LATLC Holiday “Comfort and Joy”
Origins of The Event: 2016 Turkey and Toy Giveaway
In the fall of 2016, Past President Minh Nguyen and Honorary Board of Governors Member PJ Javaheri came up with a noble idea: that LATLC should host its own service event, without the resources of any other nonprofit, to provide assistance to families during the holidays. They formed a committee, sought partnerships with the City of Los Angeles (including the 8th District and its City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, the Los Angeles Police Department, and the Los Angeles Fire Department), found a venue in the New Prospect Baptist Church and warm and welcoming hosts in its Pastor, E.L. Williams, and congregation.
Before long, that modest idea had snowballed into a massive event. It was decided that LATLC would help 500 families in need. It became clear that the New Prospect Baptist Church alone would be too small to house an event of this magnitude. The entire block of South Broadway, between West 109th Street and West 109th Place was reserved for the event. Turkeys, canned goods, and toys were purchased. However, the committee wanted the event to be more special and meaningful than an ordinary Holiday Giveaway. Minh Nguyen and Mendivil Events envisioned a magical Winter Wonderland complete with arts and crafts activities, games, and Santa & Mrs. Claus.
On December 17, 2016, 90 volunteers transformed South Broadway into a festive holiday village. Over 2,000 people came to pick up their turkeys and toys, and partake in the merriment. 500 turkeys and over 1,000 toys were distributed. The joy was palpable. Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin, Los Angeles City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, and Pastor Williams were among the distinguished guests, who gave speeches to kick off our inaugural event. It was a huge success.
2017 Second Annual Holiday Turkey & Toy Giveaway
Our 2nd Annual Holiday Turkey and Toy Giveaway was held on December 16, 2017. The Event Committee Co-Chairs were Immediate Past President Scott Corwin, Vice President Gerry Marcus, Past President Minh Nguyen, and President Elect Dena Weiss. This year was even bigger and better than the year before, with an expanded Holiday Village, and more than 2,500 people in attendance. We were able to give away complete turkey dinners and toys to more than 550 low income families! This year, our wonderful attorney sponsors helped us provide “reindeer” rides, face painting, carnival games, snacks, and arts and crafts to make this year’s giveaway a truly magical event. Even Santa and Mrs. Claus joined in to help spread the holiday cheer. The event was attended by city and state elected officials including LA City Attorney Mike Feuer (a member of our LATLC Honorary Board).
We are so grateful to Pastor Williams, City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, the LAPD, and LAFD for their continued support and assistance in putting on this event. Thank you also to our volunteers, who worked tirelessly to ensure that the event ran smoothly.
We are so grateful to the many sponsors who made the event successful: Holiday Village Sponsor – Lallande Law; Turkey Sponsor – ThruLaw; Santa Hat Sponsor – Minh T. Nguyen, ALC; Midway Games Sponsor – Girardi | Keese; Wish Upon a Star Sponsor – Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley; Sitting With Santa Sponsor – The Clarkson Law Firm; Entertainment Sponsor – The Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus; Pony Carousel Sponsor – The Law Offices of Twila S. White; Face Painter Sponsor – The Law Offices of Mauro Fiore Jr.; Balloon Twister Sponsor – Kramer Holcomb Sheik LLP; Caricature Artist Sponsor – TORKLAW; Healthy Snacks Sponsor – The Law Offices of Michael Burgis & Associates; Kettle Corn Sponsor – Scott J. Corwin, APLC; Cotton Candy Sponsor – TORKLAW; Hot Chocolate Bar Sponsor – Aghaeian Law; Holiday Tree Sponsor – CAALA New Lawyers Committee
2018: Third Annual Turkey and Toy Giveaway
Our 3rd Annual Los Angeles Trial Lawyers’ Charities Holiday Turkey & Toy Giveaway was held on December 9, 2018 at the Broadway Corridor and the New Prospect Baptist Church located at 10910 South Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90061. This was an incredible event. More than 100 trial lawyer volunteers were joined by local, state and federal elected officials and community leaders to distribute frozen turkeys, groceries and toys to local families in need in the community. Over 2,500 guests attended the annual event. LATLC once again worked in conjunction with the LAPD South East Division, the LAFD and the LA City Council 8th District and Councilperson Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Pastor Edwin Williams, Jr. of the New Prospect Baptist Church to make this a most special day in our community. Thank you to all the sponsors of the event: Lallande Law, Carpenter Zuckerman and Rowley, Wilshire Law Firm, Law Office of Twila S. White, Kramer Holcomb Sheik LLP, Aghaeian Law Michelle West/Robinson Calcagnie, Nguyen Lawyers, Clarkson Law Firm, P.J. Javaheri, Esq. and Mi Abogado, Consumer Attorneys New Lawyers, Pansky Markle, Law Offices of Bradley S. Wallace, Vartazarian Law Firm, Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus, Scott J. Corwin Law, Ellis Law Corporation, Krystale Rosal /Law Offices of Mauro Fiore Jr., and Christopher Aumais/Girardi Keese.
