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Join us for the Access to Justice Awards Celebration!

Plan to attend the Access to Justice Awards Celebration!, an entertaining evening that inspires as we recognize honorees who have provided extraordinary assistance to improve the lives of low-income people.

The event will be held at 5 p.m., on Thursday, November 4, at Sinclair Community College. ABLE, LAWO, and their partner the Greater Dayton Volunteer Lawyers Project (GDVLP) welcome you to attend.

Our 2021 award recipients are:

Lloyd O’Hara Public Interest Law Award: Robert “Buzz” Portune, a founding partner of Gottschlich & Portune (now Foos & Lentz, LLP), devotes numerous hours of pro bono legal services each week assisting local immigrants who fled trying circumstances in their native countries. He helps them to obtain permanent residency in the U.S. and reunites some with families left behind in other countries. Since 2017,  in collaboration with Catholic Social Services, his efforts have had a dramatic effect on immigrants’ ability to stabilize their lives.

Patricia Rousseau Community Advocacy Award: The Westminster Presbyterian Church Identification Ministry has assisted clients in dire circumstances to secure identification that is required for eligibility to receive public assistance or benefits, employment, utilize job services, gain access to food pantries and subsidized housing, obtain health and/or mental health care, and enroll children in school. Since 2010, the program has helped thousands of people to overcome hurdles when they could not afford the cost of securing IDs on their own to improve their lives.

Community Impact Awards: Jill Bucaro of the Public Defender’s Office has made a profound impact on the department’s new model of holistic defense services for economically disadvantaged people who seek its legal assistance when facing criminal charges. She has substantially increased support services to clients and engaged nonprofit and county agencies to improve individuals’ quality of life and reduce recidivism. Based on that success, the Public Defender’s office now has expanded the program that will benefit more people in need.

Event Registration
Guests may register to attend the event by clicking here. Sponsorships also are available. For additional information, contact Karla Garrett Harshaw at or Jazmin Perez at