West Broward Bar Association becomes business partner to Seminole Middle School; Golf tournament May 12 helps fund school law program

An accidental conversation was the spark for a solid business partnership and a May 12 charity golf fundraiser between the West Broward Bar Association (WBBA) and Seminole Middle School in Plantation.

“I was in the school, telling someone my goals to [grow the law program] and said I would love to get in touch with the Broward Bar when a nearby mother, who happened to be a lawyer overheard me,” said Mell Rupp, law teacher and department head at Seminole Middle explaining how the parent got him involved with the Bar. “At the time the West Broward Bar was just forming, so I went to a luncheon and met a lot of local judges.”

That luncheon led a strong partnership with the association, with Mr. Rupp focused on creating interactive learning opportunities for students in the Seminole Middle law program.

“Building a partnership like this takes a lot of hard work and I commend Mr. Rupp for his focus on finding this opportunity for students,” said Nina Randall, executive director of Partners In Education (PIE), a local non-profit that has helped develop thousands of school/business partnership. “At PIE we strive every day to help Broward County Public Schools learn how to develop these important relationships with the community and I am proud to see Seminole Middle take the initiative in creating this partnership with the West Broward Bar.”

The Department of Enhanced Communications and Law program, or DECAL, at Seminole Middle, gives students opportunities to push themselves to earn early high school credits in addition to taking advanced languages, math and communications such as Spanish, Speech, Debate as well as law classes.

Through the West Broward Bar Association, students have had tours of the courthouse, conducted mock trials and have spoken with local members of the legal community. Howard Finklestein with Channel 7’s Help Me Howard, Michael Satz, Broward state attorney and juvenile judge Elijah Williams, among others, have all taught the middle school students simple legal procedures.

“The West Broward Bar partnership is really a great fit, and this year, the West Broward Bar Association approached Seminole Middle about (expanding our relationship by) having a charity event that benefited the school,” added Rupp. “The Bar Association usually does charity events and they decide to do it for the school since they knew we were struggling with cuts.”

The West Broward Bar Inaugural Golf Classic will be held May 12 at the Plantation Preserve Golf Course and Club  (7050 W Broward Blvd., Plantation). The Classic will raise funds to buy computers and materials for the law students at Seminole Middle School.

The Seminole Middle School DECAL program is the only active non-magnet school government and law program in Broward County. WBBA President Michael Rajtar said that the legal organization is partnering with the law program to benefit the next generation.

The tournament is open to the public and will begin with registration and lunch at 11:30 a.m. followed by shotgun start at 1 p.m. After the event, cocktails will be served from 5 – 6 p.m. followed by an awards dinner, silent auction and a raffle. Players will include attorneys, judges, and parents of Seminole Middle School students.

Tickets are $100 per golfer and several sponsorship levels are available starting at $250. For more information or to register online, go to (www.westbrowardbar.com).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: