64th Annual Public Servants Luncheon

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Photo from 2010 event here

Bar Foundation to Host 64th Annual Public Servants Luncheon
Event Coincides with Constitution Day, the 223rd Anniversary of the Signing of the U.S. Constitution

CLEVELAND – September 16, 2010 – The Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation (CMBF) is proud to present the 64th Annual Franklin A. Polk Public Servants Merit Awards Luncheon to be held this Friday, Sept. 17, 2010 at noon at the Marriott at Key Center. The Awards Luncheon celebrates and honors public servants whose everyday commitment to the courts ensures Ohioans’ full access to the justice system.

Each year, city, county and federal courts as well as government agencies nominate eligible recipients and these merit awards are given for long and faithful service, devotion to duty, wise counsel, unfailing patience, and assistance to the public and members of the Bench and Bar of Cuyahoga County. The event welcomes hundreds of attendees annually.

The 2010 Honorees are:

  • Ellen Ashwill, Esq., 8th District Court of Appeals
  • Irene R. Bell, Cuyahoga County Clerk of Courts Office
  • Valerie Hamlet, Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas
  • Maggie Hollman, Cleveland Municipal Court
  • John W. Menzies, Jr., Esq., Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court
  • Fran McCrea, Shaker Heights Municipal Court
  • Rosemary Moran, Cleveland Municipal Clerk of Courts Office
  • Debra Sabato, Cuyahoga County Probate Court
  • Lois Zakelj, Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court
  • Stephanie Zelman-Thanasiu, United States Bankruptcy Court

“This is a long-standing tradition that the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation is proud to continue,” said Frank R. DeSantis, president of the CMBF. “In light of current events, it is even more important that we take this opportunity to celebrate the exemplary service these honorees and so many others provide to those who have business in Northeast Ohio’s courts.”

The plan to honor deserving public servants was inaugurated in 1947 by the late Raymond D. Metzner, a past president of the Cuyahoga County Bar Association (CCBA). CCBA Past President Franklin A. Polk served annually as continuous chairman until 1986. Polk was involved with this program until his passing in 1991. In 1986, the Public Servants Merit Award was renamed the "Franklin A. Polk Public Servants Merit Award" to honor Polk's dedication and outstanding service to the CCBA and Cuyahoga County Bar Foundation (CCBF). In 2009, the Cleveland Bar Foundation and CCBF unified as the CMBF.

This year, the Friday event coincides with Constitution Day, the 223rd anniversary of the founding fathers’ signing of the U.S. Constitution. Among the Constitution’s guarantees, both explicit and by extension, are the right to a fair and speedy trial and an efficient and honest judicial system. To this purpose, the public employees honored this week provide service to not only the attorneys, judges and other legal professionals, but also to members of the public.

About the CMBF
The Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation is the charitable arm and partner of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association. It raises funds to support the important public outreach activities of the Association, which are organized primarily under the Justice For All umbrella. These activities include a variety of pro bono legal service, law-related education, tutoring and mentoring programs. Additionally, the CMBF assists the Association’s diversity initiatives aimed at improving the pipeline of minority students entering the legal profession. www.clemetrobar.org/Bar_Foundation/CMBF.