WASHINGTON, DC – Type in “team building ideas” on any internet search engine and you’ll find pages of ideas for event planning. One event that probably doesn’t come up is raising funds for the Capital Area Food Bank. But ask any Bracewell LLP lawyer or staff in the firm’s Washington, DC office what event brings them together like no other, and you’ll get a resounding answer: the Food From the Bar campaign.
Now in its 10th year, Food From the Bar is a month-long campaign lasting from May 1 to June 1 that challenges the DC legal community to donate food and raise funds for the Capital Area Food Bank.
“Every May we come together as an office to raise money for a great cause,” said Mark K. Lewis, managing partner of Bracewell’s Washington, DC office. “The gratification comes from helping the Capital Area Food Bank, but also socializing with co-workers at fundraising events and building camaraderie by working as a team. It truly brings a collegial atmosphere to the office.”
Creative events are a hallmark of Food From the Bar. Lawyers go to great lengths to raise the most money and collect the most food for their firms. The Bracewell team is no exception.
Associate Serena A. Rwejuna says one event that “everyone looks forward to” is the firm’s annual “Dareoke: Karaoke for a Cause.” The entire DC office – including friends and family, summer associates and interns – gets invited to participate in the event. As part of this fundraising activity, participants dare someone to sing a karaoke song by making a financial donation. The person who has been dared has the option to sing a karaoke song or double the donation to send it back to the person who initiated the dare. The collaboration moves into overdrive when coworkers team up to make a dare donation that is a little too lofty for just one person to double.
In addition to “Dareoke,” other fundraising activities that have proven popular over the years include Bracewell bingo, silent auctions, afternoon ice cream carts, and nacho, breakfast and smoothie bars. Partner Jason B. Hutt also takes donations for his fresh seafood catch, which has been unofficially dubbed as the “Food from the Sea” campaign.
This year, the lawyers and staff in the Washington, DC office raised $12,314 for the Capital Area Food Bank. For its efforts, Bracewell won the “Overall Mid-Size Firm Certificate” as this year’s top mid-sized firm in donations.
Together, the DC legal community raised more than $270,000 for the Capital Area Food Bank in 2018. The money will help provide nearly 700,000 meals for children in local neighborhoods suffering from food instability.