eNewsletter - June 2013

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 LAF eNews Update
June 2013 
In This Newsletter
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Go to www.lafchicago.org and check it out!
LAF remembers  
Bill Kolen
July 18, 1957 - June 5, 2013
Director of LAF's Public
Benefits Practice Group
We are sad to share the news of Bill Kolen's death.  In his 30-year career, Bill was an unstoppable advocate for LAF and our clients.  His presence in our office changed the lives of so many of Chicago's poorest neighbors and brought smiles to the faces of coworkers and friends.  He will be sorely missed.  Our friends at Illinois Legal Aid Online shared this video, and you can visit our facebook page and leave a memory of Bill's life and legacy on our wall.  
Before he left us, Bill shared a bit of his wisdom in his last email to the staff at LAF.  We are honored to share his words with you here:  

I am thankful for being given the opportunity to lead the Public Benefits practice group for the past two years – especially at this historic moment when we actually have an opportunity to provide health care to low-income people. One of my biggest frustrations is that I will not be around to continue the good fight that I have been part of for the past 30 years, but am confident that you will all continue the fight. There are no words to capture the feelings I have about having spent my life working at something that I have always been passionate about. For that, I am a lucky man. My wish is that as you go through your days at work, you will be thankful for having the chance to make a difference in the world and make others lives better because of something you did.
I am taking advantage of having your attention to share my belief that an effective poverty lawyer absolutely needs to have some understanding of public benefits. Public benefits advocacy has always been a core service to people living in poverty.
As I reflect on my life, specifically my work life, I am proud to call myself a poverty lawyer and find comfort thinking about all the clients’ and colleagues’ lives that I may have made better in some way because I worked hard, persevered, and cared.
In lieu of flowers, you can donate to LAF in his memory by clicking here.  
Visit the redesigned LAF website!
and check it out!
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A special message
from LAF
Executive Director
Diana C. White
Summer has been off to a good start in Chicago!
Chicago's sports teams are not the only ones to celebrate victories and hard work this month.  LAF hosted its Annual Luncheon on June 18, which highlighted our work helping people get back on track and raised well over $600,000 to support that work.  You can read more about it below.  
If you joined us on June 18, and especially if you joined us for the first time, I want to thank you.  I hope the day inspired you.  And you can keep up with our work on Facebook and our new blog.
If you were unable to attend, you can still support the great work LAF is doing every day to help the most vulnerable people in our community.  Your investment in us is an investment in people who get clients back on their feet by providing first-rate legal help.
Diana C. White
LAF Executive Director
Visit the redesigned LAF website!
Go to www.lafchicago.org and check it out!
Contribute to LAF Now!
Donate Button
Support LAF today with a tax-deductible donation
Annual Luncheon a great success 
Awards, stories, and renewed
support for LAF's mission 
On Tuesday, June 18th, LAF held its Annual Luncheon, our largest fundraising event of the year, at the Palmer House Hilton. 
LAF Board of Directors President Maja Eaton addresses the crowded ballroom
This year, our Champion for Justice Award was presented to Brinks, Hofer, Gilson & Lione for the firm's longstanding and deep commitment to LAF and LAF’s clients.  Our Jerold S. Solovy Award was presented to Tim Hufman, for his dedication to the work of LAF.
Tim truly embodies the very best of what it means to work in legal aid. Here at LAF, we know that the people who come through our doors do not have much left in the way of options, or the means to pay their way out of their problems. But this does not make them any less deserving of competent and fair representation in our legal system. Every day, LAF attorneys are fighting hard for the people we help, to ensure a simple mistake does not morph into a lifetime of poverty and helplessness.  You can read Tim's moving and articulate speech here on our blog.
Yvonne Daily, one of LAF's clients, told her story to the more than 550 people present, and you can read her story on our blog too.
You can see more photos from the Luncheon on our Facebook page, where you can tag yourselves and your friends, and share photos to get the word out about LAF.
New LAF Video 
Hear LAF's clients, staff, and supporters
tell our story
At the Luncheon, we premiered this video that Gary Yordon produced for us.  Gary is so committed to the work we do that he donated his services.  The video captures our clients’ stories in their own words, highlights our supporters and staff, and explains why our work matters.  We are thrilled with the work Gary’s done for us, and everyone at the Luncheon loved it.  We’re so excited to share it with you.
You can watch on Youtube here.  
Challenging an Unconstitutional 
Hospital Charity Care Law
LAF's Public Benefits Practice Group files a case
to protect access to health care for the poor
This month, Carrie Chapman, one of LAF’s attorneys in our Public Benefits Practice Group, filed a lawsuit claiming a new definition of charity care for tax-exempt hospitals violates the Illinois state constitution.
This AP story profiles her clients and the suit they’re pursuing.  Carrie explains that, to be considered a non-profit hospital and to gain the tax-exempt status that goes with that, a hospital must give free services to patients who cannot afford to pay for them.  She argues that the new definitions in the revenue code ”impermissibly and unconstitutionally broaden” the definition of what hospitals need to do to qualify for these tax exemptions, at the cost of the poorest members of our community.
We’re proud of the work she is doing for LAF’s clients and their communities.  Way to go Carrie!
Visit the redesigned LAF website!
Go to www.lafchicago.org and check it out!
Contribute to LAF Now!
Donate Button
Support LAF today with a tax-deductible donation
Each year, LAF impacts 40,000 lives by providing free legal help to resolve issues like domestic violence, consumer fraud, and unfair evictions. We make equal justice a reality and get people back on track.  We rely on private donations to fulfill our mission.
Join us on Facebook and check out our blog to stay updated on everything happening with LAF. 


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