South Carolina Bar Foundation | Foundation Focus E-Newsletter | July 2020

We hope this email find s you and your family healthy and adjusting to this unprecedented timeIt is difficult to recall a time of such uncertainty and worry but even within these times we see glimmers of hope and a recognition that we can improve and truly love our neighbors for who they are.  The SC Bar Foundation Board and staff are invested in the Foundation because of a fundamental desire to help people who are struggling.  These people may be the domestic violence survivor down the street or the veteran in need of benefits to pay rent and medical bills.  These people are the children who need someone to be their guardian and look out for their best interest or the homeless family struggling to get back on their feet and looking for a safe place to live and jobs that keep them housed and fed.  These are the people that want to become legal citizens and human trafficking victims trying to escape their captors. 
The thing about all of these people, is that they are our neighbors, colleagues, friends or relatives.  These people all need help and that is where the SC Bar Foundation and you come in.  The SC Bar Foundation provides grants to organizations throughout South Carolina who are working daily to make a difference and help these people.  When you donate to the Foundation, you are saying I want to be a part of the solution and help these people too.  You are saying, I want to invest in a present and future where all citizens of South Carolina have equal opportunities and can get help
This year marks the SC Bar Foundation's 50th anniversary.  50 years of helping South Carolinians in need and working to promote justice by funding legal access and education.  During the past 50 years, the needs of veterans, domestic abuse survivors, children's advocates, the homeless, and those who provide legal aid for the poor have grown and with the addition of the pandemic, the needs are even greater.  As a result of the financial crisis IOLTA has decreased substantially and the Foundation is estimating we will see a cut in IOLTA revenue by at least $500,000 and more likely even more.  With your help, we could fill the gap of the lost IOLTA funding and ensure that we have 50 more years to help our fellow South Carolinians.  
In recognition of our 50th Anniversary, we have created some new ways of recognizing our donors, and are challenging you to help in a variety of ways. 
  • Participate in SC Bar Foundation President Jennifer Blumenthal's $50 for 50 challenge
  • Earn an individual digital donation badge for any personal donation of $250 or more
  • Earn a firm/corporate digital donation badge for any firm donation of $500 or more
  • Recognize your friends and family with a gift in their memory or in honor
  • Turn your gift into recurring gift- weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually.  You set the amount and how often it is drafted for your account
  • Switch to stock gifts instead of cash
  • Leave a justice legacy by including the SCBF in your will or estate plan.  For example, if you are 70 ½ or older, you can make tax-free gifts directly from your IRA
  • Give an annual gift
  • Make a pledge and pay monthly, weekly, quarterly or at the end of the year
  • Shop and support through  AmazonSmile

However you choose to donate, you will make a difference in someone's life today.  87 cents of every donated dollar will help those in need.  Your investment in justice for all will reap dividends for years to come.  We appreciate your support and hope to see you face to face before too long.  If you need more information contact the SC Bar Foundation or visit our website.
Stay well,

Megan, Marisa & Melissa 
Your SCBF Staff

Greeting from Foundation President

I am honored to serve as president of the South Carolina Bar Foundation for 20 20-2021 which marks the Foundation's 50th anniversary. Since its inception, the Foundation has improved the lives of fellow South Carolinians by ensuring access to legal aid and education to our community.  
Now more than ever, the current climate gives us an opportunity as an organization to be able to help those most in need of legal assistance. During a challenging year, the funding of the Foundation is in dire need of support from its Bar.  I am asking each Bar member to donate at least $50 in celebration of the Foundation's 50th anniversary. I thank you for your support and look forward to serving alongside you all this year.
Digital Badges   

As we celebrate our 50th anniversary, we are giving you a way to promote your commitment to justice for all. The pandemic that we are all navigating has forced us to drastically change our plans to celebrate this milestone. We will be creating personalized digital badges for each individual donor who makes a $250 or more donation or a $500 or more firm donation beginning July 1, 2020 through June 31, 2021. 
We hope to see these sprinkled across the internet on your social media pages, at the bottom of your email signatures, and even on your websites. 
We want to thank you so much and recognize your continued support of the SC Bar Foundation.
FY 2021 Board of Directors & Staff 
Join us in celebrating our Board Members for this upcoming year! 
Jennifer Blumenthal
S. Venus



Immediate Past President

Cherie Barton

Tiffany Butler

George Cauthen

John DeLoache

Tom Gressette, Jr.

