Hungry for Justice? Share An Evening with JFAB 2017 Honorary Chair, Chef Leah Chase

Living Legend of the Civil Rights Movement, Chef Extraordinaire, and the entire Chase Family Craft the Perfect Recipe for JFAB 2017

She stood up for the rights of others her whole life, and now Chef Leah Chase is bringing that passion – that hunger for justice – to her role as The Pro Bono Project's Honorary Chair of its annual fundraiser, The Justice For All Ball (JFAB).

Chef Leah Chase, JFAB 2017 Honorary Chair

Chef Leah Chase, JFAB 2017 Honorary Chair

Scheduled for Friday, September 15, 2017, at the Audubon Tea Room from 8:00 pm to midnight, this year's 29th annual event will bring the entire Chase family and close friends out in force to benefit The Project. (See Committed to Justice: Leah Chase, )

In addition to Chef Leah, daughter Leah Chase-Kamata will be front, and center entertaining Patron Party guests. Grandson Edgar "Dook" Chase's Dook's Place will be one of the featured restaurants at the Ball. Son Edgar "Dooky" Chase, III served on the JFAB Ball Committee throughout the planning, and of course, there will be treats from Dooky Chase’s Restaurant.

Fine artist and Chef Leah's favorite portraitist, Gustave Blache, III is creating a unique painting of "Lady Justice" for the evening's live auction. He will be on hand to sell posters of "Pouring Oysters," signed and numbered by him and Chef Leah to add to the night's tally for The Project.

A Patron Party catered by Commander’s Palace will precede the main event. For the first time this year, individuals may buy a Patron Party/JFAB combo ticket. This ticket is also available at a special cost to sponsors who need extra tickets beyond their sponsorship allotment. Event tickets are available at or; for multi-ticket sponsorship packages see

The Bucktown All-Stars will headline the evening’s entertainment, and more than 25 area restaurants and bars will provide favorites from seafood to bread pudding and hand-crafted signature cocktails. A raffle, silent and live auction will round out the evening.

“We are delighted to have Mrs. Chase as our Honorary Chair this year!  She and her family epitomize everything we try to accomplish at the Project and JFAB—bringing people together through food, art, music, and culture for a good cause! Mrs. Chase is a living legend when it comes to fighting for justice. We know her as one of New Orleans' finest chefs, but her work with her late husband Dooky during the height of the Civil Rights movement speaks volumes about her commitment to the cause of justice. We are grateful to have her as our Honorary Chair,” said JFAB Committee Chair Dana Douglas of Liskow & Lewis and a Project board member.

What’s New This Year

One new feature of this year’s live auction is “Fund-A-Need,” which will focus on bringing in donations through crowd-funding to support The Project’s adoption and family law work. The live Fund-A-Need will showcase a recent success story – an adoption of a St. Bernard Parish boy who was born into heartbreaking circumstances. The Project’s staff and volunteer attorney who worked on this case are thrilled to secure a happy ending for this family. Ball attendees will get to hear this moving story, and participate in The Project’s mission by donating to support this important work.

“We are very excited about adding “Fund-A-Need” to our live auction because it encourages spontaneous giving for one of our most important programs. It makes the live auction accessible to everyone since Ball-goers can give at any level. Our auctioneer, John Calhoun is so high-energy that he’ll have our supporters one-upping each other for a worthy cause in no time,” said Executive Director Jennifer Rizzo-Choi. (See What’s New At JFAB 2017

JFAB More Important Than Ever

The Pro Bono Project is the flagship non-profit organization in the state that provides access to justice for those within a six-parish area who can’t afford a lawyer access the civil court system. With potential budget cuts looming to the nation’s largest legal aid provider, the Legal Services Corporation, The Project, and similar pro bono outfits, face the reality of an increased caseload. That is why engaging volunteer lawyers in pro bono work is more important now than ever before because this is a way to fill in the gaps in service.

“The funds we raise through the Justice For All Ball are even more important this year as the political debate over budget cuts ensues in Washington. In the first six months of 2017, we’ve already seen an increase of 15% in the number of clients that need civil legal services, and we continue to get requests to add programs to help service new populations in need.

"Luckily, because of our first quarter Stakeholder Summit with American Bar Association President Linda Klein, the number of lawyers volunteering their time is also on the rise. We could not provide our services without the assistance of the law firms, solo practitioners and many other professionals who give their time, talent and funds to The Project," explained Ms. Rizzo-Choi. (See Standing Up For Justice

For more info on JFAB 2017, please consult or contact Executive Director Jennifer Rizzo-Choi 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. The Pro Bono Project works in collaboration with other social service providers to improve the quality of life for our clients and our community.


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