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Articles Posted in Community Service

It was a lot of fun to be at the school I adopted 15 years ago, Rufino Mendoza Elementary, the first thing this morning. I had just found about the national Bike to School Day that was only two weeks away, was surprised that no school in Tarrant County had ever participated in this event, and asked the principal if I could plan it. She and her staff enthusiastically supported the idea and I went to work.

I found out about Bikes for Tykes, which graciously donated 23. The kids are excited they get their very own bicycles.

I also learned that the Tarrant County Medical Society Auxiliary gave away helmets and its gift of those red helmets you see is certainly appreciated. Fort Worth requires anyone under 18 to wear one (although Texas doesn’t) so I was about to buy these.

One of the greatest things about living in Fort Worth these last 40 years and in Texas going on 50 is how wonderful people are here. OK, I wasn’t born here but I got here as fast as I could!

So it was a pleasure to stumble upon the fifth annual Dance Marathon on Saturday morning when I was going to a spin class at the TCU Recreation Center.

Over 500 students and supporters of the Cook Children’s Medical Center stayed on their feet for 12 hours, often dancing, to raise money for this nationally ranked hospital. They raised $131,723.60, a huge amount of money. And the national Children’s Miracle Network has raised an incredible $250 million since it was founded. Congratulations to everyone who spent the last year preparing for this event.

me-at-Calf-truckYesterday I enjoyed going to the school I adopted many years ago to help my friends at the Cowtown Marathon give away running shoes and running socks to the children. They were excited to get them. It felt like Christmas in February.

The children’s only 5K race sponsored by the Cowtown Marathon is in two weeks. No one else has a special race just for kids. I am delighted that over 5,000 of our area’s school children will run/walk. It has been named one of the top children’s running events in the United States.

The children have been training in their after-school running club since August. They have already participated in the C.A.L. F. Run in October and will also do the Zoo Run in April.

C.A.L.F. (which stands for Children’s Activities for Life and Fitness) is the charity beneficiary of the Cowtown. It also gives over $50,000 in grants to pay for over 5,000 low-income children to enter the race.

In addition, the Cowtown Marathon’s staff and volunteers go to over 100 schools, four or five a day, distributing about 5,000 shoes and socks and fits each child individually. Bravo to them for their hard work!

That’s why I have been one of the primary sponsors of C.A.L.F. and have served on its governing council since it was formed 10 years ago.

I go to the Rufino Mendoza Elementary School on the North Side of Fort Worth to mentor the students, support them financially, and give tips to the runners that I learned as I ran a marathon in all 50 states.

These are just more reasons why Fort Worth is such a great city to live in. I moved here after going to SMU Law School in Dallas and this is my 40th year as a resident – with 38 of them overlooking the the course of the marathon (my first one, another reason Cowtown is special to me) on the Trinity River.

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Berenson Injury Law has assisted federal workers who are working without pay by donating 2,500 meals to the Tarrant Area Food Bank.

Yesterday, Mr. Berenson met with Stephen Raeside, the Senior Director of Development, to deliver a check and tour the facilities.

The Food Bank serves 50,000 individuals each week — and that was before the government shutdown.

2-bagsOur firm always enjoys brightening the holiday season for under-served children. We donate gifts and support an elementary school, the Tarrant Area Food Bank, and other non-profit organizations.

Yesterday I threw 80 footballs out to the boys and girls in the after-school fitness program. We ran around the school and passed the balls back and forth.

I urged them to keep running and walking over their holiday break to get in shape for the big Cowtown Marathon’s 5K in February.

We were proud to again sponsor the CALF 10K, 5K, and 1 mile runs on Saturday morning.

CALF, which stands for Children’s Activities for Life & Fitness, is cleverly named since it is founded by the Cowtown Marathon. This organization was voted as the top one in the United States promoting physical fitness for kids a few years ago.

Hundreds of school children from all over Fort Worth came to the Coyote Drive-In to walk and run along the Trinity River. They also got to eat the healthy snacks prepared by high school students who are planning on becoming chefs and they competed in a separate competition.

Berenson Injury Law has donated $2,500 to help the Humane Society of North Texas free animals from their severely overcrowded cages, just in time for Independence Day.

This offer to pay adoption fees for all of their small animals is valid tomorrow from noon to 6 p.m.

The Humane Society is located near downtown Fort Worth at 1840 East Lancaster Avenue.

It was my pleasure to speak at the fifth grade graduation at the Rufino Mendoza Elementary School this morning.

I adopted this school on the economically challenged North Side of Fort Worth 13 years ago. I wanted to reach out to the community and support our children.

Today I donated five scholarships and have given a total of 20 to Mendoza students over the last four years.

To obtain one, students won challenging math, reading, science, writing, leadership, and music competitions. They submitted science projects, wrote essays, made speeches, balanced checkbooks, and identified musical composers.

When each winner’s name was announced, parents and family members shouted out with joy. One could feel that young lives were being changed and that their futures shone brightly.

Each winner was fitted with a cap from the school he or she wants to attend. You can see Harvard, Notre Dame, University of Texas, Texas A & M, Baylor, TCU, and University of North Texas caps in this photo.

The children’s desired fields of study were also impressive. They include environmental engineering, nursing, science, criminology, culinary arts, zoology, art, and computers.

Every year, I leave the graduation feeling that our city and our country are heading in the right place. Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world, as Nelson Mandela wrote.

I wish this morning’s winners, Josie, Tiffany, Tino, John,Emily, Paula, Amy, and Marcos, and all of our students success as they continue their studies and work to achieve their goals.

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Yesterday it was a great pleasure to meet Dean Jennifer Collins to discuss my Endowed Scholarship.

I made this gift to thank the school for teaching me the subjects and skills I needed to become a trial attorney.

I requested that the funds be designated for student scholarships for Fort Worth and Tarrant County residents. This is the first time in the history of the law school that this has happened. SMU Law School will request that TCU, UTA, and other local universities advise their students to apply.

I am hoping that this enables our local college students to attend SMU Law School and encourages other alumni to contribute.

I have been blessed with many wonderful clients over the years and am grateful to be in a position to make this donation.

As I walked around yesterday it was hard to believe that I received my degree almost 40 years ago.



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Friday I spent the morning meeting with several hundred children at the Fort Worth elementary school that I adopted many years ago. 

Most unfortunately come from families with incomes that are below the federal poverty line. The idea of going to college might seem impossible. So rather than just talk about what an attorney does, for 13 years I have spent most of each class period on basics.

The most important idea I want them to remember is that they have to graduate from high school. I stress that if they don’t have a high school degree, they will probably only be able to work at low paying jobs, not pursue valuable careers. I get everybody to promise that they will graduate from high school. While they are standing up, I ask them to continue standing if they also want to go to college and no one ever sits down.

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