There is still time to make Challenge for Children donations There is still time to make Challenge for Children donations October 15, 2003 Regular News The law firm of former Bar President Terry Russell, Ruden McClosky Smith Schuster & Russell, answered the call of President Miles McGrane when it contributed $45 for every one of the 165 Florida Bar members in the firm to the Lawyers’ Challenge for Children on the Bar fee statement.Donations to the program support Florida Bar Foundation grants to local legal aid organizations for specialized legal assistance to low-income children.In May, McGrane wrote the managing partners of the 50 largest law firms in Florida, in terms of number of associates, asking them to make the suggested $45 gift to the challenge themselves and asking them to encourage their law firm colleagues to donate, too.In his letter, McGrane acknowledged that law firms are receiving a growing number of requests for donations to various charities.“Florida’s legal profession has a well-deserved reputation for generosity in its charitable giving and in pro bono,” McGrane wrote.Although Ruden McClosky so far is the largest law firm donating on behalf of all of its Bar members this year, Baker & Hostetler also contributed $45 on behalf of each of its lawyers in Orlando as did Orlando-based Dean Mead. According to the Foundation, because the Bar fee statements do not always identify the law firm, they may be unaware of other firms making similar gifts.McGrane set the 2003-04 Challenge for Children at $250,000. To date, $160,000 has been contributed by 3,036 Bar members. That’s three times the amount contributed last year. The Bar’s Young Lawyers’ Division contributed an additional $25,000. McGrane hopes to reach at least $175,000 by the end of October.“It’s not too late to make a gift and make a difference in a child’s life,” McGrane said. “Even though the fee statements were due earlier in the summer, the children’s legal services grants won’t be awarded until December.McGrane said he plans to follow up his May letter to the managing partners asking them to help reach the $175,000 goal.Bar members may also make a donation to the Lawyers Challenge for Children through The Florida Bar Foundation Web site www.flabarfndn.org.