Thank you for joining us and supporting our work at our 2021 Gala! This year’s Gala honored our brave clients and remarkable women who helped us pave the way in elder justice and women’s leadership: U.S. Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon, Philadelphia Councilmember Helen Gym, Cherri Gregg, Esq., Kathy E. Ochroch, Esq., Hall of Fame inductee Teresa N. Cavenagh, Esq., and Judge Lois Murphy. A big thank you to all of our sponsors and supporters. (See full list of sponsors below).
Attending our Gala live in studios (and fully vaccinated) from l-r: Teresa N. Cavenagh, Esq., Cherri Gregg, Esq., Renee Chenault Fattah, William J. Donohue, Esq., Karen C. Buck, Esq., Kristen N. Wilson, Courtney Schultz, Esq., and Shari J. Odenheimer, Esq.
To view the entire Virtual Gala, click here.
To view the honoree video, click here.
To view our sponsors, click here.
SeniorLAW Center’s 2021 Champions for Justice
U.S. Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon
U.S. Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA) has been a partner of SeniorLAW Center in pursuing access to justice for vulnerable populations since long before she was sworn in as a U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District in November 2018. Congresswoman Scanlon previously served as national pro bono counsel at a major U.S. law firm, where she directed and supervised over 600 lawyers in 15 offices in providing more than 50,000 hours of pro bono legal services annually to low-income clients and non-profit organizations, including SeniorLAW Center. Under her leadership, the pro bono program worked on critical issues, including senior and child advocacy, immigration, housing, public benefits, criminal justice reform, free press, and other constitutional rights. The program earned the 2018 American Bar Association’s annual pro bono award. As a member of the House Rules Committee, the House Judiciary Committee, and Vice Chair of the House Administration Committee, Congresswoman Scanlon’s priorities in Congress include voting rights, education, common sense gun safety legislation, and protecting the rights of children, families, veterans and our seniors.
Councilmember Helen Gym
Helen Gym is a longtime organizer and the first Asian American woman elected to Philadelphia’s City Council. Seated in 2016, Councilmember Gym leads a human rights agenda rooted in housing, education, and racial and economic justice. In her Council tenure, she partnered with SeniorLAW and a coalition of housing advocates to establish a legal defense fund, right to counsel law, and a mandatory pre-filing diversion program for renters facing eviction. During the COVID crisis, she led the charge in Council to pass an Emergency Housing Protection Act containing an eviction moratorium, ban on late fees, and long-term rent repayment plans among other rights for vulnerable renters. She is co- chair of Local Progress, a national network of progressive local electeds where she leads immigrant rights and economic justice efforts.
Cherri Gregg, KYW Newsradio, is an attorney, journalist, and community affairs reporter for KYW Newsradio. She reports on a variety of public affairs and social justice related issues, including groundbreaking coverage of elder abuse, guardianship exploitation and other elder justice issues. Cherri puts her law degree to work, providing analysis and extensive coverage on many highly publicized community legal issues, such as Pennsylvania’s voter ID law, an issue which disenfranchised older people especially, and against which SeniorLAW Center was a leading advocate. As an award-winning journalist, one of Cherri’s missions is to highlight diverse perspectives, positive people and cultural events in the greater Philadelphia area. In 2013, she launched an original Black History Month series for KYW Newsradio, “Philadelphia GameChangers,” which highlights individuals and organizations making a positive impact in the African-American Community. Cherri has emceed the SeniorLAW Center Gala for the past several years and has featured our work on her show. She is an advocate for older people and a voice for human rights across the region.
Kathy E. Ochroch, Esq.
Kathy E. Ochroch, Esq. is a champion of pro bono and access to justice. As a Partner and Director of Pro Bono Services at Blank Rome, LLP, she supervises and coordinates all aspects of the firm’s award-winning national pro bono program for its over 600 attorneys. Kathy also maintains a substantive pro bono practice herself, handling pro bono guardianship cases, trusts and estates matters, child advocacy, social security disability cases, veterans’ discharge cases, immigration and asylum matters, transgender name change cases, and death penalty cases. She has partnered with SeniorLAW Center for many years on a number of access to justice projects, including the Center’s signature Life Planning Clinics, providing thousands of critical advance planning tools for vulnerable seniors and involving over 100 attorneys, paralegals and other volunteers in the firm and corporate and other partners. Kathy also helps lead the Center’s annual Life Planning Clinic for Hispanic Elders in partnership with Exelon/PECO, which provides services for Spanish-speaking seniors in their own community and language. Kathy has been recognized by many nonprofit and public interest law centers and has served on many of their boards as ambassador and champion for access to justice.
Teresa N. Cavenagh, Esq. – Hall of Fame Inductee
Teresa N. Cavenagh, Esq. joined SeniorLAW Center’s Board of Directors in 2009, serving as Board Chair, Officer, ambassador, champion and volunteer attorney. Teresa has been with Duane Morris LLP since 1976, initially as Duane Morris’ law librarian and since 1985 as an attorney. She has been a partner in Duane Morris’ Trial Department since 1995. Teresa’s practice focuses on commercial litigation with an emphasis on health care, energy and fraud-related issues. She often represents clients in the health care, energy and hospitality industries, providing regulatory and compliance counseling and investigation services, as well as litigation expertise. Teresa also leads by example through pro bono service. She is an outstanding volunteer attorney for SeniorLAW Center, providing legal services to hundreds of older adults through the Pennsylvania SeniorLAW HelpLine for the past several years. Her leadership skills and talents have been instrumental to SeniorLAW Center’s enormous growth and achievements throughout the last decade.
Judge Lois E. Murphy
Judge Lois E. Murphy is an outstanding leader in elder justice in Pennsylvania and a valued partner to SeniorLAW Center. She was elected a judge of the Court of Common Pleas in Montgomery County in 2009 and leads the Orphans’ Court Division, where she hears cases involving wills, estates, adoptions, and guardianships. Appointed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Elder Law Task Force and now Chair of the Guardianship Committee of the Court’s Advisory Council on Elder Justice in the Courts, she is leading innovative best practices in guardianship and right to counsel, working to improve education and training for guardians, and promoting best practices for courts and judges, including pro bono programs to ensure access to legal representation for vulnerable populations. She speaks statewide and nationally about elder justice, access to justice, alternatives to guardianship and judicial innovation.