Tom Duffy, Esq., Founder, Duffy + Partners; Katie Samson, Spokesperson, Katie Samson Foundation; and, Associated Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired honored
The Legal Clinic for the Disabled (LCD)—the only nonprofit exclusively dedicated to serving people with disabilities, and the deaf and hard-of-hearing in the Philadelphia region—announced the recipients of its annual awards. This year, attorney Tom Duffy, Esq., Founder of Duffy + Partners, is being honored with the Special Recognition Award. Additionally, Katie Samson, Spokesperson for the Katie Samson Foundation, and Associated Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ASB), are being honored with White Hat Awards. The awards will be given at LCD’s annual Fall Celebration & Silent Auction on October 18, 2018 at 6 p.m. at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Tickets and sponsorship information can be found here.
The Special Recognition Award is given to a person nominated by LCD’s Board of Directors who has shown outstanding commitment to people with disabilities and LCD’s work in the disability community. Since 2012, Duffy has supported the work of LCD with the Duffy Fellowship. The Fellowship helps support an attorney’s salary for a year, allowing the organization to reach more people and expand services.
“We are honored that Tom will receive LCD’s Special Recognition Award this year,” said Linda Peyton, Executive Director, LCD. “Tom’s commitment to the nonprofit legal community and his advocacy on behalf of charitable causes is extraordinary. His continued support of LCD through the Duffy Fellowship has been integral in LCD’s success. He embodies the word ‘advocate’ and we are so grateful to have his support.”
LCD also recognizes Katie Samson and ASB with White Hat Awards. The White Hat Award honors those who help LCD staff in their daily work to meet LCD’s mission of providing free legal services to the disability community of Philadelphia. The honorees help LCD to sustain its work by promoting the nonprofit, fundraising, and sharing their talents and passion when the LCD’s staff needs assistance.
“This year I am thrilled to recognize Katie Samson with the White Hat Award,” said Peyton. “Katie, a former member of our Board of Directors, is a shining example for resilience and determination. She leads her life and those around her with wisdom and grace and has given back to the disability community by fundraising and raising awareness through her Foundation. ”
“The success of LCD’s work depends on collaboration with our partners. Associated Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired has been our partner since 2011, providing us and our pro bono partners the space and time to offer legal services to their clients. Through our Community Legal Outreach Clinics, we’ve seen firsthand the difference ASB makes in the community. They promote self-esteem, independence, and self-determination, all things that make them the perfect recipient of our White Hat Award.”
Ticketing and sponsorship information can be found here.
About the recipients:
Tom Duffy, Esq: Tom Duffy founded the law firm that bears his name 30 years ago when he left a promising career at a large Philadelphia firm to establish his own practice. That practice has grown into a group of respected attorneys and staff with one focus—helping individuals and families who are the victims of catastrophic injury. Tom oversees all cases handled by the firm, which include motor vehicle accidents, trucking accidents, construction accidents, product liability, premises liability, medical malpractice, birth injury, spinal cord injury, emergency room injury, other personal injury and aviation disasters. In 2018, his firm secured the largest settlement ever paid to a minor in Pennsylvania who was injured in a food truck explosion. Tom has received countless distinctions, awards and titles as testimony to his work and influence in the legal community, including being selected in 2016 as the sole “Lawyer of the Year” for Plaintiffs Personal Injury Litigation in Philadelphia by The Best Lawyers in America, being listed annually in the Super Lawyers “Top 100” lists for Pennsylvania and Philadelphia and, most extraordinarily, the “Top Ten in Pennsylvania” for the last three years straight. Tom dedicates thousands of hours to charitable causes, including Magee Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation (he is a member of the Board of Trustees and was honored with the Magee “Champion in the Community” award in 2009), HelpHOPELive (formerly NTAF, who named him a “Community Hero” in 2010) and several other organizations. In 2012, Tom established the prestigious “Duffy Fellowship,” which provides funds to underwrite a staff attorney at several legal service organizations, including the Legal Clinic for the Disabled (LCD), Community Legal Services (CLS), and the Homeless Advocacy Project. In 2012, LCD recognized his contributions through its esteemed “Special Recognition Award,” and in 2014 the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania also recognized the work of the Duffy Fellow in the Philadelphia Latino community with prestigious “La Justicia” award. In 2015 CLS followed suit with its own “Champion of Justice” award.
Katie Samson: Katie Samson grew up in Wayne, PA and studied Art History at Middlebury College where she also played Division III lacrosse and helped her team capture a National Championship in 1999. The following winter, Katie suffered a spinal cord injury while sledding and became a quadriplegic. After months of rehabilitation and encouragement from family and friends, Katie went back to finish her degree and help coach her college lacrosse team to two more national titles. In 2004, Katie pursued her graduate degree in Arizona, where she remained for six years. Katie moved back to the Philadelphia area in 2010 and became an active member of the Katie Samson Foundation (KSF). KSF’s mission is to support quality of life programs for people with physical disabilities. Katie has recently been hired as Director of Programs for Art-Reach. Katie has previously taught Disability Studies at West Chester University and has worked as a Consumer Instructor at Jefferson University. As a peer mentor at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, Katie encourages others to seek out adaptive sports and therapeutic programs that have had such a positive effect on her life. Through the help of an active hometown community, friends and family KSF celebrated its 18th year- providing non-profits who support people with disabilities financial support.
Associated Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired: Associated Services for the Blind and its predecessor organizations have been providing services to individuals who are blind or visually impaired in the Greater Philadelphia region since 1874. All of ASB’s programs and services are undertaken in keeping with our mission to promote self-esteem, independence, and self-determination. ASB accomplishes this by providing support through education, training, and resources.
About The Legal Clinic for the Disabled: The Legal Clinic for the Disabled (LCD) provides free legal services to low income people with disabilities and to the deaf and hard of hearing in Philadelphia, Bucks, Delaware, Chester and Montgomery Counties. It is the only non-profit legal services organization focused solely on providing legal services to those with disabilities in the Philadelphia area. Incorporated in 1987, LCD began serving the community in 1990 and is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which has helped thousands of Pennsylvanians with disabilities.