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Reservations are being accepted for the 2014 Access to Justice Awards Gala scheduled for Thursday, November 6 from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at Sinclair Community College, Ponitz Center.

The annual Access to Justice Awards Gala is presented by Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Legal Aid of Western Ohio and the Greater Dayton Volunteer Lawyers Project, organizations that provide free legal assistance to low-income individuals who are victims of domestic violence, elder abuse, disability and public benefits concerns and immigration issues. Proceeds from the Gala assist people who cannot afford to hire an attorney in civil legal cases.

The Gala has moved to a new location this year – Sinclair Community College, Ponitz Center, and includes a reception and awards program that celebrates individuals and organizations that have provided extraordinary assistance to disadvantaged individuals and families ensuring justice for all.

Please join us in recognition of the 2014 honorees:

carl-sherretsLloyd O'Hara Public Interest Law Award:
Carl D. Sherrets

Awarded to an attorney for representation over time and the pro bono nature of the work.

Carl D. Sherrets has devoted endless hours to arranging guardianships for clients who are disabled, disadvantaged, frail, elderly and suffering cognitive impairments. He has assisted individuals in partnership with Life Essentials and handles Montgomery County Probate Court cases. By providing pro bono legal assistance, he advocates for individuals who are unable to adequately make decisions for themselves and helps to ensure their safety and well-being.

Past award recipients: Jeffrey Swillinger (2013), Nancy A. Roberson (2012), Caroline H. Gentry (2011), Thomas P. Whelley III (2011), Alan Kappers (2008), Brian M. Wakefield (2008), John C. Lombard (2007)

think-tankCommunity Advocacy Award:
Think Tank, Inc.

Recognizes advocacy and community organizing for equal justice.

Think Tank, Inc. helps businesses, organizations and communities to understand and address the complexities of individuals in poverty through a variety of means including compelling role play. The organization, headquartered in Springfield with a satellite in Dayton, provides thought-provoking training, technical assistance and coaching in 80 communities nationwide. The nonprofit organization helps communities to pave the way for Bridges Out of Poverty.

Past award recipients: Leaders for Equality & Action in Dayton (2013), John T. Donnellan (2012), Patricia S. Meadows (2012), Artemis Center (2011), Dennis A. Lieberman (2008), Rosa Torres Caskey (2007), East End Community Services (2006)

MVFHCommunity Impact Award:
Miami Valley Fair Housing Center

Recognizes an individual, government agency, or business for their efforts affecting the lives of low-income people.

The Miami Valley Fair Housing Center has worked since 1993 to eliminate housing discrimination and ensure equal housing opportunity for all people in our region. The center reached more than 49,000 people in 2013 and has been a leader in helping homeowners to deal with foreclosure crises. The center works with public officials to protect and improve fair housing laws and ensure that they are properly enforced.

Past award recipients: Life Essentials (2013), Reach Out of Montgomery Co. (2012), Dr. Robert C. Walker (2011), Marie P. (Penny) Wolff (2008), Mary Bullen (2007), Faruki Ireland & Cox PLL (2006)

bob-curry-webDistinguished Service Award:
Robert M. Curry

Robert M. Curry of Thompson Hine LLP was selected by ABLE, LAWO and the GDVLP as an honoree in recognition of his outstanding advocacy, pro bono legal assistance to low-income individuals and families and his exceptional strides in securing donations that fund the free legal assistance that is provided to individuals and families in need. He served as campaign co-chair two years in a row. He is a member of the ABLE and LAWO boards and assists with legislative lobbying on behalf of the legal service organizations.


The Access to Justice Awards Gala is generously sponsored by WilmerHale. Media sponsor is Cox Media Group Ohio.

Sponsorships, tables and tickets* ($100 for individual patron and $150 for grand patron) may be secured for the event with a credit card at or by contacting Karla Garrett Harshaw at (937) 535-4432 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Checks should be made payable to Access to Justice Awards Gala and mailed by October 31 to:

Access to Justice Awards Gala
c/o ABLE and LAWO
130 W. Second St. Suite 700
Dayton, OH 45402

*Please note – there are no physical tickets for this event. You and your guests are asked to check-in when you arrive at the Gala.

For additional information contact Karla Garrett Harshaw
at (937) 535-4432 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.