March 31, 2017

Award-winning Indianapolis law firm demonstrates spirit of caring

By John Shaughnessy

There are two defining realities about the people and the organizations that are chosen to receive the archdiocese’s Spirit of Service Awards each year.

The first reality is how deserving the recipients are.

That point comes to light again when the executive director of Catholic Charities for the archdiocese talks about the recipient of this year’s Spirit of Service Corporate Award: the members of the Indianapolis-based law firm of Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman.

“They have demonstrated a real interest in helping Catholic Charities address the human and health services for those most vulnerable in our community,” says David Bethuram.

“Their staff has volunteered on our boards, councils, committees and task forces to help provide confidence, integrity and efficiency to how Catholic Charities wants to deliver service to those in need.”

The second reality about Spirit of Service Awards recipients is how much the honor means to them and how humbled they are to be chosen.

That point comes to light again as Gregg Wallander talks about the firm’s reaction to receiving the honor, which will be presented on April 26 during the 19th annual Spirit of Service Awards Dinner at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in Indianapolis.

“We’re surprised,” says Wallander, a lawyer with the firm. “It wasn’t something we ever pursued or asked for. We were told this reflects ‘a sum of the parts’—that we have a number of people in the firm who are active in their parishes and in the archdiocese. So we’re excited and appreciative.”

Wallander represents that involvement, helping with the Spirit of Service event for more than 10 years, including serving as the chairman of the awards dinner in 2016.

“It’s one of my favorite nights of the year,” he says. “Everything that Catholic Charities does is for the right reasons. They really help people to get on their feet, and they make a permanent difference in people’s lives—and for our community. I’ve just been so moved over the years to see what they do.”

Catholic Charities’ focus on improving the lives of about 75,000 people in central Indiana in 2016 not only helps individuals, families and the community, it also benefits businesses—a part of the community that Wallander is always encouraging to become more involved in the work of Catholic Charities.

He shares the story of a man who once lived in Holy Family Shelter in Indianapolis, a man who is now a successful business owner.

“Seeing that transformation, that’s a wow!” Wallander says.

Bethuram also knows the impact that happens when Catholic Charities is assisted by businesses such as Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman.

Saluting the firm for its “values, skills and accomplishments to the community,” Bethuram notes, “Catholic Charities’ collaboration with our corporate partners is a cornerstone of the dynamic approach we use to address the needs of poor families in our community. These collaborations help Catholic Charities listen, learn and implement the best long‑term solutions to poverty.” †

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