Houston Bar Association Auxiliary
60 Seasons of Service
By Betty Griffin
Move he 12 women who gathered on February 26, 1947 for an organizational meeting at the Houston Club could never have imagined the significance of that moment. The purpose of the meeting was to assist then-HBA President, Palmer Hutcheson, with social plans for the State Bar of Texas convention, scheduled for Houston that summer. By the second meeting in May 1947, 199 women had joined the Women’s Auxiliary to the Houston Bar Association, and by the time the first yearbook was published, the Auxiliary had 325 members. Those original 325 are recognized as the founding members. By 1981, the objectives of the Auxiliary expanded to community service, with a focus on legal education and charitable needs. In 1990, the name changed from the Women’s Auxiliary to the Houston Bar Association to the Houston Bar Association Auxiliary (HBAA). The organization has evolved from primarily social to that of a major service organization in Houston.
Community projects sponsored by the HBAA include the annual distribution of 45,000 “Now You Are 18” legal education brochures to 22 HISD schools, eight private schools and the Houston READ Commission; donating and sorting clothing for the HBA’s Fall and Spring clothing drives; serving as witnesses for the HBA Elder Law Committee’s annual Will-A-Thon for low-income seniors; collecting books and school supplies for the HBA’s adopted school; and this year, collecting black “interview” purses suitable for the clients of the Dress for Success program. In addition, HBAA members read over 4,000 essays by seventh and eighth graders for Judge Robert Eckels’ “Do the Write Thing” anti-violence campaign, contribute to the Eikenburg Law Week Fun Run and the Harvest Party; and provide scholarships to local law students.
The Auxiliary’s Leon Jaworski Award is presented annually to a Houston attorney who has exhibited outstanding service to the community outside his or her legal career. The award is presented in March at a special luncheon for the legal community.
On April 12, 2007 the HBAA celebrated its 60th anniversary with a “Sixty Carat Celebration” Luncheon at River Oaks Country Club. Members of the cast of “Night Court” presented a musical review of the Auxiliary’s history. Special honorees were the founding members of the HBAA, past presidents of the HBAA, and Kay Sim, executive director of the Houston Bar Association. Kay was recognized for more than 30 years of service to the Houston Bar Association and for her dedication to the community, with a particular emphasis on programs that serve the needs of children.
Betty Griffin is 2006-2007 president of
the HBA Auxiliary.
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