The Dallas Bar Association (DBA) and the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program (DVAP) are proud to announce the creation of a DVAP Endowment (the Endowment), which will help maintain long-term funding to secure legal aid to the poor in Dallas.
The first donor to step up to fund the Endowment, with a gift of $50,000, is Aubrey Connatser of Connatser Family Law. Aubrey is a longtime supporter of DVAP. She has given over $100,000 to the Equal Access to Justice Campaign since 2006, and that does not include her inaugural gift to the Endowment. Aubrey has made this extraordinary gift to honor the memory of her mentor Ken Fuller, a named partner of KoonsFuller who passed away in 2014. Mr. Fuller was a regular volunteer at DVAP for many years, even after his retirement.
Federal and state funding are tied to legislative support for legal aid to the poor. Federal and state funding cuts threaten the future of DVAP and other legal aid programs across Texas and the United States. Rather than waiting for the next round of funding cuts, Dallas Bar Association President Michael K. Hurst decided to take a proactive approach by creating a DVAP Endowment. The Endowment strives to create and maintain long-term funding to secure legal aid to the poor in Dallas should traditional funding methods shrink or cease to exist. Accordingly, the Endowment functions to provide a dependable safeguard to the DBA’s efforts to help fund pro bono legal services. The Endowment shall be used solely for the support of DVAP.
“Aubrey Connatser knows the importance of ensuring that legal aid to the poor is funded for generations. For all people, for all time. I was not surprised when she once again wanted to put her money where her heart is, and become the DVAP Endowment’s first major donor to honor the memory of Ken Fuller. Aubrey’s leadership will no doubt have a lasting impact on our Community,” said Mr. Hurst.
In addition to Ms. Connatser’s initial gift, several other donors have stepped up to help fund the Endowment. Lynn Pinker Cox Hurst/Jane and Michael Hurst are contributing $50,000. Jerry Alexander, of Passman & Jones, P.C., is contributing $50,000 as part of his planned giving.
Hunt Consolidated, Inc., through the leadership of Ray Hunt, David Hernandez, Hunter Hunt, and Chris Kleinert, is contributing $50,000. David and his wife Michele Hernandez are contributing an additional $10,000. Highland Capital Management is contributing $50,000. So is Vistra Energy, under the leadership of Stephanie Moore and Dan Kelly. AT&T, through David McAtee’s leadership, is contributing $50,000; and David and his wife, Cristy, are contributing an additional $10,000.
The DVAP Endowment is the next step to ensure the future of access to justice in Dallas.
The Dallas Bar Association is a professional, voluntary organization of more than 11,000 Dallas-area attorneys. Find out more at www.dallasbar.org. To find out more about the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program, log on to www.dallasvolunteerattorneyprogram.org.