In The News: Law firm’s gift will create a network for burn victims

A $25,000 donation from the Anapol Schwartz Foundation to the Philadelphia-based nonprofit the Burn Foundation will be used to help burn injury survivors and their families cope with the emotional distress of living with scars, disfigurement and intense physical therapy.

The donation will finance a mentorship program that pairs new burn victims and their families with other burn survivors to demystify the often arduous recovery process.

The Anapol Schwartz Foundation is funded by the law firm Anapol Schwartz Weiss Cohan Feldman & Smalley, which has offices locally in Philadelphia, Media and Cherry Hill. The firm used money received in a settlement involving a young boy who survived severe burn injuries and the loss of a limb caused by contact with a nonflame-retardant piece of furniture.

“A lot of baggage comes with [burn injuries],” said Carol Gadsden, vice chairwoman of the Burn Foundation’s board of directors and one of 15 burn injury survivors serving on the board. Gadsden understands the psychological toll of burns to people who lack support networks.

“There is fear of [not knowing] what my life is going to be like, should I survive this, and what should I do in such a cosmetically oriented society,” Gadsden said.

Everett Marshall, another member of the Burn Foundation, lost both his legs and as much as three inches of flesh from his back in an explosion in 2006. He said that knowing other burn survivors who had endured similar hurdles would have soothed him and his family during the physical recovery.

“Statistics will see more than a thousand burn victims every year, so the burn victims will have other people who have gone through the same thing to help them,” said Joel Feldman, an attorney for Anapol Schwartz who has practiced law for 28 years.
“This was a perfect match, really, because part of our practice is representing families and victims in fire, specifically in instances of fires with products that are nonflame-retardant,” he said.

A Lincoln in winter

Lincoln Financial Foundation donated $25,000 to the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging for the third consecutive year.
The money will be used replenish the nonprofit’s emergency fund for older Philadelphians and coincides with the launch of its annual “keep seniors warm” campaign.

The fund, reserved for emergency assistance for the elderly struggling to pay their bills, is at $190,000; last year, the fund disbursed $292,000, including more than $194,000 on heating fuel alone.
Campus outreach

Montgomery County Community College received a $10,000 grant last month from Verizon’s Pennsylvania branch to establish an education support program for victims of domestic abuse. The money will be used to expand a collaboration between the college and the Women’s Center of Montgomery County and Laurel House to include on-campus support services and expanded prevention awareness.

Keystone Christmas

More than 70 underprivileged children enjoyed an early holiday party hosted by employees of the Keystone Mercy Health Plan, a managed care organization in Philadelphia, at the Northern Home for Children in Roxborough on Dec. 17. AmeriHealth Mercy Family of Cos. President and CEO Dan Hilferty was on hand to distribute gifts. The children were also treated to dinner and games.

Project restaurant

Mark Mednansky, executive director of Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group Inc., donated $20,000 to Project Home during the steakhouse’s grand opening on 15th and Chestnut street in late November. It marks the beginning of a partnership between the restaurant and the nonprofit group, which finds work and shelter for homeless men. The restaurant has hired Project Home residents.

Reprinted based on original article by James m. Viola, on the Philadelphia Business Journal.