Toya Hampton

Whitney Harrison

Jeanne Howard

Rusty Infinger

John Roxon

Hagood Tighe

Liz Morrison

Deon Tedder
Megan Seiner
Executive Director 
Marisa Cebulski
Finance Director 
Melissa Collins
Marketing Director 
Amazon Smile
As we attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19 we are all doing a lot of online shopping.  When you shop Amazon, please remember to use to process your orders.  When you designate the SC Bar Foundation as your benefactor, a portion of your order will be donated by Amazon to us! No cost to you and no additional time is required.  
If we all commit to this practice when ordering our fancy new face masks or more hand-sanitizer, the amount would add up quickly! Thank you!

We'd be honored for you to partner with us in becoming a recurring donor. Please visit our  website or contact us for more information!
Together we can grant legal access and education to all!

Board Member Focus 
LISA COTTEN, Secretary/Treasurer

Lisa attending a concert
with her husband
Lisa Long Cotten is an attorney at the Mike Kelly Law Group in downtown Columbia. Her practice is in the areas of Social Security Disability, Workers' Compensation and Personal Injury. During her legal career, Lisa has been involved in numerous professional and community service organizations. They include numerous committees of the South Carolina Bar Association including the Workers' Compensation Section, Law Related Education Committee, South Carolina Women Lawyers Association, South Carolina Black Lawyers Association, and this year is serving as the Secretary/Treasurer on our Board of Directors. 
Four years ago, Lisa received a call from Executive Director, Megan Seiner, stating she has been nominated to become a Board Member. Both surprised and honored, she discussed with Megan the  duties and obligations required of board members and she knew that the Foundation was another opportunity for her to serve the citizen of our State.  Ever since, she has been committed to promote the Board's vision for every person in South Carolina to recognize and secure legal rights.
Here are a few questions Lisa answered for her Board Member spotlight:
What has been the most rewarding aspect of serving as a SCBF Board member?
The most rewarding aspect of serving as a SCBF Board member is meeting the actual individuals assisted by our grantees.  It is one thing to hear from an organization as to how they use donations, but it is more compelling to hear from the individuals whose lives are personally affected by the work of those organizations.  We have the privilege of hearing from one of our grantees at the beginning of our quarterly meetings.  

In what way has working with the Foundation grown your character?
During my tenure on the Board, I have served as the chair for the Ronnie Cole Scholarship Fund and Grants Committee.  Working with the Foundation has made me more confident in my ability to be a leader and effect positive change by funding legal access and education.
What is your hope for the future of the Foundation?
I hope that more of my colleagues will become regular donors to the Foundation.  Bar dues do not support the Foundation, so we rely on the membership to help fund our grants.  We accept and appreciate donations in any amount.  
Couple fun ones:
If your life was being made into a movie, what actor/actress would you chose to play you?
About 16 years ago, my co-workers at the 9th Circuit Solicitor's office actually casted the entire staff for a movie based on our office.  They chose Holly Robinson Peete to play me, and I was flattered by that choice.  They made a poster complete with pictures and everything.  It was very creative.
You only get to choose one food item to eat the rest of your life. What is it?
If I get to choose one food item to eat the rest of my life, it would be my brother's smoked chicken wings.  They are in a league of their own.   
If you could break one rule/law without any consequences, which one would you use and what on?
I already drive 9 mph over the speed limit.  That is about the only rule/law that I would break.  
What's your best work productivity tip?
My best work productivity tip is to organize and prioritize.  I actually try to plan my entire week leaving room in my schedule either early in the morning or late in the afternoon to return phone calls if I am out of the office or unable to take phone calls during the day.  

Thank you, Lisa, for your willingness to give your time and energy in serving on our board and as a result the people of South Carolina in need of legal aid, access, and education!
The SC Supreme Court Historical Society has a Podcast

Did you know that the SC Supreme Court Historical Society has been busy during this pandemic converting Oral Histories into podcast episodes?! That's right, now a selection of oral histories are available for you to stream from your device.  We hope you'll listen and subscribe here .

Want to be a part of the Historical Society? Become a member today!
Many Thanks

We would like to recognize and thank Chris Koon for his wonderful service as our president last year.  We would also like to thank Byron Gibson, Mary Sharp, and Jim Sheedy for their service on our board. The Foundation would not have as much impact without the guidance and leadership of such wonderful philanthropists.  Thank you!

 Make a donation today!