John Hubbard on the Jake and Johnny Club

By Steve Thorpe

Legal News

Two Michigan attorneys spearhead a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that benefits the fight against two separate diseases: childhood leukemia and juvenile diabetes. The Jake and Johnny Club, founded by attorneys John Hubbard, a partner at Hubbard, Snitchler, & Parzianello PLC, and Philip Goodman, of Philip J. Goodman PC, raises funds to help find cures for these diseases. Its annual golf outing will be held on Monday, Sept. 23. Hubbard's practice is located in Detroit where he concentrates in securities litigation. Goodman handles asbestos litigation from his Birmingham office.

Thorpe: How did you decide to form a charitable foundation?

Hubbard: In 2007, my friend Phil Goodman and I decided that we wanted to be involved in something to give back to our community by raising funds for research to cure childhood diseases. We formed The Jake and Johnny Club, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, as a vehicle to carry out our fundraising goals. The original idea was to bring people together at fundraising events to help people become more aware of the challenges faced by those with childhood leukemia and juvenile diabetes, and encourage participants to commit their time, energy and resources to help fight these diseases. We then sought the assistance of other friends and colleagues who were similarly excited about helping out in this cause.

Thorpe: You target childhood leukemia and juvenile diabetes. Why these particular diseases?

Hubbard: In 2006, Phil Goodman's grandson Jake was diagnosed with childhood leukemia, which is cancer of the white blood cells. Treatment options for leukemia include chemotherapy, drugs and, in some cases, bone marrow and blood stem cell transplantation. Thanks to prior donations and research for treatment, now Jake is a seven year cancer survivor. In 2007, my son, John Jr., was diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes (Juvenile Diabetes). This illness is generally inherited, and occurs when the pancreas fails to produce sufficient insulin to break down carbohydrates and sugars in the blood to provide our bodies with energy and nutrition. Based on these personal experiences, Phil and I decided we would raise funds to provide donations to other charitable organizations which conduct needed research to cure these diseases.

Thorpe: What types of annual fundraisers have you organized?

Hubbard: Initially, we organized a Kids' Day at the Costick Center in Farmington Hills. The Kids' Day Event had games, bouncy houses, and entertainment booths, as well as inspirational and informational speakers regarding childhood leukemia and juvenile diabetes. We also had raffles for Final Four tickets at Ford Field and Tiger Opening Day tickets. Although the Kids' Day Event was very successful, the next year we decided to have a charity golf outing at Fox Hills in Plymouth as our major fundraiser. That turned out so well that we have returned every year since then. Phil and I have been fortunate to become friends or be acquainted with many wonderful people throughout our legal careers and they have provided generous support to us.

Thorpe: What organizations have benefited from the proceeds of the events?

Hubbard: Over the years, The Jake and Johnny Club proceeds have provided funds for research to cure these diseases to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (''JDRF''), C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in Detroit. These organizations are leaders in the research required for cures of these diseases. None of the many volunteers associated with The Jake and Johnny Club are compensated in any way so all of the net revenue generated from our fundraiser goes directly to these organizations.

Thorpe: What are the details for this year's fundraiser?

Hubbard: This year's event is again a charitable golf outing and dinner to be held on Monday, September 23rd, at noon. We will again host the event at the spectacular Fox Hills Golden Fox Championship Course and Banquet Center in Plymouth, Michigan. It is a four-person scramble format. We have various games, closest to the pin competitions and a hole-in-one prize, which have made the event a lot of fun for the participants over the years. Golfers get a hot dog and beer tickets as well as dinner and drinks after the event. The early bird registration price prior to Aug. 15 of $450 for four golfers makes it a very affordable event. There is also pricing available for those interested in only attending the dinner.

The more participation, the better; a lot of people could make a big difference in the lives of children and their families who have been forced to deal with the hardships of childhood leukemia and juvenile diabetes. Anyone interested in more details and to sponsor or register for this event can check our website at www.jakeandjohnnyclub.org or call my office at 313-672-7300.

Thorpe: Have you met the goals you set for yourselves when you founded The Jake and Johnny Club?

Hubbard: We have been extremely satisfied by the fundraising efforts and the commitment of the participants and our generous sponsors since we started this organization. We've raised a lot of money but would always like to see more people involved and more money raised. This will help maintain the battle to find treatments and hopefully cures for all kids that have to face the same challenges that Johnny and Jake have met. Of course, we will never be satisfied until there is a cure for these diseases, which is the ultimate goal.

Published: Thu, Aug 8, 2013

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