We celebrate the outstanding pro bono contributions made in our community next week as we gather with friends supporters for the annual Pro Bono Awards presented by the Council, Legal Services of the Southern Piedmont and Legal Aid of North Carolina.
A complete list of all the honorees was announced last month. Council for Children’s Rights chose to honor three individuals and one law firm whose contributions have had a positive impact on both the quality of our work and our capacity to serve those in need. We are grateful to them, and to all our volunteer attorneys and advocates. You inspire us and encourage us every day. See highlights from the event at our Photo Gallery.
Distinguished Pro Bono Service Award (presently jointly by all three agencies):
Katherine S. Holliday- James, McElroy & Diehl, P.A.
“Katie has led our community to stand up for children’s rights as a volunteer advocate. Katie has set an example and a high bar for those of us who came into that work under her influence, and the lives of countless children in our community have been improved as a result of Katie’s tireless efforts on their behalf.” – Bob Simmons – Executive Director, Council for Children’s Rights
“I am grateful for pro bono opportunities and undertake them because I can, and because I can, I must, if I am going to live my good, privileged life to the fullest. To me, there’s no professional undertaking that’s more important than helping children and the families in which they live in some small way.” – Katie Holliday
Outstanding Firm Service Award
Horack Talley PA
“Horack Talley is a great law firm that has been very generous in providing the CFCR Custody Advocacy Program with really good lawyers – Gena Morris, Mitchell Kelling, Will Medlin, Libby James, and Bree Laughrun – doing great work for vulnerable children, foot soldiers on the front lines of divorce wars between bitter parents.” – John Parker – Staff Attorney, Custody Advocacy Team
“We believe in our obligations as members of the legal profession to aid in assuring that everyone has access to justice.” – Smithy Curry, Managing Attorney
Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award
Rolly L. Chambers of @Smith, Currie & Hancock, LLP
“Rolly Chambers has spent hundreds of hours over several years advocating for the best interests of children in the most difficult custody cases. He handles each case with the skill, good judgment, energy, and compassion that are characteristic of him. These kids really matter to Rolly.” – John Parker – Staff Attorney, Custody Advocacy Team
“Giving is more meaningful than getting and there are many ways lawyers can share their abilities. Being a voice through Council for Children’s Rights for children caught in the middle of conflicts between parents is one way I’ve found to help. I also serve on the board of directors for a non-profit retirement living facility. Being involved with church activities is yet another way. As lawyers, we can’t meet every need, but we can give when we find the opportunity.” – Rolly Chambers
Outstanding Volunteer Service Award
Mary M. Schilli
“We all know that there are people out there who choose to work quietly and almost in secret as they serve others – Mary Schilli is one of those people. For over five years, Mary supported the children of Mecklenburg County through her efforts as CFCR’s Volunteer Coordinator. Mary never asked for compensation for her work, nor did she ever ask for recognition. She is a volunteer with a heart of gold and we are so proud to consider her part of the CFCR family.” Ashley Neal- Director, Custody Advocacy Program
“Simply put, it has been a privilege for me to work with such dedicated and passionate advocates for children. I can think of nothing more important than giving a voice to children – those who can’t speak for themselves.” – Mary Schilli