By September 15, 2003, the Disaster Relief Committee had already begun preparing for what seemed to be the imminent and unavoidable arrival of Hurricane Isabel later in the week. During the next two days, the Committee finalized preparation of the training materials that would be sent out to volunteers who had agreed to responds to calls for assistance from victims of the Isabel. Committee Co-Chair also tried to contact all previous volunteers who had helped out with the La Plata tornado disaster and sought out additional volunteers to increase the pool from which they would be able to draw. By Wednesday, September 17th, Governor Ehrlich had proclaimed a state of emergency.
With the help of Gregory M. Derwart, Director of Administration for the MSBA, the Hotline was set up, a press release was sent to media outlets and the Committee began receiving and responding to calls. Additional media attention assisted in getting the word out. Co-Chair William Krulak was interviewed on September 24th on local Public Radio station WEAA and appeared later that same day on the Mark Steiner Show on WYPR. Former Disaster Relief Co-Chair, Theo Ogune also appeared on WEAA on September 26th. Brian Zemil, former YLS Chair and associate at Venable, Baetjer & Howard, L.L.P., assisted the Committee by participating in a live radio call-in program on September 28th. Finally, on September 29th, Co-Chair William Krulak appeared on the Fox 45 Morning Show to discuss the Disaster Relief effort and to broadcast the Hotline information.
In an effort to work directly with victims of Hurricane Isabel, Co-Chair Traci Robinson coordinated with YLS Secretary Ruth-Ann Bennett and FEMA representatives to place volunteers in Disaster Relief Centers (DRCs). The Committee had several volunteer attorneys located at DRCs where they had an opportunity to work directly with the victims of Hurricane Isabel.
The Committee received and responded to almost 100 calls from Marylanders who are suffering the effects of Isabel. Many of the callers have problems that the volunteers have been able to resolve with some simple advice, while other callers present complex issues that require greater effort by the volunteer or must be referred out. We expect to continue receiving calls for the foreseeable future, so please encourage your friends and colleagues to offer their assistance and join us as volunteers. If you would like to learn more about the Disaster Relief Committee or if you would like to volunteer, please contact William Krulak (410-385-3448 or email@example.com) or Traci Robinson (410-396-1779 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
On December 16th, 17th, and 18th, the Membership Committee will be helping to congratulate the newest members of the legal profession and the YLS by assisting at the swearing in ceremonies at the Court of Appeals of Maryland. If you would like to help with this momentous event, please contact Greg Derwart at 410-685-7878.
The Membership Committee is organizing three happy hours in 2004. The first, to welcome the new admittees, will be held at Lucille’s on Thursday, January 29, 2004, located at Power Plant Live in Baltimore City. We will also cheer on the Terps that evening as Maryland plays Wake Forest in basketball. Save the date. This will be a great event.
The other happy hours will be held in late March in Bethesda, and late May in Annapolis. If anyone wants to get involved in helping to organize these events, please contact Co-Chairs Jonathan Kagan (410-974-9200 or email@example.com) or Matthew Evans (410-268-6600 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Public Service Committee would like to thank all those who participated in this year's Heart Walk to benefit the American Heart Association and hope to see you again next year!
On October 2, 2003 the Public Service Committee, along with the Membership and Activities Committees, sponsored a happy hour at The James Joyce Irish Pub & Restaurant in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. The event was well attended and we had many new faces and new volunteers for our Toys for Tots and reading projects.
The Committee is still in need of attorney volunteers for the reading project involving local high school students. The program is designed to increase interest in the legal profession as a career as well as promote an interest in reading. The program will kick off during the Winter Semester. If you are interested in participating, please contact Co-Chair Hughie Hunt at 301-982-0888.
It is time again for the Toys for Tots program. Volunteers will be assigned one child and will be responsible for purchasing one toy. There are no minimums or maximums to contribute. The deadline for contributions, which can be left at the MSBA Headquarters, is December 17th. If you would like to make a child smile, contact Co-Chair Heather Crenshaw at 410-788-7084 for more information on the Toys for Tots program.
The Resolutions Committee is busy planning the February 10, 2004 YLS Council Open Meeting to be held in Baltimore at Westminster Hall, across from Bar Headquarters. The topic of the evening's discussion will focus on terrorism and its effect on the daily practice of law.