POUGHKEEPSIE – Recently, Legal Services of the Hudson Valley (LSHV) held its 1st Ulster Partners in Justice Reception at The Belltower in Rosendale.
During the fundraising event, which was created to support LSHV’s work in Ulster County through its LET JUSTICE GROW Fund, the organization honored Eli B. Basch Esq., and his firm, Basch & Keegan LLP, as “Champion of Justice” and Rondout Savings Bank as “Advocate for Justice.”
Celebrating its 50th year, LSHV is the only provider in the Hudson Valley of free, comprehensive, legal services in civil (noncriminal) matters for individuals and families who cannot afford an attorney when their basic human needs are at stake. This includes urgent legal needs such as: domestic violence, housing emergencies including eviction and foreclosure prevention, healthcare, disability and benefits, elder law, consumer fraud and more. In 2016, LSHV handled more than 15,000 cases impacting over 36,000 household members; 1,037 of those cases – impacting 2,359 household members, including 786 children – were handled out of LSHV’s Ulster County office, located at 550 Aaron Court in Kingston.
LSHV’s Attorney-in-Charge, Kingston Office, Lauren Sheeley explained to the guests in attendance why this event and the work LSHV does is so important, saying, “As the only provider of free civil legal services in the area for individuals and families who cannot afford an attorney when their basic human needs are at stake, we know that the people we help are our neighbors. They are just like us, but after one major illness, job loss, or tragedy, the dominoes start to fall, and they end up in a desperate situation and in need of a helping hand.”
Oftentimes, people need an attorney to protect their rights and assure fairness in the justice system. That’s where LSHV’s almost 90 attorneys across seven counties make a difference.
On video, former LSHV client, Amy Goodman, inspired attendees by sharing her story of being helped by LSHV to leave an abusive relationship and to gain custody of her sons. She called herself “the face of Legal Services of the Hudson Valley’s clients. I could be your friend, your co-worker, your sister, or your daughter,” and asked the audience to support LSHV’s work for the sake of others like her who have nowhere else to turn when they face life-altering crises like domestic violence, loss of a home to eviction or foreclosure, or the loss of subsistence income. She credited LSHV Staff Attorney for Domestic Violence Services, Elizabeth Corwin’s, work with giving her and her children the second start in life she thought she would never see.
Rondout Savings Bank
The event honored Rondout Savings Bank for its philanthropic support of a wide range of nonprofits, including Legal Services of the Hudson Valley. Marjorie Rovereto, Chief Lending Officer, who accepted the award on behalf of the bank, said “Rondout Savings Bank first opened its doors on May 1, 1868. The bank was founded by Thomas Cornell and other business leaders who felt the Village of Rondout needed its own savings bank. Rondout Savings Bank has been successful since its founding. It has weathered the financial panics in the 1800s, the Depression of the 1930s and the financial turmoil that followed. From the beginning, Rondout Savings Bank’s core values have always been about strengthening our relationship with people in the communities we serve. Our success is attributed to the fact that we are truly a community bank. Our employees, management and trustees volunteer countless hours to local organizations and civic groups throughout the area. The bank contributes 10% of its annual earnings each year back to the communities it serves through our “Dividends to the Community” program. As we approach our 150th Anniversary, with five local offices, Thomas Cornell would approve of how the bank has grown over the years – keeping with the original pledge to be “a bank for the people,” with absolute safety for all the bank’s customers. It’s an honor to be recognized by Legal Services of the Hudson Valley, whose core mission is to protect the rights of and promote justice for the individuals and families within our community.”
Eli B. Basch, Esq. and Basch & Keegan
Eli B. Basch, Esq. and Basch & Keegan were honored for outstanding dedication to obtaining justice for injury victims and their families, as well as for enriching the quality of life in the City of Kingston and Ulster County through philanthropy and community involvement.
Maureen Keegan, Esq., a Partner at Basch & Keegan LLP, who presented honoree Eli B. Basch, Esq. and Basch & Keegan LLP with their award, noted their long-standing support of Legal Services of the Hudson Valley, as well as their business and civic achievements throughout the Hudson Valley. Basch, a Kingston native, said at the event, “I am very proud that Basch & Keegan has been a supporter of Legal Services of the Hudson Valley for the past 15 years, and I hope that the organization will continue to play a leadership role in the provision of high quality legal services to those without the means to pay for them, ensuring that the justice system is open and available to all.”
Eli B. Basch, Esq. has been helping Ulster County injury victims for over forty years. He has dedicated his career to helping personal injury victims and the families of individuals who were injured or killed in Ulster County car accidents, tractor-trailer accidents, falls, fires, explosions, recreational accidents, boating accidents, plane crashes, falls, construction accidents, defective product accidents, and medical negligence.
Mr. Basch resides in Kingston – just two miles from his office – with his wife Susan, who is a native of Kerhonkson. He is a veteran of the United States Navy and the Vietnam War.
Regarding why he accepted Legal Services of the Hudson Valley invitation to be honored at the 1st Ulster Partners in Justice Reception, he said, “I believe strongly in the availability of free legal assistance for those in need. Legal Services of the Hudson Valley provides dedicated, competent and essential help to low income individuals and families in the community who are facing a range of civil legal issues and crises. I look forward to a continuing to support this organization.”
Information on LSHV’s programs is available online at www.lshv.org
To request assistance, call 1-877-574- 8529 (Monday to Thursday, 8AM-6PM, Friday 8AM-4PM).