Franczek emphasizes the importance of contributing its financial resources and the time, energy and talent of individuals within the Firm to our local and legal communities.
Partner Lindsey Marcus acts as the Firm's Community Investment Officer to coordinate the philanthropic, charitable service, and pro bono activities of the Firm. By “giving back” to our community, we have grown as professionals and, more importantly, we have grown as individuals through the fulfillment that can only come through helping others.
For more information regarding the Firm's community investment initiatives, please contact Firm Community Investment Officer Lindsey Marcus via e-mail or call 312.786.6178.
Dewey School of Excellence
As part of the firm's diversity and community investment initiatives, Franczek attorneys organized an essay contest for students at the Dewey School of Excellence. The students were tasked with writing an essay on what Black History Month means to them. Today, winners were taken to see the film Black Panther with attorneys Jamel Greer and Erin Fowler.
Special Olympics Community Service Event
On June 25, 2015, the Firm partnered with Special Olympics Chicago and Firm client, Envision Unlimited to host a Field Day at Marquette Park, which included soccer, bags, hula hoops, hopscotch, and other fun activities. There were over twenty volunteers, including attorneys and directors of the Firm. In addition to the activities, attorneys and directors visited with the Envision residents and Special Olympic athletes.
Envision Unlimited commits to provide persons with disabilities or other special needs quality services which promote choice, independence and community integration. For over 50 years, Envision has served people with intellectual and developmental disabilities across all ages, abilities and backgrounds.
Special Children's Charities has been supporting Special Olympics Chicago programs since 1969. Created by Jack McHugh, Special Children’s Charities’ primary mission is to promote, foster and encourage physical and mental health and improvement for children and adults with intellectual disabilities and closely related developmental disabilities.
Shadow Day for Dewey School of Excellence
On March 26, 2015, the Firm hosted its first Shadow Day for selected students chosen for their exemplary efforts in school by Principal CJ Rodgers from our CPS partner school, the Dewey School of Excellence. The goal of the Shadow Day was to give the students a taste of “real life” at a law firm, with an opportunity to experience various aspects of the law firm—from both the standpoint of a practicing attorney to the operational and administrative responsibilities undertaken by all members of our Firm. A number of our attorneys and Firm staff participated in the Shadow Day activities.
The Firm also recently conducted a fundraiser among its attorneys and staff to cover the costs of a coach bus for 8th grade students’ college visit to the University of Michigan.
Holiday Gift Drive
This holiday season, Franczek is conducting its annual Holiday Gift Drive. Holiday donations will be provided to Dewey School of Excellence students through My Joyful Heart Foundation. The Firm sponsored 22 Harvard students and is providing clothes, blankets, toiletries, books and toys based on each child’s wish list. Members of the Firm, collectively and individually, sponsor an additional five students for the entire year so that their school supply, clothing and toiletry needs were met, as well as provided gifts for their birthdays and holidays year-round. We are pleased to play a small part in improving the lives of these children.
Career Day at Dewey School of Excellence
In November 2014, the Firm hosted a Career Day at our CPS partner school, the Dewey School of Excellence. The Career Day event was attended by 6th, 7th, and 8th graders, approximately 70 to 80 Dewey students.
A number of our attorneys, Firm staff and client volunteers graciously agreed to serve as presenters, as the students rotate through various topics/careers during the morning session. Staci Ketay Rotman, Erin Fowler, Jamel Greer, Sunny Sohn, Maryanne Adams, Amelia Lopatin, Roseann Seablom, Tracey King, and Veronica Montes conducted up to seven 15 minute sessions with small groups of students. Attorney David Johnson also worked with the City of Chicago to secure firefighter Preston Roberson and police officers Aja Richardson and Larry Odums, and Amelia recruited a peer from another firm to join us as well.
The Firm also provided the school items collected from the Firm's Fall School Supply and Coat Drive for the students.
In September 2014, a Franczek team of attorneys and staff braved the rain and participated in the annual Race Judicata. Race Judicata is annual 5K Run/Walk, benefiting Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Foundation (CVLS) and its mission to ensure that the law works for everyone. CVLS is an organization of nearly 3,000 volunteer attorneys who donate free legal services to thousands of low-income Chicagoans annually. This year marked the 20th year for the Race and Franczek was happy to continue its participation in this annual event.
Franczek also won third place in the Race Judicata 2014 T-Shirt Contest for its design and slogan, "Here Comes The Run...Come Together to Celebrate Franczek's and Race Judicata's 20th Anniversary!"
School Supplies Drive
Before the new school year, Franczek conducted its annual school supplies drive. We were pleased to provide Dewey School of Excellence with school supplies. On August 14, 2014, Dewey’s principal, CJ Rodgers, attended the Firm’s annual Back to School Supply Drive lunch to provide more information about Dewey and its students. CJ wants to give these kids a safe learning environment and plant the seed that college is not only a dream, but an obtainable goal.
On June 7, as part of Franczek's 2014 community service event and through the collaborative efforts of Community Investment Officer Staci Ketay Rotman and Green and Healthy Living Committee Co-Chair Jackie Wernz, Franczek attorneys and staff volunteered at City Farm.
The farm is the urban agriculture program of the Resource Center, a non-profit environmental education organization in Chicago that has led the way in demonstrating innovated techniques for recycling and reusing materials. City Farm turns vacant land into productive farmland, transforming crumbling cement and overgrown weeds into jobs, green space, fresh produce and hope. During the service event, volunteers learned about the farm, urban farming, sustainability, and environmental issues generally, as well as assisted the farm with gardening.
