William & Mary

Law students collect 4,114 food items to help local community

  • BLSA Thanksgiving Baskets
    BLSA Thanksgiving Baskets  Winner of the judges' choice: section seven, complete with warming video fireplace.  Photo by David F. Morrill
  • BLSA Thanksgiving Baskets
    BLSA Thanksgiving Baskets  Section four was the winner of the most creative award with its "Wizard of Oz" display.  Photo by David F. Morrill
  • BLSA Thanksgiving Baskets
    BLSA Thanksgiving Baskets  Section 11 won for best content (and an uncanny likeness of the dean in judge's robes).  Photo by David F. Morrill
  • BLSA Thanksgiving Baskets
    BLSA Thanksgiving Baskets  Even "Game of Thrones" made it into this year's competition.  Photo by David F. Morrill
  • BLSA Thanksgiving Baskets
    BLSA Thanksgiving Baskets  The Law School Lobby was a hotbed of activity as teams planned and built their baskets.  Photo by Charles Alvis
  • BLSA Thanksgiving Baskets
    BLSA Thanksgiving Baskets  Creating Thanksgiving Baskets is truly a team activity.  Photo by Charles Alvis
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Students at William & Mary Law School set aside their studies for a little while Nov. 21, to participate in the 14th annual Thanksgiving Basket Competition sponsored by the Black Law Students Association (BLSA).

Each year just before Thanksgiving, first-year students representing sections of the Legal Practice Program compete by creating displays from a wide variety of canned and boxed foods. The sections compete to create the most inspired displays and greatest quantity of food collected. This year's spirited competition resulted in the collection of 4,114 canned and boxed food items and coupons for 12 turkeys, all donated to local people in need.

The entries were arrayed in the school's entrance hall and were judged in three categories: best content, most creative and judges' choice. This year's judges were Vice Dean Laura Heymann, Professor Paul Marcus and, representing the Dean's Office, Cassi Fritzius and Gloria Todd. Recognitions were given to section 11 for best content, section four for most creative and section seven for judges' choice.

BLSA created the Thanksgiving Basket Competition as an initiative to serve the local community.

"It truly is a 'Team Marshall-Wythe Law School' effort that very much represents what the citizen-lawyer concept looks like in practice," said Kendall Kemelek, J.D. '16, BLSA community service chair. "This year's competition followed the same tradition as all other years: food, fun and service. The more food we bring in, the more fun we have, and the benefit to the outlying community compounds."

To add to the event's success each year, BLSA solicits donations from local grocery stores and works hand-in-hand with Campus Kitchens, which assists in picking up the food and distributing it to people in need in the community.

This year, the school's Puller Veterans Benefits Clinic also hosted a food drive to collect holiday food items for the family of a local veteran.