April 2011 - As Good as it Gets
by Lei Lei Wang Ekvall
Let’s celebrate our collective good fortunes, reward ourselves for the good work that was done, and do good at the same time—at the Pelican Hill Golf Club. The 27th Annual Judge Kenneth Lae Charity Golf Tournament will once again be held at the beautiful Pelican Hill Golf Club. It is a “can’t miss” event—really.
For a non-golfer (like me), the Tournament always seemed rather intimidating. However, I was fortunate and honored to have participated in last year’s tournament, also at Pelican Hill, and I have to say, I have never seen a group of happier lawyers and judges. It was surreal—how joyous and relaxed everyone was after a day of golfing on a course that is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. And I am told that the forecaddies at Pelican Hill can make even a mediocre golfer seem like Phil Mickelson. (There are limits, I’m told, for what the forecaddies can do for a non-golfer.) The general consensus was that it was a very good day on many levels, and on days like that one, it’s not so bad to be in the legal profession.
In addition to the feel good moments, the Tournament and the Fall Charitable Gala raised more money last year than in the past number of years, which is especially impressive given the difficulties of these financial times. It’s a real testament to OCBA members and their generosity and concern for improving access to justice and lives of those less fortunate. Here is a big “thank you” to those of you who supported the OCBA Charitable Fund last year.
As a result, the OCBA Charitable Fund was able to jump start its brand new scholarship program with $10,000 and give grants totaling $71,000 to five of our local law-related charities: the Public Law Center, the Constitutional Rights Foundation of Orange County, VIP-Mentors, UCI Foundation—Saturday Academy of Law, and Orange County Bar Foundation. In addition, the Charitable Fund committed approximately $13,000 to co-sponsor the UCI Pre-Law Outreach Program. Recipients of your generosity and support have reported that the funds given are making significant differences in improving individual lives, the legal profession, and access to justice. In some cases, the OCBA Charitable Fund ensured the viability of certain programs. It is something to be proud of.
This year, with the economy looking perhaps a little more promising (depending on the day), we hope to raise even more money than last year. Perhaps we have not been as vocal about our appreciation for OCBA Charitable Fund supporters and sponsors. You will see changes in the coming year—on the OCBA website, in the OC Lawyer magazine, at our events, and everywhere where we can gush our gratitude. Perhaps we have not made it as easy to support the OCBA Charitable Fund. You will see positive changes this coming year. Donations can be made with a click of your mouse.
We are excited about the coming year—about your support and the lives that will improve with your support. Let’s celebrate with a round of golf, in a gorgeous setting, with good friends and colleagues. Fore!
Lei Lei Wang Ekvall is the President of the OCBA Charitable Fund, Past President of the Orange County Bar Association, and a partner of Weiland, Golden, Smiley, Wang Ekvall & Strok, LLP, where she specializes in representing debtors, creditors, and litigants in business reorganizations and workouts.