By Deborah King, originally published in The Daily Record on 9/28/15.

Paralegal Perspectives: PAR holds kick-off dinner, auction; awards scholarship

With fall arriving soon, PAR’s activities have started to increase significantly. We have been busy setting up many continuing legal education luncheon seminars and we are even working on our first dinner-hour CLE.

At the Annual Kick-Off Dinner and Annual Auction, from left, are Megan Fowler, MCC student scholarship winner; Dina Beaudette, PAR president; and Michael Martella, director of Paralegal Studies Program at MCC. Credit: PAR

At the Annual Kick-Off Dinner and Annual Auction, from left, are Megan Fowler, MCC student scholarship winner; Dina Beaudette, PAR president; and Michael Martella, director of Paralegal Studies Program at MCC. Credit: PAR

On Sept. 16, the Paralegal Association of Rochester hosted its Annual Kick-Off Dinner and 11th Annual Auction at Benucci’s Italian Restaurant in Greece. The event was well-attended with lots of social and networking activities and just plain fun for all. The food was absolutely awesome.

The auction had a total of 84 items available for bid with a little of something for everyone. This was 18 more items than last year! The big draws were the $400 Excel Limo gift certificate, a Fitbit, an Apple iPad, the Melting Pot fondue restaurant $100 gift certificate, golf for 2 at Mill Creek Golf Club, tasting and tour for 20 at Black Button Distillery, spirits from Apple Country Spirits and plenty more.

PAR would like to thank all of the people on the board and fellow members who worked very hard to provide these items as well as all of the gracious sponsors who donated prizes. Overall, the evening was a huge hit and a great start to the fall season.

As a final celebration of PAR’s 40th anniversary, PAR offered a scholarship to a student in the paralegal studies programs at either Monroe Community College or Bryant & Stratton College. PAR awarded the scholarship to Megan Fowler, a student from the MCC paralegal program. Megan was overjoyed with receiving the scholarship. The director of the program, Michael Martella, was in attendance.

PAR is once again involved with the NFPA’s collaboration with the USO. This year we are collecting cards for occasions such as Valentine’s Day, birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, thank you cards, Halloween, Thanksgiving, limited Christmas and blank cards. They are collected and sent to the USO where our troops far away from home can have holiday cards that they can sign and send to family back home.

PAR will be taking further donations of the cards up to and including the Annual Holiday Luncheon in December. If anyone would like to donate cards to this worthy cause, contact Debbi King at debbi16@rochester.rr.com.

Sept. 18 to 20 was the fall meeting of the Empire State Alliance of Paralegal Associations Inc. in Lake George. The meeting was attended by the Western NY Paralegal Association Inc., New York City Paralegal Association Inc., Capital District Paralegal Association Inc., Onondaga County Bar Association of Paralegals Committee and the Paralegal Association of Rochester Inc.

Attending from the Rochester area were PAR President Dina Beaudette, president of ESAPA and secondary representative to ESAPA Deb Mabry, and myself, primary representative to ESAPA. The biggest item on the agenda was the planning of a 2016 spring New York State paralegal conference that will be held in upstate New York. As more information is available it will be disseminated.

The first official CLE for this coming fall season is “Ethical Billing and You.” It will be presented by attorney Adam Walters of Phillips Lytle at First Federal Plaza Conference Room, first floor from noon to 1 p.m. on Oct. 14. Please watch your email for registration information soon as well as our website at www.rochesterparalegal.org.

PAR also has two other CLEs scheduled so keep your schedules free. Tuesday, Oct. 27, will be “Real Estate – New Closing Disclosures,” presented by attorney George Schell Jr., and our first evening CLE, “Marketing Yourself and Keeping up in 2015” is scheduled for Nov. 4, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and will be presented by Ann Marie (Cacia) Walker.

To round out the year, PAR will hold its Annual Holiday Luncheon on Dec. 9, in the Powers Building on the eighth floor.

Please watch your emails for the announcements and registrations for the above events.

If anyone has ideas for CLE’s for PAR, you can contact PAR’s president Dina Beaudette at dbeaudette@merzbachlaw.com.