Monday, June 15, 2015

Legal-Aid Organizations Make Stanley Cup Wager

It's not the Ice Bucket Challenge, but you could call it a Cool Cup Competition. Two of the largest legal-aid organizations in the home cities of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Chicago Blackhawks have waged a bet on the outcome of the Stanley Cup Final. Bay Area Legal Services in Tampa Bay and LAF in Chicago both work to provide free civil legal services for people living in poverty, and they are hoping this friendly wager will raise awareness of their work in a larger arena.

LAF has promised half a dozen Giordano’s deep-dish pizzas to the staff of Bay Area Legal Services should the Blackhawks fail to bring the Cup to their city. BALS answered the challenge, offering to ship north a box of hand-rolled Ybor City Cigars if the Lightning lose the series.
The feud started as competitive banter on Facebook but has spawned into much more for the two organizations. “We thought this would be a fun way of supporting our team and our mission,” said Rose Brempong, development director for Bay Area Legal Services. “It’s not often you get an opportunity to get authentic Chicago pizza shipped to your office - we had to take them up on it!”

BALS is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free civil legal services to qualified and low-income residents and nonprofits throughout the Tampa Bay area. BALS believes that access to justice is fundamental to building strong, safe communities. Areas of service include domestic violence, veterans' issues, foreclosure, consumer rights, senior advocacy, family law, public benefits, housing, self-help, and tax issues. Last year, BALS helped and educated more than 19,000 individuals and families and received more than 60,000 calls to its legal aid line.

LAF, formerly the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, is Cook County’s largest legal-aid organization. LAF helps families and individuals living in poverty resolve their non-criminal legal issues and get back on track. LAF’s more than 80 full-time attorneys and staff provide comprehensive free legal services for civil problems, including domestic violence, consumer fraud, and unfair evictions. They make equal justice a reality in metropolitan Chicago and break the cycle of poverty. For nearly 50 years, LAF has been providing professional legal services to tens of thousands of people in metropolitan Chicago. LAF relies on private donations to fulfill its mission.