Feinberg, Hammer honored at MBF 50th Anniversary Gala Dinner

Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014
Article Picture
Top: The MBF celebrated 50 years of service with more than 300 judges and attorneys at a Gala Dinner on Oct. 23. Second from top (from left): MBF President Robert Ambrogi presents the 50th Anniversary Great Friend of Justice Award to Kenneth R. Feinberg. Right: MBF Past President Jerry Cohen presents the 50th Anniversary President’s Award to Kurt F. Somerville on behalf of Roy A. Hammer Third from top (from left): MBF Past Presidents Margaret Xifaras, Alice E. Richmond and Carol Witt. Bottom (from left): MBF Great Friend of Justice Recipients Leo V. Boyle (2013), Kenneth R. Feinberg (50th Anniversary), and Michael E. Mone (2014) with MBF Trustee Hon. Francis R. Fecteau. Photos by Jeff Thiebauth.

The Massachusetts Bar Foundation, the philanthropic partner of the Massachusetts Bar Association, celebrated 50 years of service with more than 300 judges and attorneys at a Gala Dinner on Oct. 23, at the Colonnade Hotel in Boston.

The event, which featured a keynote from MBF Great Friend of Justice Award honoree Kenneth Feinberg, showcased the MBF'S half-century of contributions to legal services in Massachusetts. Through its grant-making and charitable activities, the MBF has worked tirelessly to increase access to justice for Massachusetts citizens statewide. In 2014 alone, the MBF IOLTA Grants Program awarded grants totaling approximately $2 million.

"We all have reason to be very proud of the achievements of this organization," said MBF President Robert J. Ambrogi. "Thanks to all the great people who've been involved over the years as fellows, trustees and supporters, we have had a significant impact on increasing access to justice in our state."

As part of the Gala, MBF Past President Jerry Cohen presented the 2014 MBF President's Award to Roy A. Hammer for his vision and service to the foundation. Hammer was instrumental in establishing the Massachusetts IOLTA program, which is now the MBF's most significant source of funding for grants that provide civil legal services to the poor or improve the administration of justice throughout Massachusetts.

"I know him [Hammer] as a mentor and role model to a great number of people," said Cohen.

Hemenway & Barnes Partner Kurt F. Somerville accepted the award on behalf of Hammer, saying "it is humbling to stand here in Roy's shoes."

The Gala also featured a silent auction and wine pull, with proceeds from the event benefitting the MBF and its continued work in addressing unmet legal needs in the state.