Fun, food and fundraising make for the perfect combination at the annual Billiards with the Bar charity event, former Toronto Lawyers Association (TLA) president Joseph Neuberger tells AdvocateDaily.com.
The event is hosted by Neuberger & Partners LLP, Hull & Hull LLP, the Toronto Lawyers Association, and the Law Society Foundation to raise funds for Toronto Lawyers Feed the Hungry. This marks the fifth anniversary of the charity function, to be held Oct. 18 on the second floor at The Rivoli, 334 Queen St. W., Toronto from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m.
Neuberger says sights are set higher than ever for the popular fundraiser, with a target of $20,000 this year.
“It’s a really fun event; everyone likes billiards, and we have great music, great food and great fun,” the Toronto criminal lawyer says. “We get people from all walks of life, so it’s a good time to get together and raise money for one of the most worthy programs in Toronto.”
“It’s a terrific evening in support of a wonderful program,” says TLA executive director Joan Rataic-Lang. “It’s about being there to support a good cause with your friends and colleagues — and have fun at the same time.”
It marks a milestone for the broader Lawyers Feed the Hungry program, celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2018, following its founding by Martin Teplitsky and wife Nancy Backhouse. Teplitsky, who passed away in 2016, was a mediator-arbitrator, lawyer, teacher and community leader who saw a need in 1998 and soon after began preparing and serving meals to the hungry in the Law Society of Ontario’s cafeteria at Osgoode Hall.
Backhouse is now a judge with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
Toronto estates and trusts lawyer Ian Hull tells The Lawyers Daily that the Toronto division operates four days per week, with more than 60,000 meals served each year.
“For many, it is the only nutritious meal they will receive on any given day. For others, it helps bridge a painful shortfall when difficult decisions mean paying rent or buying groceries,” Hull says to the legal news outlet.
“Sponsoring the Lawyers Feed the Hungry Program is a great way for members of Toronto’s legal community, and others, to help support some of the neediest residents of our city.”
Neuberger says the Toronto division is exceptionally efficient compared with many charities, with about 90 cents of every dollar raised pumped directly back in to helping people and families in the community.
He co-founded the Billiards with the Bar event following his stint as president of the TLA, and remains involved.
He says the program is only made possible through generous donations to the Law Society Foundation and thanks to a roster of committed volunteers. The estimated annual cost to run the program in Toronto is $350,000, and Neuberger urges colleagues at the bar to give what they can to keep it going.
“Please join us to support this worthy cause and keep it viable,” he says.
Tickets cost $60 per person, which includes appetizers with a cash bar. Table sponsorships can also be purchased for $500, which provides two tickets, signage and acknowledgement at the event, as well as recognition on the Law Society Foundation’s website afterwards.
The site will remain active until Oct. 20, two days after the event, to allow acceptance of donations from those unable to attend in person.