Articles Posted in Community Service

Last week I helped the Cowtown Marathon hand out running shoes to the students at the school I adopted many years ago. It was a blast seeing the excitement on the kids’ faces, kind of like Christmas in February.

The staff goes out to 90 Fort Worth schools and community centers to give away 5,000 pairs of shoes. Kudos to the Marathon for this IMG_3948-521x1024wonderful work.

All proceeds generated by the Marathon are donated to the Children’s Activities for Life & Fitness (C.A.L.F.) program. Over $200,000 is raised to pay for these shoes, race entries to the 5K race just for children this weekend, and support for our kids. That’s amazing and possibly life-changing.

I’m proud to be a member of its council since it began in 2009 and a big supporter so when I heard that it was starting a running camp last summer, I sponsored it. I’m excited to hear that this year’s camp will reach even more children.

I strongly believe in C.A.L.F.’s mission of promoting active lifestyles for our children. And just as important, it encourages them to continue to exercise, eat health foods, and adopt good habits as they become adults. This is so badly needed.

The Cowtown Children’s 5K was named as the top kids running event in the U.S. several years ago and it’s easy to see why the Marathon is so highly rated.

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This weekend was extraordinary for Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, New England Patriots, LaDainian Tomlinson, Jerry Jones, TCU, Dallas Cowboys fans, Lady Gaga fans, and all football fans — OK, practically everyone who lives in North Texas.

The incredible come-from-behind, first overtime game in history was riveting. And our Fort Worth and Dallas stars, Tomlinson and Jones, were inducted into the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame the night before.

What a game! We’re all still trying to figure out how

  • Brady, only a sixth round draft pick, was able to win his record fifth Super Bowl out of a record seven he’s played in,
  • The Patriots, the best team in the NFL, were blown out in the first half,
  • The team then scored 25 unanswered points to tie the game, then marched 75 yards to win the game,
  • Brady passed for 466 yards (282 in the second half),  the most in Super Bowl history,LT
  • Julian Edelman hung on to the ball to make the greatest catch in Super Bowl history,
  • The Patriots were able to score on two extra point tries, the second necessary due to a missed gimme PAT, and
  • The NFL allows the team that wins the overtime coin flip to win the game.

And how about “LT” Tomlinson who

  • Grew up in the Waco area idolizing the Dallas Cowboys,
  • Came to TCU in 1997 and turned around the struggling Horned Frogs,
  • Is ranked sixth in rushing in NCAA history,
  • Led the San Diego Chargers for nine years, gaining 13,684 rushing yards and also 4,772 yards catching the ball, and
  • Still holds the NFL record for most touchdowns scored in a season (31).

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maddSaturday morning’s Walk Like MADD fundraiser at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden was a success.

I joined over 200 people who gathered to remember those who had tragically lost their lives or been injured in crashes caused by intoxicated drivers.  Law enforcement officers were there to show their support for this worthy cause.

My law firm was proud to again be the sponsor of the event. We have supported Mothers Against Drunk Driving for many years.

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We have to stop drunk driving. It is a serious problem in Fort Worth and all over Texas. Our state sadly leads the country in the number of people killed in traffic crashes caused by drunk drivers.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is the only organization that is stopping this deadly menace.

Berenson Injury Law is proud to be the presenting sponsor of the Fort Worth Walk Like MADD every year. My firm is also participating in the walk. I am honored that I will speak. I would like for you to join us.

Check in for the Fort Worth Walk Like MADD begins at 7:30 at the Botanic Gardens, just down the street from my office. The program begins at 9:00. The uplifting morning features a remembrance ceremony, a 5K walk, a commitment celebration, food, and music. I highly recommend this event.

You can learn more about the event and register here. And let me know you’ve registered and I’ll match your registration fee in a donation to MADD.

As a personal injury lawyer, I’m all too familiar with the devastating injuries and deaths caused by drunk driving. And I’m just as aware of how preventable drunk driving is.

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It was a pleasure to be the sponsor of the first ever running camp in Fort Worth this summer. The kids met down the street from my office at the University of North Texas Health Science Center to run, learn about healthy lifestyles and nutrition, and have fun. Congrats to Heidi Swartz, the hard-working executive director of the marathon, and her staff for starting this excellent activity.

I asked why the children liked to run. Their responcalfses were wonderful.

Jaden, who is eight years old, said that “running makes me feel proud because I achieve my goals. It’s fun because you can race your friends while concentrate on anything I don’t understand.”

