South Carolina Bar Foundation | Foundation Focus E-Newsletter | June 2019

How do you begin to choose who needs legal help the most?  Is it children?  Domestic violence victims? Veterans? Sadly, this is a trick question because all of them (in addition to so many more) desperately need help.  That is why we support several grantees that specialize in meeting the needs of a variety of individuals and families. You can be a link in this giving chain by partnering with the SC Bar Foundation. 
Not only does the SCBF have LOW overhead, we make a BIG impact.  Just $0.12 of every donated dollar supports our operations.  The remaining $0.88 goes back to the community working to eradicate the cycle of homelessness and poverty impacting for fellow South Carolinians.  You too can make a BIG impact an impact in your community and provide a little more justice for all by donating today!
Every dollar makes a difference so ensure your legacy as a Foundation for Justice and invest in a brighter future for all South Carolinians.
Current ways you can partner with the Foundation:
  • Sponsor and or attend our upcoming events:
    • Fall 2019 | Event in Charleston, SC 
    • January 2020 | Event in Columbia, SC
  • Register for a Monthly Donation
  • Consider a One-time Gift donation
  • Shop and support through AmazonSmile (remember Father's Day is June 16th!)When you shop at AmazonSmile, you'll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate .05% of the purchase price to the SC Bar Foundation, at no cost to you. To get started, type in "" then sign into your Amazon account. Search "South Carolina Bar Foundation" in the box and then start shopping! Want more information? Click here
  • Planned Giving donation
    Leave a justice legacy by including the SCBF in your will or estate plan.  For instance, did you know that if you are 70 ½ or older, you can make tax-free gifts directly from your IRA?  
Whatever way you chose to donate, we appreicaite your support. If you need more information contact the Foundation staff or visit our website.

Megan, Marisa & Melissa
Your SCBF Staff

Notes From Your SCBF Staff
Megan Seiner

It is hard to believe how quickly time truly flies when you are having fun!  I have been the Executive Director for 3 ½ years now.  What is not hard to believe is how fortunate I am to be a part of such a great organization.  I have been very fortunate to get to know many of you and look forward to continuing to spread the word about the South Carolina Bar Foundation and our grantees.  Thanks for all that you do to make my job such a pleasure.

Marisa  Cebulski

We've been grateful for your help and support with our recent fundraising events, the most recent being  Midlands Gives  on May 7th and Be a "Fore"ce for Justice Topgolf Tournament on June 5th. We have exceeded both fundraising goals and recognize that would not have been possible without your participation. We will be hosting events more often, so look out for more information about those and how you can be involved and continue your gracious support.

Melissa Spivey

One of my main focuses these past few months has been growing our social media reach and I would love your help in connecting with you! Please look us up on facebook, twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn and "Like," "Follow," or "Friend" our pages so we can keep you up to date with our most current news. Now that our  our Topgolf® Tournament Fundraiser is behind us we're setting our sights on Charleston, so you'll hear details first on our social media pages. Hope we can connect there!
Midlands Gives 2019

Tuesday, May 7th was a great day! Thanks to our incredible Board members who scheduled gifts before May 7th, we began Midlands Gives with over $400 in donations. We quickly added $1,000 thanks to receiving the South State Bank First Gift Prize. Megan and Melissa had the opportunity to trek to Segra Park to receive a big check with some of our South State Bank friends  (pictured below).
As the day went on, we enjoyed watching the total climb, surpassing our goal of $2,500 in the early afternoon. After 7 p.m. we had already hit $3,000 and finally ended the day with a total of $4,058. That's $1,558 over our goal and $2,232.43 more than we raised in 2018. So, thank YOU to those who supported us and participated in Midlands Gives! 

We hope you'll join us again next year!

Foundation Focus
Be a "Fore"ce for  Justice

Last w eek we hosted our first Greenville event with our Topgo lf Tournament and we had an absolute blast. It was the perfect setting to network and enjoy the company of 100+ friends of the Foundation.  The attendees learned a little from Jennifer 
Olmert, of the Upstate Mediation Center and fortunately, none of the competitors required her mediation services.

Thank you to everyone who attended and spread the word about the Foundation and the event!  It is your support that fueled the success of our first upstate event!  

Congratulations to our tournament champions:

Tournament Champions

(Left to Right: Rusty Infinger, Austin Watts, Sutton Vanderbloemen, Tom Vanderbloemen, Rusty Patrick. Not Pictured: Justice Few)

Second Place Team:
Al Bellino, Chris Lawrence, John Sulau, Kendall Eoute, and Rick Vieth

Third Place Team:
Bill Robinson and Kirby Mitchell

To see images from the event on our facebook page, click here to view the album.

Again, thank you to our sponsors!


We'd be honored for you to partner with us in becoming a recurring donor to the South Carolina Bar Foundation. If you're lead to do so, please visit our  website or contact us for more information!
Together we can grant legal access and education to all!

