A gorilla that learned sign language and 50 Bay Area law firms walk into a bar… and over the course of 25 years raise over $27 million for local charities. How you ask?
In 1987, the Bay Area General Counsel Group and United Way of the Bay Area formed a partnership to inspire the legal community to get more involved with local philanthropy. With Koko, the sign language signing gorilla set as the whimsical campaign mascot, and a little friendly competition, the Koko Challenge was born.
Over the past 25 years, the Koko Challenge has engaged more than 50 Bay Area law firms, raising more than $27 million for local charities.On September 27, we kicked-off the 25th anniversary Koko Challenge and announced this year’s goal to raise $1.8 million. Speakers included Rick Kopf, Chair of the 2012-2013 Koko Cabinet and The Fremont Group General Counsel; Jay Price, Associate General Counsel for Bank of America; Lee Marshall, Managing Partner at Bryan Cave LLP; and Charles Custer, Partner at Gordon Rees LLP. They reminded us of the history of the Koko Challenge and the impact this friendly competition has made in our community.
This year, the Koko Cabinet is seeking to honor the legacy of the Koko Challenge by rallying the legal community to support United Way of the Bay Area’s Community Schools, Koko Challenge participants are encouraged to donate their time, talent and treasure to Community Schools, United Way’s community “hubs” which provide families with services such as food pantries, health care, and after-school programs so kids can focus on learning.
1 gorilla, thousands of individuals, 50+ law firms, 25 years and $27 million to support the community – those are pretty unique and impressive numbers! And we couldn’t be more grateful for the impact.
Many thanks are in order to Bryan Cave LLP for hosting our fantastic kick-off event, and to this year’s Koko Cabinet –a volunteer committee that oversees the Challenge. Without the generosity and support of the Koko Cabinet, none of this would be possible.
For more information about how you can join the 25th Anniversary Koko Challenge please contact Nikole Saulsberry (415) 808-4312 or email@example.com
2012 – 2013 Koko Cabinet
Rick Kopf, Managing Director, Operations & General Counsel, The Fremont Group (Chair)
Michelle Banks, EVP, General Counsel, Gap, Inc.
Charles S. Custer, Partner, Gordon & Rees LLP
Nancy Greenan Hamill, Campus Counsel, UC Santa Barbara
David A. Hearth, Partner, Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker
Michael W. Kelly, Partner, Squire, Sanders & Dempsey LLP
R. Hewitt Pate, VP, General Counsel, Chevron Corporation
Jay J. Price, Assistant General Counsel, Bank of America
Bill Sawyers, EVP, CAO & General Counsel, Ernst Gallo Clinic and Research Center
Jim Strother, EVP, General Counsel, Wells Fargo & Co.
David A. Thompson, Partner, Reed Smith LLP
Vanessa Washington, Senior EVP, General Counsel & Secretary, Bank of the West