“Running makes me feel free,” Rebekah wrote. “Running makes me feel happy and I love to run for causes like cancer. My Papa died over cancer and it is upsetting. I miss him a lot and he loved to run also. I love that a lot.”

Melachi impressively noted that “running has helped me win because of my speed in different sports. I ran track and made it to the Junior Olympics in Jacksonville, Florida and placed 3rd and 7th in the nation.”

“Running means I can clear my mind, have fun and stay healthy,” Avery, age 11, observed. “Running is fun because you get to enjoy the outdoors and go FAST!!”

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IMG_8791It was fun to again be the judge at “my school” on Monday.  Eleven years ago, I adopted Rufino Mendoza, Jr. Elementary as a community service project. The experience has been a rewarding one.

I have taken a special interest in their after-school running club with my love of running. I also donate money for college scholarships and for other needs during the year.

The Competition

The seven bright students made polished presentations about their leadership skills. I am always impressed with their poise and sincerity. The Power Point slide was this child’s talking point for How I Have Been A Leader. I’m pretty sure we never did anything like this when I was in the fifth grade in 1964.

The students had just been on a field trip to the University of Texas at Arlington and were excited about going to college. Several had decided they wanted to go there and become the first members of their families to pursue higher education.

The first child loved studying the earth and wants to be a geologist because “it sounds so fascinating.”  I enjoyed it when he said that he sometimes fails because he is not perfect — but that “he always learns from the experience.”

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I spent Friday morning speaking to five classes at Rufino Mendoza Sr. Elementary School, which I adopted 11 years ago. It’s always one of my favorite days there.

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I always begin by getting the third through fifth graders to select a career from a list that sounds interesting: doctor? lawyer? teacher? artist? We talked about what each person does and why the child might want to work in that field. I stressed that any career requires good grades and many years of education but that it would be worth it.

I told the youngsters that they will have to graduate from high school and then college (and perhaps graduate school. I made them promise that they will. It’s an important pledge.

United Hispanic Council Amigo Award

United Hispanic Council of Tarrant County’s Amigo of The Year 

I was proud to receive this award Saturday night. The theme of Saturday’s banquet was Hispanics and Education, The Future of Our Country, and supporting our young people is one of my favorite causes. 

This inspirational event brought together many of local leaders who help promote educational opportunities for Hispanic students. I was presented the award by Rufino Mendoza, Jr., the son of the namesake of the North Side school I adopted 11 years ago. 

The United Hispanic Council of Tarrant County is a nonprofit organization that supports and finances youth programs in our community. This charity makes higher education accessible to students through scholarships and financial aid services. 

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A woman who was DWI plowed into a police cruiser and seriously injured the officer inside early Friday morning. Ironically, she was just only a few blocks away from the national headquarters of one of my favorite groups, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

The Irving police cruiser was blocking westbound traffic at Texas 114 near North O’Connor Road to prevent motorists from entering a road construction zone. But a very drunk Nicole Arreola somehow failed to notice the flashing red and blue squad car lights and the large bright orange alert barrels, an indication as to how impaired the 36-year old Grapevine woman really was. 

The drunk driver plowed into the back of the cruiser, which subsequently slammed into a light pole. The officer was treated at Parkland Hospital for a concussion, an injured shoulder and broken ribs. 

Arreola showed the telltale signs of intoxication, including the smell of alcohol on her breath, bloodshot eyes and slurred speech. She at first claimed she wasn’t driving, but finally admitted she had polished off five shots before climbing behind the wheel. The woman blew a .144 percent blood alcohol concentration (BAC), almost twice the legal limit

The drunk driver was charged with intoxication assault, which carries a two to 20-year prison sentence. I hope she gets nailed and that publicity from this crime and her sentence discourage people from driving while intoxicated.

Time to Walk Like MADD 

Bill Berenson Injury Law is again the Presenting Sponsor of the annual Fort Worth Walk Like MADD event. We participate every year in this truly inspirational event that brings the community together to show our support for victims of drunk driving and our desire to end DWI accidents. 

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I visited the students at Rufino Mendoza Elementary School on the North Side of Fort Worth this week to see how the beginning of the school year was going. “My kids” are off to a great start. I was honored when they burst into applause when I walked in.

I volunteered with the Fort Worth Independent School District’s Adopt-A-School program because I wanted to give back to my community.  I believe that any student who applies him or herself should have the opportunity to excel. Some of the children I first worked with are now in college or working in good jobs.

Last year I donated seven partial college scholarships to fifth grade students to help them reach their goals. During their step-up ceremony, the students wore ball caps with the logos of their dream colleges. They will get even more money if they continue to exceed, which I’m sure they will.

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