Grantee Focus

South Carolina Legal Services and Prisma Health established a medical legal partnership to help individuals in need of medical assistance as well as legal assistance to individuals in the Upstate. A medical legal partnership (MLP) takes an integrated upstream approach to addressing and preventing health-harming civil legal barriers to patients' health. In a MLP, lawyers collaborate with healthcare providers to ensure the health of vulnerable patients and families by addressing unmet health harming needs in conjunction with medical care.
The SC Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP) is a partnership between three agencies: Prisma Health, Furman University, and South Carolina Legal Services (SCLS). Through this partnership, a health care provider can identify a potential health harming legal need, and the patient can be directly referred to a lawyer. This MLP currently provides legal services for children with developmental disabilities and special needs in low-income families who are patients of Prisma healthcare providers.
The MLP offers a wide range of civil legal services through South Carolina Legal Services for eligible families. Some examples include:
  • Guardianship/ Conservatorship
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Housing - conditions, landlord disputes, eviction
  • Academic Support/IEP Representation
  • Transition health care needs
  • Many other civil areas of law
Since 2016, Greenville MLP have focused on geriatric and pediatric practice ares through four dedicated MLP staff members. 260 Prisma Health patients have been directly represented by MLP attorneys.  We are grateful for the work SCLS has done to establish and grow the Greenville MLP and are proud to support their efforts in combining their legal expertise to meet the health-related issues their clients face.

If you'd like to learn more about SC Legal Services' Greenville Medical-Legal Partnership program, download their  infographic, or get in touch with Kirby Mitchell, Senior Litigation Attorney at South Carolina Legal Services
Image from The Post and Courier
Sol Blatt, Jr. Statue

A few hundred people gathered in downtown Charleston on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, to witness the statue unveiling of the late Honorable Solomon "Sol" Blatt, Jr., United States District Court Judge for the District of South Carolina. 
The statue honoring Judge Blatt was unveiled in the small park south of the Federal Courthouse in downtown Charleston. In recent years, private donations have led to new statues of Judge Blatt and the Honorable Waites Waring as well as U.S. Senator Ernest "Fritz" Hollings and statesman James Byrnes.
The SCBF was honored to help administer the donations for the statue's eradication and dedication.

The South Carolina Supreme Court
Historical Society Focus

The South Carolina Supreme Court Historical Society is a program of the South Carolina Bar Foundation and donations to it are deductible to the extent allowed by law. Members of the Historical Society have the opportunity to attend symposia and participate in events regarding the SC Supreme Court's rich legal history.  Newly sworn in members of the South Carolina Bar are given a complimentary membership for their first year as a member of the Bar. After that time, there is an annual fee to join.  Click  here  to join and learn more.
Oral History Program
History comes alive through the Historical Society's Oral History Program.  Society members can listen to and learn about legal giants of the past and present in recorded form.  The oral history program has recently added the Interview of The Honorable Judge Bishop to the SC Bar Foundation website. Members can log in and read the transcript or listen to the audio file of the interview.
Board Member Focus
Rene with his dog, Rufus in the mountains of South Carolina
Today we want to shine a spotlight on our Immediate Past-President, Rene Josey of Turner Padget Graham & Laney, PA. Rene has been involved with the Foundation since 1992. Initially, his involvement with SCBF was the result of an unforeseen chain of events - or perhaps even divine intervention. After finishing a federal clerkship in Florence, he was drafted by the County Bar President to serve on the then-regional legal aid office Board. This was before Legal Aid offices were consolidated under a state-wide umbrella. His service on the regional Legal Aid Board indirectly led to his receipt of the Bar's Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year award in 1990.  That award selection precipitated a call the following year from the Bar's Executive Director asking Rene to serve on the Foundation's Board of Directors.  Rene recalls, "I remember him recruiting me for Board service but only after first telling me that I would need to become a contributor as well. I was honored and agreed to do both."
When asked what the most rewarding aspect of serving as a SCBF Board member has been, Rene replied, " Without a doubt it is getting first-hand exposure to the grantees from every region of our state and learning about their important work. Equally rewarding has been the opportunity to meet and serve with many great lawyers on the Foundation Board.   I have made some good friends."
"My career has provided me and my family many great opportunities -- but the Foundation and its grantees reach people that haven't had those opportunities.  Foundation beneficiaries need advocacy to recognize and take advantage of opportunities that our democracy tries to provide to everyone.  Foundation service has strengthened my empathy for those in need of those services and strengthened my respect for their courage to persevere their circumstances."
Rene's hope for  the Foundation's future is for less poverty and less need for the Foundation. Reality  being what it is though, he envisions continued growth in the Foundation's financial strength through continued sound management as well as attorney awareness and support, so it can fund all the needs of wonderful grantees present and future.
A few light-hearted questions to get to know Rene better:
If your life had a theme song, what would it be?
Not sure about a theme song, but my wife and I participate in a community chorus and one well-known number that was part of our recent winter performance is a favorite - "I Was Glad" by Sir Hubert Parry (listen here). The music is majestic and the lyrics spiritually transportive.
What personality trait has benefited you most and in what way?
I think I relate well with folks from all walks of life.  It may help that I wasn't born into a lawyer family or with a silver spoon. I have worked hard and been tenacious when necessary. I don't mind trying something new and have learned to ask for help.  For the most part, I have kept a sense of humor even when working on difficult matters.
If you could create one new law that everyone HAD to obey, what would it be?
A traffic law derivative of the golden rule:  "Drive like you aren't the most important person on the road!"
You have to flee the U.S., where would you choose to relocate?
I don't know, but my wife and I flee to our remote home in the mountains of South Carolina every chance we have now.   It is our escape to another world.
We're grateful for Rene and all he has brought to the Board and the Foundation. 
Thanks for your service!
 Make a donation today!