2019: “Comfort and Joy” – Fourth Annual Holiday Event
The 4th Annual LATLC Holiday event, now known as “Comfort and Joy”, was both wonderful and bittersweet. Following the illness and then sad passing of Pastor E.L. Williams (1955-2019), whose dream this event was originally, LATLC moved the annual holiday event to the St. Patrick’s Catholic Church on Central and 34th Street. It was held on December 14, 2019. For the first time, we partnered with the LAPD’s Newton Division. LATLC modified the event to best meet the needs of the community, considered one of the poorest in Los Angeles. As many families do not even have the facilities to cook a large turkey, we provided cooked and frozen hams instead. We added a Holiday Market, giving away much needed household items – from diapers to toilet paper to cooking oil and more. Separate fundraising for the Market brought in $25,000 from law firms, affiliates and vendors, as well as individuals who wanted to give back to the community. The basics of the event remained the same: a huge Holiday Village with games, food and activities; toys for the children; the fixings for a holiday meal; and now, additional groceries. We worked closely with the Newton Division, who identified the families in need and helped distribute tickets to 550 families. They even provided an incredible escort for Mr. and Mrs. Claus – a motorcade (and luxury ride thanks to Mercedes-Benz of Los Angeles) with helicopter overhead!
Thank you to the law firms that sponsored the Holiday Village activities: The Mandell Law Firm; Aidikoff Law; Ellis Law Corporation; Lallande Law; The Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus; Wilshire Law Firm; Girardi |Keese; Michael Burgis and Associates; Cohen and Marzban Law Corp.; Scott J. Corwin, PLC; Bianco Arias APC; Mark Bloom/Daniel K. Kramer; Levin & Nalbandyan, LLP; Sailer Law Firm APC; Christopher Aumais/Girardi | Keese; Carrazco Law APC; Feher Law, APC; Pansky Markle; Krystale Rosal/Law Offices of Mauro Fiore, Jr.; Selarz Law Corp.; The Wallace Firm; Michelle West/Robinson Calagnie; New Lawyers of CAALA.
The holiday dinner groceries and market sponsors included: Accident Fighters, APC; Dan Ambrose & Steve King; CasePeer; V. James DeSimone Law; Doctors on Liens; Pat Farber, Atlas Settlement Group; Healthcare Financial Services; Johnson & Johnson; Karns & Karns; The Medina Family; ThruLaw/Mi Abogado; Hon. R. Bruce Minto (Ret.). ; The Rager Law Firm; Rockpoint Legal Funding; Sachs Law; Alan Saler Mediation Services; Signature Resolution; Robert A. Skillin; Law Office of Kenneth L. Snyder; Steno; Robert M. Tessier; TorkLaw; Trial by Human; Z Settlement Advisors – Ringler
This was our most successful event with over 2,000 attendees, 1,500 toys distributed and 208 volunteers (twice the amount from past years!).