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Lawyers to compete again to help food bank

POSTED: March 19, 2013 11:52 p.m.

Local attorneys are preparing for the second annual Legal Food Frenzy to raise food and funds for the Georgia Mountain Food Bank.

The fundraiser is a charitable drive and competition. Firms will compete against one another to raise the most during the two-week drive from April 22 to May 3. Dustin Marlowe at Orr Brown Johnson LLP has been named Gainesville’s city representative by the Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Georgia.

“As the city representative, I’m just kind of the point of contact for the local law firms, and am somewhat responsible for trying to generate interest,” Marlowe said. “I spread the word through local lawyer meetings, emails to the YLA Listserv and contact through the local press.”

The competition is a joint effort by the Young Lawyers Division, the Attorney General’s Office and the Georgia Food Bank Association. The winner will receive the “Attorney General’s Cup” from Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens. Awards will also be given in Sole Proprietor, Small Firm, Medium Firm, Large Firm, Legal Organization and Corporate Law Firm divisions.

The rules are simple, one point for every pound of food and four points for every dollar donated. The team with the most points per employee wins.

Keeping up with the YLA members covers a lot of ground, Marlowe said.

“We’re all pretty spread out. A lot of us are in private employment, and a lot are also employed in the district attorney’s office and public defender’s office,” he said.

Last year, more than 200 firms in 50 cities competed statewide and raised the equivalent of 612,000 pounds of food, Marlowe said.

Any firm in the state can win, since the awards are based on a per person average (pounds raised divided by the number of employees in the firm).

Marlowe said he wants to see Gainesville reassert a good showing this year.

“Gainesville had a very strong showing last year. Lots of our law firms and legal offices participated,” Marlowe said.

He noted that participants may want to just stick with clearing out extra food in the pantry, and leave the spending to the food bank.

“They’ve got so many resources. They can make a dollar go so much farther than you or I can,” he said. “That’s something I try to impress upon the other lawyers. By all means go to Publix and buy canned goods, but if you really want to help, give a monetary donation, it goes farther for them.”

Olens was the leader in recruiting the State Bar and YLA to tackle hunger issues, Marlowe said.

“The Legal Food Frenzy is a great opportunity for Georgia lawyers to challenge each other outside the courtroom for a noble cause — reducing hunger in Georgia,” Olens said in a news release. “I was thrilled by the tremendous response to last year’s competition and look forward to an even more successful drive this year. I encourage each and every lawyer in Georgia to join us in lending a helping hand to our less fortunate neighbors.”

Marlowe stressed that the spring and summer are an important time for food banks to have resources.

“It’s a big deal for the food banks to raise money and food right now, the big deal being that once we get into spring, schools let out. A lot more kids are not receiving lunch in the cafeteria, and the food bank needs to be stocked in order to be prepared for that,” he said.

Offices interested in participating can register online at www.galegalfoodfrenzy.org. Teams that register by April 1 get 100 bonus pounds.


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