MetroWest Legal Services
MetroWest Legal Services Newsletter December 2009 
Every year at this time, we ask for your help and this year is no different. Or is it?
We've weathered an unprecedented economic crisis that may be starting to show signs of recovery. We've had to make some difficult financial decisions, including salary and hiring freezes, and other adjustments just to keep us on track. We've seen an uptick in caseloads and a downturn in funding, a trend we are cautiously optimistic will reverse itself over the next year. I'm sure we are not alone in confronting these challenges. 
As we enter this season of giving, I appreciate the difficult choices that you, as a donor, must face, particularly when it comes to placing your charitable gifts. I am confident that with your help, MWLS can strengthen its programs to continue to be the top-notch provider of free, civil legal aid that it is today. 
There's just something about everyone pulling together that makes the end result that much sweeter.
From our board, staff and especially our clients, we sincerely thank you for your generosity. 
Happy holidays,
Betsy head shot 2 
In This Issue
Smart Car Raffle Winner
Client Story
An Evening of Wine & Art
How you can help
And the winner is...
Car raffle drawingEric Darling of Carlisle collected a cool $3,400 in the Smart Car raffle/cash drawing held at MWLS' "Evening of Wine and Art." Eric, founder of Carlisle Tax Credit Advisors, purchased his winning ticket at Carlisle's Old Country Fair held in July. With less than 350 tickets sold, the raffle was converted to a 50/50 cash drawing. 
In presenting the check to Eric, MWLS Executive Director Betsy Soule asked him what he thought about winning cash rather than a car. "I've never won anything so it's exciting. Either way, it's a windfall. My daughter goes to school in Boston, and she had her eye on the car so I think she's a little disappointed. My wife and I have some favorite charities we support, so some of the money is designated for them. I did have to say to my wife, 'Slow down a little. We don't even have the money yet.'"
The Smart Car Raffle was launched in May at MWLS' annual golf tournament, the goal being to raise funds and awareness for MWLS, particularly in the more affluent communities in which MWLS provides services but is not as well-known.
Whole Foods Smart Car Raffle
When the event wrapped up in November, the MWLS Smart Car Raffle had been to 11 town venues and events, with a total of 88 tickets sold. Smart Car Raffle venues included Framingham Daze, Carlisle's Old Country Fair, Dover Days Fair, Norwood Day, the Hopkinton and Lexington Farmers' Markets, the Framingham Co-operative Bank, MetroWest Medical Center Children's Fair and Whole Foods in Wayland. Proceeds from the raffle help support the efforts of MWLS advocates. 
No Stranger to Adversity- A Client Story
Leigh with Brian BurkeLeigh Ainsworth is no stranger to adversity. As a child, he suffered a traumatic brain injury that left him with functional disabilities, so as an adult he lived with his family. After a domestic attack on Leigh sent him to the hospital, he needed to find a new legal guardian and living situation. His uncle wanted to step in and support him, but they were both overwhelmed by legal and bureaucratic obstacles.
Then they turned to MetroWest Legal Services. Leigh's MWLS advocates were able to lead him through the maze: they won guardianship for his uncle; found him temporary protective housing; and later helped him secure affordable long-term housing. Today, Leigh has recovered from the attack, is looking for work and stands at the threshold of independence.
Leigh's story ends well, but too many others who need legal aid are turned away. Help ensure justice for all-- please contribute to the MWLS Campaign for Legal Services.
An Evening of Wine and Art
An Evening of Wine and Art1On November 12, MetroWest Legal Services hosted "An Evening of Wine & Art", featuring a silent art auction, complimentary wine tasting and a drawing for the winner of our Smart Car Raffle. The event was held at the MWLS offices at 63 Fountain Street in Framingham.
Fountain Street Studios, a community of over 50 artists located in the historic Bancroft Building at 59 Fountain Street, generously provided the artwork for the silent auction. A variety of mediums and styles were represented, ranging from a Vermont landscape in watercolor to a papercutting print collection.  
art eventGuests were invited to tour the MWLS office space where more than a dozen pieces of permanently installed works of art were on display, donated last year by The Art Connection whose goal is to expand public access to original art.
wine tastingBob Anspach of Framingham Liquors and Gina Mannello of Ruby Wines provided a selection of Chilean and Portuguese wines for sampling and offered their expertise on everything from food pairings to regional specialites. A portion of the sales went to MetroWest Legal Services.
wine tasting 2
MetroWest Legal Services is committed to protecting individual rights and improving the lives of low-income, disabled and elderly people in 36 communities throughout MetroWest. Last year, we helped over 2,500 vulnerable families and individuals resolve civil legal problems through free advocacy and representation.  To learn more about MWLS, please visit our website
How to help
Our annual appeal is now underway!! 
  If every attorney in our service area donated $100, we could make up our FY10 budget shortfall of $200,000.
Please consider a donation of $100, $50, or even $25 so we can continue to provide critical legal services to a growing number of poor people in MetroWest. 
We firmly believe that access to justice should not just be for those who can afford it, but must be available for everyone.
To learn more about MWLS' good work, please  

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