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Frenzy hit fever pitch at some firms

The just-completed 2013 Legal Food Frenzy generated some lively and innovative activities at some Virginia law firms as they competed to see who could raise the most money and give the most food in the annual donation drive.

Fairfax’s McCandlish & Lillard put lawyers and staffers in “jail” so other employees would have to come up with donations to bail them out. Those in lockup were identified by wearing prison garb – Texas chain gang style – so the office professionals were eager to have their colleagues raise the bail money.

“We divided them into two teams – Team McCandlish and Team Lillard – and each team selected members of the opposing team who would get ‘arrested,’” said Laura G. Liff, who helped organize the festivities.

“Bail was set at $100, and eight to 10 staffers per team were “arrested,” Liff reported.

“They were pretty good at soliciting money from teammates to get out of the uniform,” Liff said.

The scene was equally festive at Alexandria’s MercerTrigiani, where administrative office manager Francesca Noone coordinated events.

A highlight of the activities was a law firm auction with items including tickets to Washington Nationals games and gift cards from gas companies, retailers and restaurants. “The bidding got a little crazy,” Noone said. The firm’s fundraising activities included a wine tasting arranged by a sommelier at a nearby hotel.

At the Richmond office of Vandeventer Black, the firm sold barbecue lunches to other workers in their downtown office building. Lunches – with homemade barbecue and “all the fixings” – went for $8 a plate.

The 2013 Legal Food Frenzy was designed to support regional food banks.  Law firms, legal departments, law schools and individual lawyers collected food and funds for two weeks to compete for a coveted Legal Food Frenzy award. The event, now in its seventh year, is a collaborative effort of the attorney general’s office, the Virginia Bar Association Young Lawyers Division and the Federationof Virginia Food Banks.

Final results of the competition will be released on May 7 by the attorney general’s office, according to Leslie Van Horn, executive director of the Federation of Virginia Food Banks.

Awards will be presented to the winners at a June 10 reception hosted by Gov. and Mrs. McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli at the Executive Mansion.

— Peter Vieth

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