Legal Aid launches “1905 Society” to Recognize Planned Gifts


Donor Alida Struze highlights her passion for Legal Aid

Legal Aid is excited to announce the launch of the 1905 Society, a planned giving recognition group. Membership is available to anyone who makes known a planned gift to Legal Aid. Such support has a lasting impact for those in need in Northeast Ohio. By making a testamentary planned gift to Legal Aid, your legacy will be a contribution to providing equal access to justice for all.

Alida Stuze, a charter member of the 1905 Society, believes wholeheartedly in preserving the future of Legal Aid and has included Legal Aid in her will knowing that this gift will help continue the mission of Legal Aid. Ms. Struze retired from Legal Aid in 2009 at age 88 after working at the organization for 42 years. Trained as a social worker, she counseled clients at Legal Aid for 10 years before transitioning into managing the lawyer referral program, matching private attorneys willing to take pro bono cases with Legal Aid clients.

Her relationship with hundreds of pro bono attorneys helped thousands of low-income clients access the justice system. “She is a longtime advocate for the legal profession, praising attorneys at every opportunity. Although she is retired, she still calls many of these attorneys “her family.”

Ms. Struze says, “At a time when Legal Aid needs money to help the ever-growing need for its services, it needs to know that it can depend on future gifts as well as current ones. It is one thing to talk about gratitude – my way of showing it was to leave as much as I could in my will.”

What do you want your legacy to be? Consider a planned gift to Legal Aid as Ms. Struze has done “” a gift in any amount will help Legal Aid continue its mission to secure justice and resolve fundamental problems for people who are low income and vulnerable by providing high-quality legal services and working for systemic solutions. To join the 1905 Society, contact Melanie A. Shakarian, Esq., Legal Aid’s Director of Development and Communications, at 216-861-5217, or


Join Legal Aid’s new Planned Giving Advisory Committee, focused on planned giving and other allied professionals.  Sign-up at

Special thanks to the inaugural members of Legal Aid’s Planned Giving Advisory Committee! The group met in April for an update about Legal Aid and planned giving efforts. The group will work as ambassadors for Legal Aid in the planned giving community, helping people to understand the significant impact Legal Aid has on Northeast Ohio. The Advisory Committee will gather periodically for meetings and continuing legal education programs.

Ilah Adkins
Charles Adler
Thomas Anderson
Maureen Beaver
Ann Bergen
Herbert Braverman
Donald Cairns
Dana DeCapite
Christina Evans
John Fidler
Julie Fischer
Karen Giffen
Alicia Graves
Joan Gross
Albert Hehr
Gerald Jackson
Stephen Kadish
Barbara Leadbetter
Wilbur Leatherberry
David Lenz
Stacey McKinley
Ellen Meehan
Ginger Mlakar
M. Lisa Monihan
Aaron O’Brien
Richard Panza
Michael Parente
Richard Petrulis
Patricia Poole
Elizabeth Rader
Susan Richlak
Neil Rubin
Missia Vaselaney
David Weiner
Erica Williams

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