William Rawle Community Service Award

The William Rawle Community Service Award is given annually to a member of the Rawle & Henderson, LLP community who best exemplifies our founder, William Rawle, who was a tireless community servant and supporter of righteous causes.

Born in 1759 in the Philadelphia Province of Pennsylvania, British America to Quaker parents, William Rawle founded the Rawle Law Offices in 1783 after studying law at the Middle Temple in London. William Rawle became a close confidant of President Washington and a contributing and founding member of numerous civic and cultural activities. William Rawle was elected to the American Philosophical Society, helped found the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and served as a Trustee of the University of Pennsylvania.

William Rawle was also a life-long and ardent abolitionist. As a Quaker, he was a founding member of the first Society in the United States to publically advocate for the abolition of slavery in 1775, which later became the Pennsylvania Abolition Society. The Society included as members luminaries such as Benjamin Franklin and the Marquis De Lafayette. As President of the Pennsylvania and the later the Maryland Society for the Abolition of Slavery, Mr. Rawle was focused on righting the wrongs of historical oppression and ending the practice of slavery. William Rawle went on to argue before the Supreme Court of the United States against the constitutionality of slavery in 1805.

William Rawle’s passion for service transcends the centuries and is alive and well in Rawle & Henderson to day and is exemplified in the following attorneys and staff members:

2020 Winner of the William Rawle Community Service Award

Attorney Patrice O’Brien is the inaugural recipient of the William Rawle Community Service Award. Patrice has been a leading advocate both in the community and our firm for breast cancer research and funding to combat this form of cancer, which has impacted far too many of our loved ones. Patrice coordinates Rawle & Henderson’s annual involvement in the Race for the Cure and has been a stalwart advocate in the fight against breast cancer for many years. Patrice was selected to be a Breast Cancer Research Consumer Advocate in a Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program that allocates $150,000,000 in annual Congressional appropriations to support breast cancer research.

A donation was made to the charity of Patrice’s choice in honor of her longstanding commitment to community service in the spirit of William Rawle.

2020 Honorable Mention Recognitions

The following attorneys and staff members received 2020 Honorable Mentions for their community service and volunteer work, which also exemplifies the spirit and tradition of William Rawle.

  1. Joanne Fillius, who donated crafts to residents who could not have visitors and food and treats to the entire memory unit and front line staff of her mother’s long term care facility;
  2. Maureen Sullivan, who serves on the Executive Board of her community;
  3. Craig Baron, who along with his wife Rebecca started a committee at their synagogue to provide food for immuno-compromised and elderly members for the Passover holiday, which continued through the pandemic to help people who cannot shop by delivering food to them;
  4. William “Bill” Spiegel, who was appointed by Secretary of Health & Human Services Alex Azar, II to serve three year term as a member of the United States’ Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines (ACCV);
  5. John McCarthy for his volunteer work and service as the past Vice President of the West Chester Food Cupboard, which is committed to providing “fresh and nonperishable healthy foods to those in need.” John volunteers three times a week by helping to distribute quality groceries to Pennsylvania families, who each receive up to 150 pounds of food each month; and
  6. Brett Wolfson who helped deliver Holiday gifts to foster children throughout Philadelphia as part of his pro bono work with the Support Center for Child Advocates in which he represents children in the Philadelphia youth system due to issues such as parental abuse and/or neglect. Brett has volunteered for the Child Advocates for 5 years.

Rawle and Henderson congratulates and is pleased to recognize the exemplary community service of these Rawle & Henderson attorneys and staff members.

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