We are committed to the Capital District community.
Our attorneys and professional staff are involved in numerous local not-for-profit organizations at volunteer and leadership levels. In house, we often come together to raise funds and awareness for various charitable, civic and religious organizations that are close to our hearts.
We are honored to have been recognized for our long-standing commitment to community service and believe in the need to serve the communities in which all of us live and work.
A sampling of the tradition of service that exemplifies the O'Connell and Aronowitz spirit:
"Tuff Enuff 5K" benefitting The Prevention Council
On Sunday May 12th, Team O&A got down and dirty (some, evidently, dirtier than others) raising funds for The Prevention Council of Saratoga. The Tuff Enuff 5K obstacle course event sent Mike Kogut (left), Matt Dorsey and Will Berglund under, over and through varied obstacles and mud pits to the finish line. The event raised over $11,000 for The Prevention Council and proved that our attorneys are indeed tough enough to raise money for an excellent cause. The event was Matt Dorsey's 2nd time participating and he has extended the offer (challenge!) to other brave souls to lace-up for next year. Pictured with the O&A team is honorary team member Sarah VanBuren.
Law Day - Education Enrichment
It was back to school for some of our attorneys as we marked the Albany County Bar Association's annual Law Day effort at Albany High School on March 6th. Our health department attorneys Caitlin Monjeau and David Nardolillo presented to 25 students in AP Language and Composition class about ethical dilimmas attorneys might face and the importance of effective speech and writing in the practice of law. Sara Fedele of our Lead Litigation and Criminal Defense practice areas spent the day addressing both 12th grade Government class and 9-10th grade English class discussing what motivated her to become an attorney, benefits of internships and her involvement in the community.
In-Office Food Drive
As the holiday season approaches, O&A is undertaking a food drive to support the great work of the Regional Foodbank of Northeastern New York during their busiest time of year. Collection bins are in place in our office lobby and the lobby of our building on 54 State Street. Donations of non-perishable canned foods, personal hygiene items, and paper products will be accepted through the holiday season. For more information about the Northeast Regional Foodbank, visit their website at: http://www.rfbneny.com.
Lustgarten Foundation Walk
Team O&A hit the streets in support of the 9th Annual Albany ”Walk for Hope” for Pancreatic Cancer Researchon Sunday, Sept 9th. Brittnay McMahon of our Real Estate Department, pictured in purple shirt at far right, served as registration volunteer for the event which was held at the town park in Delmar. The day involved a host of activities including live music, silent auction and teams of walkers raising over $86,000 for the Lustgarten Foundation. The funds raised are used to advance the scientific and medical research related to the diagnosis, treatment, cure and prevention of pancreatic cancer. To learn more or to make a donation, please visit: www.lustgarten.org.
The O&A summer picnic was a great opportunity to enjoy our colleagues and their families in a relaxed social scene. Delicious food, good music and a warm sunny afternoon in Saratoga State Park combined to create a memorable event for all. But it wasn’t just fun in the sun. The annual outing, held in early August, also served as an opportunity to make a splash and raise money for the Casey Feldman Foundation, a national, distracted driving prevention organization whose namesake was a 21-year-old Fordham University senior when she was killed by a distracted driver. Picnickers paid $5.00 for a chance to impress us with their aim and show off their skills at the dunking booth in the name of charity. Over $550 was raised in support of Casey Feldman Foundation's work toward ending the tragic consequences of distracted driving. The brave souls who took turns in hot seat included: Charlotte Sumner, of our accounting department; Tracy Maab, picnic coordinator and legal assistant in the litigation department; Josh McMahon, pictured at left, litigation department attorney, and Managing Partner Pam Nichols who proved she’s willing to go to any length - or in this case watery depth - to raise funds for a charity she believes in. To learn more about the outstanding work of the Casey Feldman Foundation, or to make a donation, go to: www.CaseyFeldmanFoundation.org
Downtown Albany BID
O’Connell and Aronowitz is, once again, sponsor for The Downtown Albany Business Improvement District Sculpture in the Streets effort. The 2012-13 exhibition, entitled Stand in the Sole of Albany, is a public art exhibition and walking tour celebrating Albany’s history by illustrating expressions of our Capital City through oversized Dutch clog sculptures painted by local artists. Placed throughout downtown Albany, six 7-foot clog sculptures and four 3-foot clog pairs, make up this year's exhibit. While fun and whimsical, the installation pulls on Albany’s rich Dutch heritage, blending historical and artistic impressions and offering a multitude of cultural opportunities for the public to enjoy. Firm Administrator Laurie Springer serves on the Sculpture in the Streets committee. The O&A clog is appropriately displayed on the corner of Eagle Street and Pine Street, near the court house. It is the creation of Greenville artist Barbara L. Walter. The exhibit and tour are free and open to the public.
