By Laura E. A. Thirion, Katz Korin Cunningham
(Video courtesy of FOX59)
On December 7, the Paralegal Committee hosted its annual Holiday Party and Teddy Bear Challenge for Indianapolis first responders at the Sheraton City Centre. As in years past, this was an amazing event! The Paralegal Committee has been providing teddy bears to first responders since 1999. At first, the teddy bears were only provided to the Indianapolis Police Department. We have expanded providing teddy bears to the Indianapolis Fire Department, the Marion County Sheriff’s Department, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and Indianapolis EMS.
This year, our first responders present were Battalion Chief Rita Reith and Battalion Chief Ron Marks (Indianapolis Fire Department); Major Craig Blanton and Sergeant Michelle Sechrist (Marion County Sheriff’s Department); Public Information Officer Genae Cook (Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department); and Chief of Logistics Kevin Gona and Media Relations/Public Affairs Manager Brian Van Bokkelen (Indianapolis EMS). Battalion Chief Reith and Chief of Logistics Gona provided us with information about how their departments put the teddy bears collected to use in dire circumstances they find families in. The luncheon is a humbling experience and a great way to show our appreciation to the first responders who deal with tragic circumstances and make them a little easier for the families involved. Luncheon guests were treated to Christmas carols from the Warren Central Chambers singers, under the direction of Mr. Podgorski (“Mr. P”).
Without the help of 14 law firms around Indianapolis and GRM’s collection of 60 bears, we would have never been able to reach the extraordinary amount of 6,583 teddy bears that we were able to provide to our first responders at the luncheon. Ice Miller LLP collected the most bears per firm at a whopping 2,781, averaging 7 stuffed animals per employee. Quarles & Brady LLP collected 1,048 stuffed animals, and averaged 27 per employee: the highest per employee! The two firms received certificates of cecognition for their firms’ efforts and contributions. Frost Brown Todd LLC, making the top 3 of the most stuffed animals, brought in 1,163, averaging 9 per employee.
Thanks to all who participated in this incredible annual event!