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The servicemen and women who have served in our military have always sacrificed much to make our country a better place to live. It wasn’t until earlier this past century, however, that a day was set aside to recognize their sacrifices.
On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month an armistice was reached in 1918. That day the fighting stopped along the Western Front of what would eventually become known as World War I.
November 11 was immediately designated a national holiday to celebrate peace and remember the sacrifice given by millions of soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedoms. In 1954, President Eisenhower signed legislation that changed ‘Armistice Day’ to ‘Veteran’s Day’ to honor American veterans of all wars – not just World War I.
Over the past years, the Simmons Firm has done much to help veterans whether representing them in the courtroom or donating its time, talent and treasure to veteran aid organizations. However, more people are needed to step up and help support our veterans year round. Keep reading to learn more about veterans’ organizations the firm has helped in the past that could use your support, too.
Please consider donating your time, your talent or your treasure to these very deserving charities and programs that support our veterans year-round.
Veterans Legal Clinic
Organized by the Third Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee
On Tuesday, Nov. 13, Madison County attorneys will be available to answer veteran’s legal questions at the Madison County Courthouse Law Library in Edwardsville. Pro bono services will be available on the topics of evictions, foreclosures, estate planning, child custody, divorce and small claims.
Veterans of Madison County please call today to schedule your appointment. Advance appointments must be made by calling Jaime Stipcak at the Madison County Law Library at (618) 296-4472.
at the St. Louis Veterans’ Home
Lewis and Clark Boulevard
St. Louis, MO
The Missouri Veterans’ Home is in need of several volunteers to help serve our veterans Thanksgiving Dinner. The event takes place on Thursday, Nov. 15 this year at 6 p.m. Volunteers are needed to help transport the veterans and act as servers. For the past two years, several firm employees have left work early to participate in this event. They all describe it as a very rewarding experience.
If you are available to help, contact Director of Volunteer Services Julie Goulet at 314-340-6389 ext 239 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Veterans Assistance Commission
Madison County Government
The Veterans’ Assistance Commission in Madison County helps approximately 25,000 veterans who are county residents and who were honorably discharged. Services include internal or emergency financial assistance, Veterans’ Treatment Court, and much more. The organization is currently working on building a Veteran Volunteer Network to help serve veterans in Madison County.
Volunteer opportunities include being a mentor for the Veterans Treatment Court Mentoring Program, helping with the homeless veterans’ housing program, veterans visiting veterans in hospice/nursing care, veterans’ gravestone/grave marketer inventory/care, general office work and more.
To volunteer or learn more contact the Veterans’ Assistance Commission at email@example.com or 618-692-7040 ext. 4554.
Joshua Chamberlain Society
St. Louis Non-Profit Group Aiding Fallen & Wounded Military Heroes
Last year, the Joshua Chamberlain Society was the beneficiary of the Simmons Employee Foundation Annual Golf Tournament. This is a great organization that works to “adopt” St. Louis veterans who have been wounded or killed during their military service. All funds donated to the organization directly help JCS Heroes and their families. Projects include remodeling the home to improve the wounded hero’s quality of life, setting up and funding college funds for children of veterans who have passed, or purchasing specialized furniture for the veteran.
The Society is hosting the 3rd Annual Price of Freedom Gala on Jan. 26, 2013 at the Renaissance Grand Hotel to raise funds to support its JCS Heroes. For ticket information visit www.priceoffreedomgala.org or click here to make a direction donation to help wounded St. Louis area veterans.Comments (0)
The month of October is Healthy Lung Month. This health observance is sponsored by the American Lung Association and strives to increase national awareness pertaining to the warning signs of diseases of the lungs along with promoting healthy maintenance of the lungs.
Throughout Healthy Lung Month, activities and events will occur all over the U.S. in support of education and healthy living for strong, healthy lungs. The American Lung Association offers ways for all people to get involved including community events, social media activity, volunteering, and advocating for lung health-related public policy initiatives.
Healthy Lung Month’s goal is to educate people on the warning signs of diseases of the lungs; this includes asbestos-related diseases like pleural mesothelioma, a disease our clients at the Simmons Firm struggle with daily. Pleural mesothelioma is a cancer of the smooth lining of the lungs and is the most common form of malignant mesothelioma. It exhibits a long latency period, with symptoms appearing years after exposure to asbestos. Symptoms associated with lung disease are also commonly associated with pleural mesothelioma, including:
- Chronic fluid production: Mucus, a fluid produced by the airways, is a defense response to infection or irritants. Mucus production that lasts for long periods of time could indicate mesothelioma or lung disease.
- Chronic cough: A persistent cough that does not go away.
- Difficulty breathing: Wheezing or difficulty taking breaths could point to a bigger problem within the chest or lungs.
- Chronic chest pain: Unexplained chest pain that lasts for longer than a month can be a warning sign of mesothelioma or lung disease. It’s especially critical if it gets worse when breathing or coughing.
- Unexplained weight loss: A decrease in weight loss that is not voluntary by dieting or an increase in exercise can be a warning sign of mesothelioma or lung disease. It’s especially concerning if a significant amount of weight is lost in a short period of time.
Take part in Healthy Lung Month and help spread the word on warning signs of pleural mesothelioma and any other disease affecting the lungs. Learn more today.Comments (0)
Attorney Chris Guinn Presents $25,000 Check to St. Louis Labor Council for Unemployed Union Workers, Families
$25,000 pledge to help union families: delivered
Alton - Delivering on their promise to donate $25,000 to the '$5 for the Fight Fund' if the labor movement would raise $25,000 to match it, the Simmons Law Firm, last week, presented its $25,000 Challenge Grant matching donation to St. Louis Labor Council President Bob Soutier (right). Representing Simmons is attorney Chris Guinn.
