South Middlesex Legal Services Newsletter
Special News Update July 2008
In This Issue
ED Search Update
A Ride in Nancy's Memory
New Fund New Donors
11th Annual Golf Tournament
A Rose by Any Other Name...
After a 30+ year run as South Middlesex Legal Services, as of September 2, 2008, we will be known as MetroWest Legal Services. We think our new name better reflects all the communities we serve, and our new logo and tagline are more in line with our mission.
 
MWLS logo for web 
 
Our new location

If you had the chance to visit us at our current location on Waverly Street, you no doubt noticed the storeroom overflowing with crates and file cabinets two deep lining the office perimeter. On an average day, our conference room doubles as a work space for student law interns. With our lease due to expire in August, it was clearly time to move on.
 
Our new space is nearly 7500 square feet (we're currently in 4200 sq ft) and will accommodate private offices for 22 attorneys and paralegals giving us room to grow, with an additional eight cubicles for our intake staff and interns. We will also have two smaller, private family conference rooms, a large conference room and kitchen, both with windows!
 
Beginning September 2, 2008, we will be located at 63 Fountain Street, Suite 304, Framingham, MA  01702. Phone and fax numbers will remain the same. Our new web address will be: www.mwlegal.org.
 
A fall open house is planned.    
 
"They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself."
 
~ Andy Warhol
Coming this holiday season~
 
The 3rd Annual SMLS Online Auction  
 
 Save money and time!
Shop online! 
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Greetings!
 
Transitions, planned or not, are rarely easy. This has been especially true for all of us at SMLS. The days, weeks and months following the death of executive director Nancy King have been challenging and replete with change. A new name and office relocation were in the works prior to Nancy's absence, and after a long spring of deliberations and negotiations, both were recently finalized. The executive director search is now in full swing, and if all goes according to plan, a new ED will be in place by September.
 
Through all these changes, SMLS staff, true to form, held fast, juggling an unprecedented number of bankruptcies, foreclosures and evictions as well as all the day-to-day legal issues that came their way. These changes have given us the opportunity to reflect on our strengths and weaknesses, and to make adjustments as needed to ensure our continued success as an exceptional provider of legal services. 
 
~ Jack K Merrill, Esq
President, SMLS Board of Directors
 
 jack merrill


 
ED search update
Around the first of the year, the SMLS Board hired consultant Andrew Steinberg to conduct a formal search for a new executive director. Andy was the ED of Western Mass. Legal Services for over 25 years, and is well-respected within the legal services community. The Board also formed a Community Advisory Council, comprised of business and community leaders and local attorneys, to provide feedback during the hiring process. 
 
With the Advisory Council's guidance, Andy created and circulated a job description which attracted many qualified applicants. From there, the Board selected seven candidates to interview, and further narrowed the field to four. These four candidates, two of whom are internal and two external, will move on to a second and final round of interviews to be conducted in late July and early August. "All four finalists are strong contenders for the ED position," said Jack Merrill, Board President. "While differing in significant ways, each brings a unique set of talents to the job."  
  
Each finalist will meet with the Advisory Council to discuss more about his or her approach to the position. SMLS staff will also have the chance to meet with the finalists at an informal staff meeting. The input received from both groups will be invaluable to the Board when making their final decision. A new director should be in place by September.
A Ride in Nancy's Memory 
Jack on bikeMany of you may already know about the Pan-Mass Challenge. If you're not familiar with the event, it's an annual bike-a-thon where participants cycle through 46 towns in Massachusetts, the most popular being the 190-mile Sturbridge to Provincetown route, to raise money for cancer research and treatment. Amazingly, 100 percent of every rider-raised dollar goes directly to the cause. This year's event takes place over the weekend of August 2 and 3.
 
SMLS Board President Jack Merrill, pictured above, is dedicating his inaugural ride in memory of Nancy King. He has set a goal of  $10,000. Jack, who has been on the SMLS Board since 2000, was an ardent admirer of Nancy's and long-time supporter of legal aid. He is currently an attorney in employment law at the Framingham-based firm, Haranas, Mayer, Jachowicz & Galvani.
 
Jack writes: "It is my friend Nancy King who draws me to my first Pan Mass Challenge. I ride this year to help fight the disease that took her life last December." 
 
Click here to see Jack's profile and to donate to the PMC in Nancy's memory. Simply type in the amount under the box marked "GOAL" to the right of Jack's profile. If you prefer to donate by check, please make payable to the Pan-Mass Challenge and send to Jack Merrill, 14 Wood Street, Southborough, MA  01772. Thank you for supporting this very worthwhile endeavor. Best of luck, Jack, we'll be rooting for you!

New Fund Attracts New Donors  
Ninety-one individuals and organizations have contributed $18,500 to the Nancy King Memorial Fund since its creation six months ago. With an ambitious target goal of $50,000, we are considering launching a fundraising challenge in the near future to come closer to achieving this goal.  Many of the Fund's donations have come from former colleagues and friends of Nancy's. Several are from people who learned about Nancy and her good work through local press coverage or at one of the many area events held this spring where Nancy was recognized with awards such as the Lifetime Achievement Award. The Fund will support new initiatives at SMLS, all of which were passions of Nancy's: a computer training lab, a permanently-funded summer law intern position or an endowment. Thank you very much to everyone who has contributed. To learn more about Nancy or to donate to the Nancy King Memorial Fund, click here
Record Turnout for 11th Annual Golf Tournament
A full field of golfers braced themselves against gale-force winds to participate in the Nancy King Memorial Golf Tournament held May 19 at the Framingham Country Club. With five new sponsors totalling a record 22, and 108 participants, the event was almost sold-out.  

Thanks to our sponsors, golfers and in-kind supporters, the Tournament raised an impressive $66,000! 
 
High bidders at the silent and live auctions walked away with great bargains including a week in Key West for $1000, a Bose Wave radio for $200, and dugout box seats to the Red Sox with VIP entry to the Absolut Clubhouse that went for a steal at $750.
 
We are especially grateful to The Framingham Co-operative Bank Charitable Foundation, for stepping up to the plate as our new Presenting Sponsor.
 
The Tournament was renamed in memory of Nancy, in part because she was involved in its inception and loved the event -the schmoozing- Nancy was not a golfer, although she tried once, unsuccessfully. 
 
Don't miss out! Put us on your calender now for next year! The tournament is always held the Monday before Memorial Day, at the Framingham Country Club. 
 
For a list of this year's winners, click here.
 

We hope this enewsletter has provided you with timely and useful information. While we strive to be more environmentally- and budget-friendly, we realize some of you prefer to hear from us by paper. Please contact us directly with a "paper-only" request by emailing jcamp@smlegal.org or call the office, 508-620-1830.
 
Your support benefits all of us~ clients, advocates and the community. We appreciate it very much.
 

Comments/suggestions may be sent to jcamp@smlegal.org.
 

Janice W Camp 
Marketing/Development Coordinator
South Middlesex Legal Services