The Pro Bono Project Is In The Zone ...

The Pro Bono Project Is In The Zone – Welcomes Mrs. Gayle Benson as Honorary Chair of the 27th Justice For All Ball on Friday, September 18, 2015
Saints, Pelicans Training Facilities to Serve as Backdrop for Annual Fundraiser

(New Orleans, LA) – The Pro Bono Project is flying high for its 27th annual Justice For All Ball.  This year’s Honorary Chair, Mrs. Gayle Benson will help The Pro Bono Project score a touchdown at the Saints Indoor Practice Facility on Friday, September 18, 2015, from 8:00 p.m. to midnight; a patron party on the court of the Pelicans Practice Facility will precede the Ball. The 2015 JFAB Committee Chair is The Project’s Board member Steven Lane, Managing Partner, Herman, Herman and Katz LLC. In this role, Steve is working with dozens of The Project’s Board members and volunteers to make certain the 2015 Justice for All Ball is the high scorer for the night.

Ball guests will be treated to a behind the scenes look on the turf at the Saints Indoor Practice Facility, as they wander the field among food and drink provided by a host of local restaurants and bars, swinging and swaying to the music of The Yat Pack. Patron Party guests will also get the benefit of being on the court at the Pelicans’ Practice Facility, along with getting an insider’s tour, and enjoying the sounds of Joe Simon’s Jazz and food and drink from Pigeon Caterers.  In addition, some special guests are expected to be on hand as added excitement for die-hard Saints’ and Pelicans’ fans. This year’s guest artist, who is creating the original artwork for the JFAB invitation is Michael Guidry of M Guidry Studio; his piece will be the front and center in the evening’s auction.

At the kick-off luncheon in April, Mrs. Benson told the committee, “I am honored to serve as the 2015 Honorary Chair for The Pro Bono Project’s 27th Annual Justice For All Ball and know that the life-changing services that The Pro Bono Project provides to residents in need is inspiring and makes such a positive impact on our community. Those who choose to support this year’s Ball understand the importance of The Pro Bono Project’s work and the critical need to provide access to civil legal services to the many who need them in our community.”

An accomplished business professional and philanthropist, Mrs. Benson, along with her husband, Tom, have worked tirelessly with non-profit organizations across the city to strengthen the fabric of the metro New Orleans community. Deeply spiritual, Mrs. Benson has been a long-time supporter of the Catholic Church, Catholic Charities and its umbrella agencies, St. Louis Cathedral, Notre Dame Seminary and a host of other religious organizations.

In addition to these activities, the Bensons have turned their attention toward health and wellness and education-related organizations and institutions throughout the New Orleans metro area. Among those benefitting from the Bensons’ philanthropy are: Ochsner Health Center through the gift of the Gayle and Tom Benson Cancer Center; and Team Gleason and the Team Gleason House benefitting ALS patients and others with such debilitating illnesses.  

“The efforts of Mrs. Benson with the many non-profit organizations throughout the area she has supported, are similar to our mission of opening the doors to the civil justice system for those who cannot afford legal representation – we help them rebuild their lives and move forward again. Mrs. Benson and her husband, Tom, are doing important work to keep this community productive and pushing through to a better future. We are honored to have Mrs. Benson serve as Honorary Chair of The Justice For All Ball,” explained The Project’s Executive Director, Rachel Piercey.

“The JFAB raises a significant portion of the funds needed annually for The Project to help people rebuild their lives and ensure that everyone in this community has access to the civil justice system. The Project’s clients have limited resources, and sometimes they don’t realize that their problems need a legal solution,” notes 2015 Ball Committee Chair, Steven Lane. “That’s where The Project makes a difference by matching private bar attorneys pro bono with clients in need. Without The Project, so many of the civil legal issues faced by metro area residents, many caused by the slow economic recovery and the lingering effects of both natural and manmade disasters, continue to hinder the growth of the area.”

Carole Cukell Neff, Partner, Sessions Fishman Nathan & Israel LLC, and 2015 Chair of The Pro Bono Project elaborates, “The need for pro bono civil legal services continues to grow. We’re seeing new legal issues and new types of clients every year. Federal and state dollars for social services continues to decline, placing a greater need for non-profits such as The Project to raise funds within the private sector. Companies, foundations and other private sector groups, as well as government officials, still require a great deal of education in order to better understand the full impact that a lack of civil legal services for the underserved has on the overall community.”

Full details of this year’s exciting event are still in the works and we hope to have some nice surprises for party-goers. In addition to the music, food and drinks, we’ll have our raffle with items from local retailers and service providers, and both a live and silent auction – all designed to offer patrons a variety of ways in which they can support The Project’s efforts to open the doors to the civil justice system for those who are underserved in our community.

Tickets are $150 advance/$175 door; young attorneys, $100 advance/$125 door; and students $75 advance/$100 door; raffle tickets are $5 each. Ticket packages and corporate sponsorships are also available.  All proceeds from sponsorships, ticket sales, the raffle, and the auction will benefit The Pro Bono Project.

To purchase advance tickets online at JFAB Tickets or call the JFAB Hotline at: 504.581.3480. For information on and to purchase multiple ticket packages and sponsorships, download the Package/Sponsorship Descriptions and Pledge Card. For more information on the Justice For All Ball or The Project, contact Executive Director Rachel Piercey at or 504.581.4043, x 202.

The Pro Bono Project’s continuing mission to provide free, quality civil legal services to the underserved is more important than ever. By engaging volunteer lawyers and other professionals to render pro bono services, The Pro Bono Project serves clients in Orleans, Jefferson, St Bernard, St Tammany, Plaquemines and Washington parishes. With funding from the Justice For All Ball and other sources, locally and nationally, The Pro Bono Project works in collaboration with other social service providers to improve the quality of life for our clients and our community.