In reading the August 6 edition of The Alton Telegraph, I came across an article that tells the very personal story of Christina Benoit, a recipient of a zero interest loan and a house built by the Lewis and Clark Habitat for Humanity, Wood River Chapter. The story stated that the house will be “funded by the Simmons law firm . . .”

Collectively, our partners, attorneys, and employees constitute the Simmons law firm. So it’s important that I recognize the Simmons Employee Foundation, which recently held a dinner auction that generated over $150,000. Our employees, the people who deserve the credit for making a positive impact each year on the lives of people in our communities through support like this, donated $75,000 to Lewis & Clark Habitat for Humanity and $75,000 to the National Alliance of Mental Illness in Madison County.

In five years, the Simmons Employee Foundation has raised over $500,000. It is the result of the employees’ creativity and heartfelt commitment to their communities and those in need. And, I’m proud to say, that even in this economy, the employees succeeded in making the largest donation the Wood River chapter has ever received.

The Simmons Hanly Conroy indeed continues to fight for clients inside and outside of the courtroom, and we have provided financial support in the national fight against mesothelioma and other cancers. That’s part of our mission and who we are as a firm.

Individually, our employees – the people who live in neighborhoods near where they work – are as resolute in the commitment to helping others.

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Along with Habitat for Humanity and the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Simmons Employee Foundation has provided support to such organizations as: the American Lung Association, the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the Phoenix Crisis Center, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, the Beverly Farm Foundation, the United Way Community Christmas Program, ALIVE (Alternatives to Living in Violent Environments), the American Heart Association, the Metro East Humane Society, the Boys and Girls Club of Bethalto, and B.U.R.T. (Bubblemasters Underwater Rescue Team)

I’d like to applaud our employees for the great work they do every year to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Christina Benoit’s new home says a lot about the impact the efforts of our employees can make.

Well done, ladies and gentlemen.