Fundraiser aims to help those in need of legal services
By Romi Herron For The Courier-News August 19, 2012 4:04PM
blue electric guitar closeup isolated on white background
Band Together for Prairie State
When: 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24
Where: River Rockhouse (formerly Chord On Blues), 106 Riverside Avenue, St. Charles
Featuring: DisBard, The MacCartyns, 1 Sam 10.
Order: www.pslegal.org or call 630-232-9415
What: Live music, free hors d’oeuvres (6-7 p.m.), silent auction, and a cash bar.
For: All proceeds benefit Prairie State Legal Services programs in DeKalb, Kane, and Kendall Counties.Prairie State focuses on providing legal services to the most vulnerable groups in society, including the poor, the elderly, and people with disabilities.
Updated: September 21, 2012 6:16AM
Sometimes, a little bit of legal advice is enough to keep someone from becoming homeless.
An upcoming fundraiser at River Rockhouse in St. Charles will benefit those served by Prairie State Legal Services, an organization that matches financially challenged clients with attorneys, at no cost. Band Together for Prairie State is set for 6 p.m., Friday, Aug. 24 at 106 S. Riverside Avenue.
“Those who are (unfairly) evicted, those facing abuse from fraud, or domestic violence, those are the types of people who turn to us,” said Jeff Haymaker, director of community support for Prairie State Legal. “They don’t have anywhere else to turn.”
In its second year, the fundraiser features law enforcement members, and some from the judicial and legal systems, as rock performers. The inaugural event raised $12,000.
“This year we’ve moved to a new venue, with a stage and seating and food, so it’s going to be really fun,” Haymaker said. “And it’s a vital cause because when people have a basic human need that is under threat, sometimes it can be resolved with legal means.”
Kathryn Bettcher, managing attorney of the Fox Valley branch of Prairie State Legal, explained the basic human needs on which the programs focus.
“We’re assisting folks with access to shelter, safety in their homes, access to medical care and income maintenance. Those are pretty core requirements,” she said. “If you don’t ever have to access the legal system you don’t realize how important having an attorney can be.”
While Prairie State Legal can’t offer all requesters free legal representation, its staff does strive to provide legal information so people can make informed decisions, Bettcher continued. Many attorneys from area law firms volunteer to provide services through Prairie State.
With the challenging economy, people are facing unanticipated legal issues, Bettcher noted.
“Over the past three years, we’re encountering a group of folks who have never been in this situation financially, so they are facing issues like eviction, or a foreclosure situation,” she said. “So having the ability to get information is very helpful.”
Steve Huffman, Deputy Chief of Operations for the St. Charles Police Department, is a band member in 1 Sam 10, performing in the event. DisBard, and The MacCartyns, are other groups featured.
Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at Prairie State Legal Services, 1024 West Main Street, St. Charles, ordered online at www.pslegal.org, or by calling 630-232-9415.