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Community Law Program Celebrates 30 Years with a Gala on October 19, 2019

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This year marks the 30 th anniversary of Community Law Program (CLP), which is celebrating
with a gala on Saturday, October 19, 2019, from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. The event will be held at the
historic Manhattan Casino, 642 22 nd Street South, St. Petersburg. Highlights of the evening will
include speakers Quinton Aaron, star of the mega-hit film, The Blind Side, along with Sherry
Sacino, seasoned journalist and CEO of Youth Empowerment Alliance, Inc. Dinner will be
catered by Callaloo restaurant. The celebration will also honor the spirit and tradition of the
Manhattan Casino, which hosted music legends such as Duke Ellington, Ray Charles, James
Brown and Sarah Vaughan, by featuring live jazz music by The Bryan Hughes Band. A silent
auction and casino games will round out the evening.
Honoring Our Past
Community Law Program was formed in 1989 by a group of members of the St. Petersburg Bar
Association concerned about the unmet civil legal needs of the poor in our community.  Since
that time—thanks in large part to the diligent and unwavering efforts of executive director
Kimberly Rodgers, Esq., our staff, and our board, currently led by president V. James
Dickson—CLP has blossomed into a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation that offers an array of
programs and services designed to ensure equal access to justice for all.  Over the past three
decades, CLP has helped thousands of poor and disadvantaged individuals, children in foster
care, families, veterans and social service organizations.
Celebrating Our Present
CLP’s mission is to empower the most vulnerable in our community through the provision of pro
bono legal assistance and representation, education about legal rights and responsibilities, and
community outreach.
Over the past year, CLP has:
 helped families with children avoid evictions from their homes;
 obtained injunctions for battered women;
 assisted foster care children in the process of outgrowing the foster care system;
 protected elderly home owners from fraudulent reverse mortgage practices;
 obtained guardianship advocate status for families with mentally challenged children as
they reach adulthood;
 represented numerous other families in a variety of civil proceedings;
 provided numerous advice clinics on bankruptcy, family law, elder law, housing rights,
probate, and general civil law.

In 2018, CLP served nearly 3,500 local residents. The need, however, is far greater than our
capacity. Over 130,000 residents of Pinellas County live at or below the poverty line. Almost
300,000 residents are with 185% of the poverty line that serves as CLP’s standard guideline for
assistance. CLP therefore requires considerably more resources in order to truly assure that all
have access to justice.
Solidifying Our Future
CLP relies solely on donations and grants for its operation. For thirty years, CLP has dedicated
itself to the principle that everyone in our community deserves access to justice, regardless of
their economic circumstances. A small staff and a panel of over three hundred local pro bono
attorneys have worked diligently to fulfill this principle for many years. CLP programs and
services help vulnerable citizens in our community understand their legal rights, and
responsibilities, navigate the civil judicial system, and get a level playing field in court when the
stakes are high.
Please join us at CLP’s 30 th Anniversary celebration on October 19 and help CLP continue its
established history of legal service to the thousands of local children, single parents, military
veterans and others who cannot afford civil representation. Individual tickets are $100, and
sponsorship packages start at $200. For additional information, contact Jovita Kravitz at:
jovita@kravitzlawgroup.com.

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