Entering a 'Covenant'

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Area law firm’s staff kicks off fundraising season in style

Getting a jump on the holiday season, attorneys and staff from Collins Einhorn Farrell PC, a defense litigation firm in Southfield, recently launched their 2017-18 fund-raising campaign by holding an auction to benefit Covenant House Michigan, one of the firm’s selected charitable recipients for the upcoming year.

The auction, held during National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, featured donations from staff, vendors, friends of the firm, as well as art contributions from Covenant House residents. With some 80 items available for staff to bid on along with big-ticket raffle prizes, the event represented the formal kickoff for the fund-raising season for Collins Einhorn and helped to raise more than $7,000 for the charity.

Founded in 1997, Covenant House Michigan was established to provide support to homeless, runaway, and at-risk youth ages 18-24 by way of shelter, educational and vocational programs, and support services. Covenant House Michigan assists these individuals to overcome hurdles such as homelessness, unemployment, inadequate education, violence, drugs, and gangs.

“We’re very happy to partner with Covenant House Michigan,” says Michael J. Sullivan, president of Collins Einhorn. “Adolescent homelessness in Detroit, and throughout the country, is an important issue that impacts all of our communities. We feel that it is important to help draw awareness and support such a worthy cause.”

Gerald Piro, executive director of Covenant House Michigan, said that the amount raised by Collins Einhorn will be matched by an anonymous donor to the charitable organization, thereby boosting the total donation to more than $14,000.

In addition to the dozens of items donated by staff and friends of the firm, generous donations from local community businesses also contributed to the event’s success, according to Andrea Oleszczak, practice development manager for the firm.  Among the contributors were 4-Seasons Design; Alliance Benefit Group of Michigan; Applied Imaging; Bienenstock Court Reporting; Beyond Juice Southfield; Color Box; Cozy Cabin Restaurant; Eric Phillips/Stroh Brewing Company; First Choice Coffee; Gary Duncan Photography; Gayle’s Chocolates; Iconic Detroit; James H. Hunter, DDS; John J. Boyd & Associates; John Sobczak; Judson Street/Peerless Metal Works; LBOfficeProducts; Dragon’s Eye Essential Oils, Legal Copy Services; Meadowbrook Insurance Agency; MES Solutions; NBS Commercial Interiors; Young Living; Plante Moran; Quality Recycled Furniture; Theo Nittis/Gemini Risk Advisors; and Tower Computer Services.

“We changed our fund-raising focus this year to fully support local nonprofits,” Oleszczak said. “After polling our staff about a month ago—and receiving 17 different charity suggestions from them to vote on, Covenant House Michigan was voted on by a margin of 2 to 1, so all of our staff’s fund-raising efforts will go to them for the next year.”

To add to the coffers, a series of other events also are planned, including a pie-baking contest and a coin-jar fund-raiser, Oleszczak noted.

“I have ‘coerced’ or ‘voluntold’ some pre-selected attorneys about their involvement,” she said with a smile. “The attorney with the most money in the jar will have to sing karaoke at our staff holiday party on January 6. The staff is participating in voluntary payroll deduction starting January 1. We also will be holding our annual chili cook-off fund-raiser sometime in the spring.”

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