Spindletop Spin to benefit pro bono program

Marilyn Tennissen May 29, 2008, 7:13am

Hundreds of cyclists are expected to roll out for the Spindletop Spin to benefit the Jefferson County Pro Bono Program on June 7. Last year's event, pictured, raised more than $25,000 to provide legal services to the needy.

It's time again for hundreds of cyclists to take the roads, but they won't only be riding for fun and exercise but also to raise money for a program that provides free legal services to those in need.

After successfully raising almost $50,000 in the last two years, the third annual Spindletop Spin will be held June 7 to benefit the Jefferson County Pro Bono Program.

The term pro bono is derived from the Latin phrase pro bono publico, meaning "for the public good." In October 1987, a group of volunteer lawyers realized the need to provide legal assistance in civil matters to the indigent and low-income residents of Jefferson County and established the Jefferson County Pro Bono Program.

Thousands of individuals who would have otherwise been unable to afford legal services have been helped through the Pro Bono Program. In recent years more than 225 attorneys volunteered for the program donating more than 2,400 hours of legal services.

But while the service of the attorneys is donated, the Pro Bono Program still incurs substantial costs for reviewing applications, verifying eligibility, assigning cases, and completing reports required by various federal and state agencies. The program may also incur additional costs for service fees or other expenses beyond those services donated by the volunteer attorneys.

To cover those expenses, events like the Spindletop Spin are held by the Pro Bono Program to ensure that the vital service to the community will continue.

Riders can choose from 10 mile, 33 mile, 43 mile or 70 mile routes. Start times are 7 a.m. June 7 for the 70 and 43 mile runs and 7:30 a.m. for the 33 and 10 mile routes. Registration opens at 6 a.m.

Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., or until the last rider is in.

Early on-site registration for the ride begins from 3-7 p.m. at Crockett Street on June 6. The fee for an individual rider is $30, with families riding for together for $40 ($25 for first parent, $15 for second parent and children riding free).

Families can also attend activities during the day on Crockett Street, including Kid's Village. A bicycle donated by Bicycle Sports will be one of the many door prizes awarded. Dick Lemasters will perform acoustic rock in Antone's during lunch.

The event does more than raise money for the Jefferson County Bar Association Pro Bono Program, it is also a time to remember a local judge whose impact on families is still felt in Jefferson County.

The Spindletop Spin will be in memory of and to honor former family court judge Tom Mulvaney, who died in 2005. Mulvaney served as the judge for the 259th District Court in Jefferson County from 1999 to 2005, and served on the board of the pro bono program for many years.

One of Mulvaney's greatest joys was serving as the presiding judge for the National Adoption Day ceremonies that are held annually.

For more information on the Spindletop Spin, including start times and routes, visit www.spindletopspin.com, or call 409-839-2332.

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