The 70th Harvest Celebration raised a record $873,874 to support pro bono legal services for low-income Houstonians. The largest annual fundraising event of the Houston legal community is sponsored by the Houston Bar Association, Houston Bar Foundation and Houston Bar Association Auxiliary.
Nearly 950 Houston Bar Association (HBA) members and guests filled River Oaks Country Club the evening of November 11. Greeting guests were HBA President Benny Agosto, Jr. and Nikki Agosto; Houston Bar Foundation Chair/Harvest Celebration Co-chair Travis Torrence and Heath LaPray; HBA Treasurer/Harvest Celebration Co-chair Jennifer A. Hasley and Greg Hasley; and HBA Auxiliary President Keisha Phillips and Felix Phillips.
“The HBA is committed to increasing its community service through much-needed pro bono legal services,” said Agosto. “The 70th Annual Harvest Celebration was truly record setting, and we want to thank all of the sponsors, the HBA team and Houston lawyers who are dedicated to making the HBA and Houston the best that it can be. Certainly, raising over $870,000 in one night for Houston Volunteer Lawyers absolutely proves that.”
The Harvest Celebration supports the Houston Volunteer Lawyers (HVL), a project of the HBA that provides pro bono legal services for low-income families including veterans, the elderly, people with disabilities, and other low-income Houstonians with family law, consumer law, probate and other legal problems. Although the Harvest Celebration has been the legal community’s main social event since 1949, it was designated a fundraiser 20 years ago and has raised almost $9.5 million for pro bono legal services in Harris County.
Held on Veterans Day this year, the event also celebrated the service of HBA members who are veterans and called attention to the Veterans Legal Initiative, which provides legal aid for low-income veterans through HVL. “Pro bono lawyers play a vital role in ensuring that our most vulnerable Houstonians have access to justice to meet their basic legal needs,” said Torrence. “I’m proud that the Harvest Celebration’s record-breaking fundraising has enabled us to be at the forefront of guaranteeing our neighbors and veterans will have equal access to justice, regardless of their income.”
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