Community leaders honored at “Jazz for Justice”

Press release from Pisgah Legal Services: 

Pisgah Legal Services (PLS) will honor four extraordinary supporters – Russell Shuler, Tom Siekman, and Bernice and Arnold Green – at its 2017 Jazz for Justice event on Tuesday, March 21st at 5:30 pm at The Venue in downtown Asheville. Jazz for Justice is a fundraiser and celebration of outstanding PLS work, volunteers and donors.

The PLS Board Member Emeritus Award is bring presented to Tom Seikman.
Tom served on the Pisgah Legal Services Board of Directors for six years, including two years as President and as a member of several board committees. He volunteers in the Mountain Area Volunteer Lawyer Program as an attorney. Tom is also a Guardian ad Litem representing children in the Juvenile Court system and serves on the Board of the Guardian ad Litem Association of Buncombe County.

Bernice and Arnold Green are receiving the 2017 Pisgah Legal Services Philanthropy Award. The Greens decided to settle in Asheville, drawn to the beautiful mountains special community. They say it was a place they felt they could pitch in and make a difference. For the past ten years, they have volunteered at Craggy Correctional, tutoring prisoners toward getting their GED and/or gaining literacy skills. Their commitment to social justice led them to support and volunteer with A-Hope, Meals on Wheels, YWCA, and other community organizations. They have been passionate and stalwart advocates for Pisgah Legal Services for nearly 20 years. The Greens spurred the Pisgah Legal Capital Campaign back in 2007 that has enabled PLS to serve thousands more people each year.

Russell Shuler is the recipient of the PLS Terry Van Duyn Community Volunteer Award. When Pisgah Legal Services experienced severe funding cuts to its domestic violence work in 2013, Russell began volunteering his time and expertise producing videos, ads, event invitations and other materials to draw attention to the value of civil legal aid. Russell is a 36-year veteran of advertising, the last four years of which have been spent at the helm of Brain Hooks, his freelance video product/project management agency.

Jazz for Justice is open to the public and tickets are $50/person. Proceeds will support PLS’ programs that help more than 15,000 low-income people annually to meet their most basic needs. Tickets or sponsorship opportunities are available online at or by calling (828) 210-3444.

Pisgah Legal is grateful to the local businesses and individuals that are generously sponsoring Jazz for Justice. Lead sponsors include: 105.9 The Mountain and The 828; Blossoms at Biltmore Park & Baggie Goose; Blue Ridge X-Ray; Brain Hooks; The Chaddick Foundation; Corner Kitchen Catering; The Double Tree by Hilton; The Daniels Group; Eurosport Asheville; Hi-Wire Brewing; Jay Kerr Law; Leslie & Associates, Inc.; McGuire, Wood, and Bissette, P.A.; Mission Health; Paramount Kia of Asheville; Parsec Financial Wealth Management; Pulliam Properties, Inc.; RHA Behavioral Health Services; Roberts & Stevens; Stone and Christy, P.A.; The Van Winkle Law Firm; Walnut Cove Members Association; WCQS; and Vaya Health.

Since 1978, PLS has helped low-income people meet their basic needs, such as protection from domestic violence, avoiding homelessness, finding safe housing, and accessing health care and subsistence income. Pisgah Legal Services has 20 attorneys on staff, and relies heavily on the pro bono legal services of 300+ volunteer attorneys and the help of more than 100 office and navigator volunteers. The nonprofits’ main service area includes six counties in WNC, with offices in Asheville, Brevard, Hendersonville, Marshall and Rutherfordton. For more information, call Pisgah Legal Services at 828-253-0406 or toll free at 800-489-6144 or go to

About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. He has worked with several publications, including Gulf Coast and the Collagist. For his weekly #tuesdayhistory tidbits on Asheville, follow him on Instagram @tcalder.

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