"We appreciate the company's incredible challenge to help our out-of-work families," Soutier said. Added Guinn, "We're proud to support working families and appreciate that so many stepped up to accept the challenge."
As a result of the Simmons' challenge, the fund has an additional $50,000 to help out-of-work union members and their families Out-of-work and need help? Call the labor council at 314-291-8666.
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In just two short weeks, myself and other attorneys and staff with the Simmons Firm will attend the 8th Annual International Asbestos Awareness Conference in California from March 30 to April 1. We’re proud not only to once again be a platinum sponsor of the event, but are also proud to be ADAO’s longest sponsor.
With so little accurate information available about the dangers of asbestos exposure and asbestos-related diseases, events like the ADAO conference are vital for getting the most up-to-date information about the work being done to spread awareness of this international public health crisis.
This year several sessions will focus on international asbestos problems. ABC Investigative Reporter Matt Peacock will present on India’s toxic asbestos trade. Peacock has spent decades covering the toxic scandals caused by asbestos trade, but even he was shocked by what he uncovered in India.
While developed countries are struggling to rid themselves of asbestos and are grappling with the tragedy of latent asbestos-related diseases, India has ignored the lessons learned by countries like the United States and plunged head-first into manufacturing the deadly fiber. Peacock has covered the hazards faced by Indian workers exposed to asbestos, the majority of which is imported from Canada. Sadly, we know all too well what the consequences of unregulated exposure will mean for India’s workers and families.
Labor Inspector Fernanda Giannasi will update attendees on her battle against asbestos manufactures in Brazil. Called by some as the “Brockovich of Brazil” Giannasi has spent her 25-year career with the federal Ministry of Labor and Employment trying to shut down the asbestos industry in the South American country. I’m looking forward to learning more about this courageous woman’s story.
As a trial attorney, I have seen the pain caused by mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases time and time again. A global, total ban on asbestos is needed.
Closer to home, Dr. Joel Shufro, executive director of the New York Committee for Occupational Safety & Health, a non-profit organization, will also be sharing information about the health status of the rescue workers, employees and residents of New York impacted by the World Trade Center attack. Thousands of tons of toxins, including asbestos, were released into downtown New York on Sept. 11, 2001. Since the attack, NYCOSH has been involved in helping the thousands of people who participated in the rescue, recovery and clean up efforts surrounding the attack who are now becoming sick with asbestosis and other respiratory illnesses because of their exposure on that day.
Linda Reinstein, president of ADAO and her staff, have secured a stellar line up of speakers for this year’s conference. Since the ADAO Conference started eight years ago, it has continually provided in-depth content unavailable elsewhere. With presentations by Matt Peacock, Fernanda Giannasi and Dr. Shufro, plus many more, this year’s ADAO conference is shaping up to be one of the best.
Whether you are a trial lawyer, activist, medical practitioner or have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, this conference has something for everyone.Click here to view the agenda or to register. Comments (0)
Every year more than 10,000 Americans die every year from asbestos related diseases, like mesothelioma. As asbestos attorneys, we see the hardship this disease can cause on individuals and families first hand.
The worst part is that this is a preventable disease. Many people think prevention steps have already been taken through an asbestos ban, but that’s not true. Asbestos is still used in certain products in the United States. In Canada, it’s legal to mine and export this deadly mineral to developing countries like India.
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization has organized a petition against asbestos use in North America. Released today, the goal is to collect 10,000 signatures to send to President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Please give a few minutes of your time to sign and pass the petition on to your friends and family.Sign the North American Declaration to Eliminate Asbestos-Related Disease Petition.
We’re having a busy week here at the firm getting ready for our annual Miles for Meso 5K race, which is happening this Saturday.
This year we’ve increased the prize money for the race to more than $6,000. That’s the largest 5K race purse in the Midwest. And it’s gotten a lot of attention. As of yesterday we have over 500 people registered to attend, including about 30 elite runners.
If you’re not planning on attending, but live in the Alton area, I would encourage you to come out and watch. The elite runners, who’ve come from all over the country and even Kenya, should make for an exciting event to watch. Here’s the Alton course map, if you’re interested.
The firm held the first Miles for Meso race in 2009 as a way to celebrate Mesothelioma Awareness Day and raise awareness about mesothelioma, a deadly cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Cumulatively the Alton race has fundraised over $50,000 for mesothelioma research.
Huge thanks go to our Platinum sponsor STL Communications and our Gold Sponsors Clover Leaf Bank and Jenner & Block. (See the complete list over at the Miles for Meso sponsorship page.)
If you still haven’t signed up to attend, registration will be open 7:30-8:45 a.m. on Saturday before the race at our new building, One Court St., in Alton. To learn more, visit the Alton Race page on the Miles for Meso web site.Comments (0)
Breathtaking, a documentary on the deadly consequences of asbestos exposure, tells the story of filmmaker Kathleen Mullen's father who died of mesothelioma as a result of Canada's asbestos mining industry.
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization will give a free, online screening of Breathtaking at 6:30 p.m. EST on Monday, Sept. 26, 2011.
The 45 minute screening will begin with a short introduction from Mullen and conclude with a thirty minute question and answer session via Twitter with the filmmaker and ADAO President and Co-Founder, Linda Reinstein.
Mullen uses heartbreaking clips of her dying father’s legal testimony, together with family photos, and home movies to take the audience on an investigative journey. From her family home in British Columbia to Quebec, India and Detroit, Mullen paints a global, yet still personal picture of the many lives affected by the continued use of asbestos.
“ADAO is thrilled to be able to bring this critical issue to the forefront through the incredible film, Breathtaking. It is through the new avenues of digital technology and social media that we are seeing awareness about asbestos hazards expand rapidly around the globe,” said Reinstein in a press release about the livestreaming event.Comments (0)
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