his practice on consumer, bankruptcy, mortgage foreclosure and public housing law. Mr. DeCristopher is also active in local bar activities, having served as President of the Northumberland County Bar Association in 2012 and on several local court rule committees. Over the years, he has achieved many notable litigation successes and obtained positive outcomes for clients. Video Rating: / 5
On October 15, 2014, Legal Services of New Jersey recognized exceptional pro bono attorneys, charitable foundations, and public officials at its annual Equal Justice Awards Reception. Special thanks to the sponsors of this event: Porzio, Bromberg & Newman, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Fox Rothschild, Lowenstein Sandler, LeClairRyan, Merck, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Special Contributions Fund of the Princeton Area Community Foundation, and ConnellFoley. For more information about Legal Services of New Jersey or about this event, visit our website, www.lsnj.org. Video Rating: / 5
Attorney Jacqueline Dixon, then President of the Tennessee Bar Association, presents the 2012 Liberty Bell award to Victoria Webb on behalf of the Nashville Bar Association. Victoria worked for 25+ years as a Paralegal/Volunteer Coordinator for the Nashville Bar Association’s Pro Bono Program and then for Legal Aid Society when it administered the Program. She retired from that work in May of 2012 after receiving the Liberty Bell Award at that year’s NBA Law Day luncheon celebration in Nashville, TN. Her acceptance speech after Jackie’s introduction/presentation may be viewed here in another video.
She was born Gisèle Marie Louise Marguerite LaFlèche in Winnipeg, Manitoba,] and studied violin and voice at the Toronto Conservatory of Music (now the Royal Conservatory of Music) in Toronto, Ontario. She had at least two Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio programs, Meet Gisèle, where she played hostess to Jack Benny, Clark Gable, Loretta Young, Fred Astaire, James Stewart, etc. and Gisele and Mr. Cable, before moving to Los Angeles, California, in 1951 to replace The Andrews Sisters on CBS radio’s daily Club Fifteen, starring Bob Crosby, where she alternated as regular vocalist with Jo Stafford. She became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1955.
MacKenzie recorded albums and singles on various record labels, most notably Capitol and RCA, Everest, Mercury, Liberty Sunset, Cricket Playhour (Pickwick). In 1953 she reached #6 in the UK Singles Chart, with her rendition of “Seven Lonely Days”. Her biggest selling song was “Hard To Get” in 1955. She was also an accomplished classical violinist, who studied at The Toronto Conservatory of Music and performed many comedic musical duets with mentor Jack Benny. She remarked that Benny was so enthusiastic about his own violin playing that at each break in rehearsal he would get his violin and they would play duets.
In an often-played clip, she and Benny perform a violin duet of “Getting to Know You”, in which she breaks their synchronization several times to add some extra musical flourishes, to his mock irritation. Finally, he breaks in with a lengthy (and stereotypically mediocre) flourish of his own, and evokes audience laughter with mock indignation: “Fool around with ME, sister
She was in frequent demand as a very popular guest performer on just about every television show, including The Jack Benny Program, The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, The Ford Show, Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford, The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom, The Bell Telephone Hour, The Colgate Comedy Hour, The Eddie Fisher Show, The George Gobel Show, and The Ed Sullivan Show. She appeared too in the NBC legal drama Justice, based on cases of the Legal Aid Society of New York titled “Hard to Get” which resulted in her hit record of the same title, and made her the only regular performer on television “Your Hit Parade” to get to sing his/her own hit record on the show. She also appeared frequently in Las Vegas venues and in numerous North American concerts. She did a European tour with Benny.
In the U.S., she replaced the Andrews Sisters as a regular vocalist on “Club 15” and her guest appearance on Mario Lanza’s “Coke Time” resulted in Lanza inviting her to join his show’s cast every week. Bob Crosby and Mario Lanza. She also hosted a radio show entitled Airtime at the same time she was appearing on TV’s Your Hit Parade.
In 1952 and 1953, she toured with Benny, who recommended her for Your Hit Parade. During her 4-year tenure on that show, “Hard to Get” became a hit. MacKenzie announced in 1957 that she would not be returning to the show for another season under any conditions, which resulted in the sponsors and producers of the show to reorganize the show, and long-time regulars Dorothy Collins, Snooky Lanson, Russell Arms and Raymond Scott were dismissed. She went on to star in her own Saturday night variety program, The Gisele MacKenzie Show, in which she played hostess to such guests as Benny, Boris Karloff, Ronald Reagan and folk singer Jimmie Rodgers. She returned to television in 1963 as Sid Caesar’s 4th television wife on The Sid Caesar Show, in which she did comedy with Caesar and sang a song each week. 1963 saw the release of her first of a series of children’s albums, “Gisele MacKenzie sings Lullaby and Goodnight”. The album sold very well and resulted in two more for Cricket Play Hour Records (Pickwick): “Gisele MacKenzie Sings and Tells the Adventures and Travels of Babar the Elephant” and “Gisele MacKenzie Sings and Tells Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland”.
In 1986 MacKenzie was temporarily recast as Katherine Chancellor on the Soap Opera The Young and the Restless. Starting in 1955, during her summer breaks from Your Hit Parade, MacKenzie added musical comedies to her resume musical theater by starring in such classics as Annie Get Your Gun, The King and I, and South Pacific. She turned expanded her acting credits in the 1990s, making guest appearances on television series including Murder, She Wrote, Boy Meets World and MacGyver
MacKenzie has a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame at 1601 Vine. Video Rating: / 5
Staff Attorney, Neighborhood Legal Services Association, New Castle, PA
Mark A. Krochka is the face of legal aid in his small county legal aid office in New Castle, maintaining relationships with clients, the private bar, judges and social service agencies. He is an aggressive and relentless advocate for his clients, leaving no stone unturned in trying to find a way to resolve their legal issues. Mr. Krochka often receives praise from his clients for his advocacy on their behalf, including one client who has credited him with saving her life and her children’s lives and has stepped forward to testify to national, state and local audiences about the quality services she received from Attorney Krochka and the essential safety net provided legal aid programs. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Mr. Krochka was a social worker investigating child abuse, often testifying in court proceedings. His passion for both social work and justice allow Mr. Krochka to serve each client with the top-notch services they deserve. Video Rating: / 5
FedEx Ground Corporate Legal Department has created a robust pro bono culture that has benefited countless of low-income residents and victims of domestic violence in the Pittsburgh area since its inception. FedEx Ground is a member of the Pittsburgh Pro Bono Partnership and today operates six active pro bono projects engaging the FedEx Ground legal team and support staff from the company’s Risk Management and the Protection and Preventative Services Groups. Projects include a Protection Form Abuse project; Wills project; Guardian ad Litem project; Education Law Clinic; and Veterans Legal Aid project. Video Rating: / 5