2014 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure
On Mothers’ Day 2014, Team Franczek participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in downtown Chicago. The Chicagoland Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® was established in 1997 and held its first Susan G. Komen Chicago Race for the Cure that year. The Daley family served as Honorary Chairs of the race this year, celebrating the life of Chicago’s former First Lady Maggie C. Daley, and the passion and energy she displayed as a Mom and breast cancer fighter. With the support of this signature fundraiser, the Komen Chicago Race for the Cure®, the Komen Chicagoland Affiliate has awarded more than $12 million towards the fight against breast cancer.
Young Women's Leadership Charter School's (YWLCS) Girl Power Luncheon
On April 9, Franczek sponsored the 2014 Young Women's Leadership Charter School's (YWLCS) Girl Power Luncheon. The event featured keynote speaker Linda Johnson Rice, Chairman of the Johnson Publishing Company, publisher of EBONY and JET magazines and parent company to Fashion Fair Cosmetics. Sunny Fischer, former Executive Director of The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation,was honored with the annual Girl Power Leadership Award for her profound impact on Chicago’s philanthropic community and for her steadfast commitment to the students of YWLCS.
Teacher Appreciation Breakfast
In November 2013, Franczek sponsored and hosted a Teacher Appreciation breakfast for the Harvard School of Excellence led by Staci Ketay Rotman. The Firm also donated an Amazon.com gift card which was raffled off to one of the teachers that attended the breakfast.The small donation of breakfast and our time was very well received, and we are looking forward to our partnership with Harvard in 2014.
Holiday Food Drive
During the month of November, Franczek partnered with the Jewish United Fund (JUF)/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. JUF funds a vital network of agencies that act upon core Jewish values, such as caring for people in need here in the United States, in Israel and around the world, as well as nurturing and sustaining the Jewish community today and for future generations. The Firm donated food and hygiene items to the JUF Uptown Cafe, Chicago’s first kosher anti-hunger program for the needy. In addition to providing hot meals in a restaurant-style setting, the JUF Uptown Cafe program brings dignity and hope to people in need. The JUF Uptown Cafe feeds Jews and non-Jews alike and is open three days a week for dinner and on Sundays for brunch.
The Great Chicago Fire Hydrants
As part of the citywide public art installation featuring oversized replicas of Chicago's iconic standard ﬁre hydrants, Franczek sponsored a hydrant for The Great Chicago Fire Hydrants. These art sculptures are placed throughout the City in tribute to the work and heroism of our beloved Chicago Fireﬁghters. Our sponsored hydrant will be on display at the Merchandise Mart near the Orleans entrance until December 1. At the conclusion of the exhibition, the hydrants will be gathered for a ﬁnal exhibit before being auctioned, with net proceeds beneﬁting charities that support the families of ﬁre victims and other ﬁre safety programs.
Harvard School of Excellence Service Project
On July 12, 2012, Franczek attorneys Shelli Anderson, Ellen Babbitt, Brian Crowley, Ron Hein, Staci Ketay Rotman, Chief Financial Officer Shannon DeRubertis, and the Firm’s 2013 LEADS Fellows, Erin Fowler and Kent Sparks, partnered with Chicago Cares to complete a meaningful community service project at Harvard School of Excellence. The Firm recently partnered with Harvard for the upcoming school year.
The volunteers constructed a planter bench and planted flowers for the outdoor playground space to add more comfortable seating for students and teachers. They also painted a "Get Healthy, Get Active" mural on the lunchroom wall to brighten the room and encourage students to live an active, healthy lifestyle. Franczek is proud to support the educational efforts of the Chicago Public Schools.
Lawyers in the Classroom
Franczek attorneys participated in the Lawyers in the Classroom program during the 2012-2013 school year, at Brentano Math & Science Academy, a local CPS school. Lawyers in the Classroom is a student program provided by Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago (CRFC) which places attorney volunteers in second- through eighth-grade classrooms to help students to better understand the U.S. Constitution, our legal system, and law-related careers. Four teams of attorneys provided interactive lessons to four classes of sixth and seventh grade students. The attorneys who participated included Kendra Berner, Brian Crowley, Scott Cruz (pictured, on the right), Ares Dalianis, Amy Dickerson, Michael Hernandez, David Johnson, Staci Ketay Rotman, Scott Metcalf (pictured, on the left), Michael Richardson, Scott Warner, and Jackie Wernz.
Polish American Association – Clothing Drive
In November 2012, Franczek held a clothing drive to benefit the Polish American Association (PAA). Founded in 1922 as a not-for-profit organization, the PAA is the nation's only human services organization providing a comprehensive range of bilingual and bicultural services to the Polish community, as well as others in need. This year, the Firm partnered with the PAA and collected 350 items of clothing, 25 stuffed animals, numerous baskets and recycled holiday cards, all filling nine over-sized boxes.
Halloween Candy Drive
In October 2012, Franczek participated in a Halloween Candy Drive for the Off the Street Club, the city’s oldest Boys and Girls Club serving more than 3,000 children in the Garfield Park neighborhood in Chicago’s West Side. The candy donations collected by Franczek attorneys and staff were distributed to the children who attended the Off the Street Club’s annual Halloween party, a safe alternative to trick-or-treating.
In June 2012, 20 Franczek attorneys, staff and friends of the Firm volunteered in the Annual Serv-A-Thon hosted by Chicago Cares. The Franczek team painted and provided landscaping at Banneker Elementary School in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago. The Annual Chicago Cares Serve-a-thon is the City’s largest day of community service. Thousands of volunteers come together to support Chicago Public School students through hands-on facilities improvements and interactive projects. The work completed in a single day impacts more than 18,000 local students.