The 2017 Champions of Justice Gala Benefiting Veterans raised $560,200 to help provide civil legal services to low-income Texas veterans.
The eighth annual gala, held Wednesday in Austin, has raised more than $3 million since its inception. The State Bar of Texas underwrites the event to ensure that proceeds go to helping veterans get legal assistance.
Highlights of the 2017 gala included a keynote presentation by former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker, III, and the official launch of the Joe Jamail Endowment for Veteran Legal Services. Houston attorney Richard Mithoff created the endowment fund in honor of the late Joe Jamail, a longtime supporter of the gala and of legal services to the poor in Texas.
Efrén C. Olivares, who directs the Racial and Economic Justice Program at the South Texas Civil Rights Project, accepted the James B. Sales Boots on the Ground award for his work on behalf of low-income Texans.