O&A associate Will Berglund is a founding board member of Albany Barn, a private non-profit organization dedicated to developing a permanent, sustainable 21st century creative arts incubator and community art center in Albany. On June 22nd, Albany Barn celebrated groundbreaking on the redevelopment of the St. Joseph's Academy building into 22 low-cost live/work residences and 12,000+ square feet of multi-tenant creative arts and program space including work and rehearsal suites, a dance studio, and digital media lab. The project is called “The Barn/Academy Lofts,” a name that originates from the age-old practice of barn raising, when a community united to build a barn - crucial to a family’s livelihood - for one of its households. In turn, that household would contribute to the overall vitality of the community. The groundbreaking celebrated the start of construction and was billed as a “culinary and visual happening”. The event took place at Stage 1, Albany Barn’s headquarters and art space located on N. Swan, one block from St. Joseph's Academy, with food by the Chefs Consortium.
Prevention Council of Saratoga County
Our own Matt Dorsey proved he was tough enough to get down and dirty raising money for the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention Council of Saratoga County. He participated in the group's inaugural Tuff eNuff Challenge in May, a 5K obstacle course that transformed the standard 5K into a muddy adventure. Designed to mirror the group's mission of helping families navigate the challenges of adolescence, the challenge course presented a variety of obstacles that participants had to crawl under, hurdle over and wade through to reach the finish. Matt not only survived, but he enjoyed taking part so much he's recruiting a larger O&A presence at next year's event.
Albany County Bar Association Walk/Run Against Domestic Violence
O'Connell and Aronowitz regularly participates in the annual Run Against Domestic Violence held in April. Proceeds from the run are donated to local agencies that assist victims of domestic violence.
The Lasagna Throwdown
Our very own home grown fundraiser! Several employees prepared their own lasagna and competed for the title of Best Lasagna. All proceeds were donated to benefit the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation which supports victims of this neurological movement disorder.
Go Red - American Heart Association
O'Connell and Aronowitz employees donated their time and money to support the national movement founded by the American Heart Association to help the fight against heart disease - the number one killer of women. Employees were given the opportunity to wear jeans and/or their favorite sports jerseys to work in exchange for a small donation, which the firm then matched. All participants were treated to an ice cream party as an added bonus!
Boys and Girls Club of Schenectady Fundraiser
O'Connell and Aronowitz were proud to participate as Benefactor Sponsors of "A Taste of The Capital Region" to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Schenectady. Event featured amateur chefs from across the Capital Region who put their best dish forward to raise money for this worthy cause. Firm sponsorship was coordinated by Jami Durante Rogowski.
Schenectady Cancer Foundation
The Mohawk Golf Club was the setting for the annual musical event "A Lot of Night Music". O'Connell and Aronowitz were pleased to be on board as Gold Sponsors for the evening of jazz with Jody Shayne Trio, and professional dancers Debra and Michelle Pigliavento, who enjoyed rewarding careers in Broadway musical theater. The event raised funds for a cancer education program in partnership with Schenectady Cancer services and Russell Sage College.
Albany Police Officers Union
The Albany Police Department honored the retirees from the Albany Police Officer's Union and Albany Police Supervisor's Association at a retirement dinner held at the Century House in Latham. O'Connell and Aronowitz were sponsors for the dinner gala and thank the 2012 retirees for their years of dedicated service to the community.
Northeast Regional Foodbank
O'Connell and Aronowitz brought their appetites with support for the 3rd annual Mac-n-Cheese Bowl to benefit the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York held on Saturday, February 18th. held at the Albany Marriott and featuring 29 restaurants, the event saw more than 2,100 attendees and raised more than $35,000 for the food bank.