On Friday, April 13, 2018, Craige Jenkins attorneys, staff, and our friends and colleagues in the community attended the 2018 Annual Pinwheel Gala, held by The Parenting PATH (formerly Exchange/SCAN). Assistant District Attorney Jessica Spencer, Chairperson, and Elizabeth Miller, Executive Director, were the hospitable hosts for the evening. The event featured a silent auction, a live auction, a D.J., a Community Hero award presentation, and even a moving testimonial from an individual in the community whose life had been changed for the better by the services of The Parenting PATH.
2018 Community Hero Rick Pfefferkorn addressing the guests
The Parenting PATH is a local, non-profit, United Way partner agency that offers a multitude of services to strengthen families and support parents, many of which are free of charge. Parenting classes, in-home services, father-oriented classes, respite care, and supervised visitation are just a few of the services that the organization provides. The Parenting PATH describes their mission as follows:
The Exchange Club Center for Child Abuse Prevention of North Carolina, Inc. was founded in October of 1981, following a Forsyth County N.C. task force discussion on needed prevention services to deal with rapidly increasing reports of child abuse and neglect. The Exchange Club of Greater Winston-Salem had proposed the program model following the adoption nationally of using parent aides (then known as lay therapists) to work in homes with families. Core services of in home parent aides and community awareness were provided in the first year of operation. By 1983 both parent education services and support group services had been added. As our services expanded we wanted to incorporate our positive, strengths based approach into our name. So in 2018, our name changed from Exchange/SCAN to the Parenting Path: Positive Actions, Thriving Homes.
Various local businesses and individuals were donors for this year’s Pinwheel Gala, which has proven to be a successful night in the past; in 2017, the gala raised a total of $27,500. Craige Jenkins Liipfert & Walker was one of the sponsors at this year’s event. Elizabeth Miller told the crowd that this was the largest turnout they have had for the Pinwheel Gala and inspired guests to donate with anecdotes of extraordinary members going above and beyond to do the most with very limited means, even if that meant cooking dinners out of their own homes to help others.
From left to right: Brianna Riazzi, Crissy Dixon, Phil Searcy, and Julie Searcy
Rebecca Smitherman has been elected as a Fellow to The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (“ACTEC”). ACTEC peer-elects a class of Fellows from across the United States as well as internationally, and its selection process is rigorous. ACTEC’s press release describes the organization and its membership as follows:
ACTEC is an organization of peer-elected trust and estate lawyers and law professors who are skilled and experienced in: the preparation of wills and revocable and irrevocable trusts; probate; trust, guardianship and conservatorship administration; transfer taxation planning and administration; integration of asset protection planning with the aforementioned practice areas; fiduciary income taxation; incapacity planning; elder law; employee benefit planning; donative planning; charitable planning; advising exempt organizations; and probate, trust, and protective proceedings litigation to improve and reform probate, trust, and tax laws, procedures, and professional responsibility.
To qualify for membership, a lawyer must have no fewer than 10 years’ experience in the active practice of trust and estate law. Lawyers and law professors are elected to be Fellows based on their outstanding reputation, exceptional skill, and substantial contributions to the field by lecturing, writing, teaching, and participating in bar leadership or legislative activities. It is their aim to improve and reform probate, trust and tax laws, procedures, and professional responsibility.
Rebecca is a Board-Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law. She also maintains a high level of involvement with the North Carolina Bar Association, where she has served as a speaker and author for a number of programs, as well as Vice-Chair of the Legislative Committee of the Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law Section.
Rebecca is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at Wake Forest University School of Law, where she teaches Planning and Drafting Wills and Trusts. She is an integral member of our community and of our law firm.