Legal Hospice unveils new name, logo at fashion show


Celebrities walking the FASHION-Cited runway were, from left, Sheriff Lupe Valdez in pajamas and a hat from Trousseau of Dallas, DJ Dan Birkholz in shorts from Skivvies and waitress/diva Natalie Woodley in a dress from Francisco Flores.

The Dallas Legal Hospice unveiled a new name and logo for its evolving mission at the organization’s “FASHION-Cited: A Style Event” fundraiser this month.

The nonprofit law firm, which was founded in 1989 to address the health-related civil legal needs of low-income individuals suffering from HIV disease, will now be known as the Legal Hospice of Texas. It is the only provider of pro bono legal services dedicated to HIV clients.

Doug Skierski, chairman of the group’s board of directors, said the new name would help the organization continue growing and expanding its services to more clients.

“The new name and brand reflect the organization’s long-term growth from an all-volunteer group to a thriving, professional staffed organization that continues to grow in ways not even imagined by its founders,” Skierski said.

Roger Wedell, executive director of the group, said the change is about “claiming who we have become and who we want to be.” He noted that although the group is based in Dallas, its clients already live in 15 other counties.

“We have grown in response to the needs of our clients and in response to the growing number of clients who need our services,” Wedell said. “And who knows what might be next? We need to have the ability to respond to where the need is, and Legal Hospice of Texas opens that door far and wide.”

In 2006 volunteers provided 2,354 hours of services with an estimated value of $187,549, according to a statement released by the group. The volunteers include attorneys, notaries, paraprofessionals, language interpreters and office and special events support people.

The group provides services to about 750 people each year living in the counties of Dallas, Collin, Denton, Fannin, Cooke, Henderson, Hunt, Rockwall, Kaufman, Ellis, Grayson and Navarro.

In March 2006, it began collaborating with Cancer Care Services and AIDS Outreach Center in Tarrant County to provide services to their clients in the counties of Tarrant, Johnson, Parker and Hood.

In its 17 years, the group has assisted more than 8,750 clients, recovered back awards in excess of $750,000 and mediated forward awards in excess of $100,000 per month to help clients and their families struggling with severe health challenges.

The group provides free legal counsel, advocacy and representation in the areas of estate planning, insurance, employment, credit, public benefits, housing and family law.

It also maintains a network of attorneys who accept referrals of non-qualifying cases at a reduced fee.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, April 27, 2007.

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