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Theresa Browning
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Northwest Indiana Attorney Makes Largest Donation in Campaign for Legal Aid, Civic Education

Allen’s Gift Jumpstarts Indiana Bar Foundation’s 2017 Keystone Society

INDIANAPOLIS – Like many of us, Brooklyn Alexander, a senior at Cathedral High School, witnessed the plethora of rallies and protests during the 2016 election cycle. But as she watched the action, Brooklyn did not jump to conclusions about who was right or wrong. Rather, she thought about the First Amendment’s protection of peaceful assembly -- a topic studied as part of her team’s We the People: the Citizen and the Constitution testimony this year.

Brooklyn’s critical thinking skills, and those of many other students like her, were enhanced by the Indiana Bar Foundation’s (Foundation) civic education programs, a point the Foundation’s volunteers, board of directors and its president, Kenneth J. Allen, noticed. This was a major motivation for Mr. Allen’s pledge to provide a matching donation of $26,000 to those who make unrestricted donations to the Foundation by September 30, 2017, a pledge the Foundation announced today. Allen, a Northwest Indiana injury attorney, will help donors reach the $1,000 Keystone Society level by supplementing every gift of $750 or more.

“Indiana is a leader in civic education nationwide. Our We the People and High School Mock Trial programs are well-respected across the country. We all need to come together now so we can continue the philanthropy that makes these programs possible for Hoosier children,” said Allen. “These programs not only enhance our kids’ education, they also foster the mutual respect and civility we owe each other as citizens of this great country, regardless of our various opinions, beliefs or backgrounds.”

Allen’s pledge is the largest Keystone Society donation received by the Foundation.

Why the 3 to 1 match?

The Foundation’s leadership wanted to give more donors an opportunity to maximize their donation. It requested the three dollars to one ratio for Allen’s match for any donors making unrestricted gifts. Donors to the Foundation met last year’s match in six weeks.

“I deeply value the Foundation’s educational and legal aid mission,” Allen said. “The Foundation is the largest source of non-governmental support for civil legal aid in our state. Supporting this critical mission is the right thing to do, especially now given imminent federal budget cuts.”

Allen’s donation is the cornerstone of the Foundation’s 2017 Keystone Society campaign. That campaign emphasizes unrestricted donations to ensure the areas of greatest need, whether civil justice or civic education, can be met. The Keystone Society formed last year to recognize donors who give at least $1,000 to the Foundation’s mission between October 1 and September 30 of the subsequent year. Other recognition levels ensure the Foundation’s growth can continue. Find those details here.

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