On November 14, 2016, VLJ hosted our 15th Anniversary Celebration at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, NJ. The night was enormously successful; nearly 300 guests attended the event and helped raise over $300,000 for VLJ.
James Zazzali, former Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, served as the master of ceremonies for the evening. BASF Corporation was presented with the 2016 Pro Bono Award for their exemplary pro bono commitment, and the award was accepted by Matthew Lepore, BASF's Senior Vice President, Chief Compliance Officer. The 2016 Champion of Justice Award was presented to Michael Griffinger, Director of Business & Commercial Litigation at Gibbons PC, a VLJ co-founder and active VLJ trustee for the last 15 years. We also thanked and honored our outgoing Executive Director, Karen Sacks, for her accomplishments as the leader of VLJ for 15 years and welcomed incoming Executive Director Cathy Keenan.
Finally, a client of VLJ's Children's Representation Program, 21-year-old Tavneet Singh, spoke about his case and his volunteer attorney, who was able to assist him in obtaining the special educational services he needed in order to graduate from high school and find full-time employment. Thank you to everyone who joined us at the gala - this night would not have been possible without the generosity of all of our donors, board members, volunteer attorneys, and other supporters of VLJ!