Call to Justice Awards and ELM Logos

2016 Call to Justice Awards Honorees Announced

8th Annual Joe D. Sutton Call to Justice AwardsIn August 2016, nine advocates and three organizations from across Michigan will be honored at Elder Law of Michigan’s 8th Annual Joe D. Sutton Call to Justice Awards in recognition of their significant contributions to the fields of law and aging. Three awards receptions will be held on:

Mid-Michigan – Wednesday, August 17, 2016, 6 PM
Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, East Lansing, MI

Southeast Michigan – Tuesday, August 23, 2016, 6 PM
Edsel & Eleanor Ford House, Grosse Pointe Shores, MI

West Michigan – Wednesday, August 31, 2016, 6 PM
Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, MI

This year’s honorees are:


  • Alison HirschelAlison Hirschel, Director of the Michigan Elder Justice Initiative and the elder law specialist at the Michigan Poverty Law Program, selected in recognition of her work to secure justice for seniors across Michigan and the nation.
  • Karen-Kafantaris (2)Karen Kafantaris, AARP Associate State Director for Livable Communities, selected in recognition of her leadership in engaging volunteers assisting seniors across Michigan with a wide range of aging issues.
  • bobrpressphotoBob Robinson, Eaton County Treasurer, selected in recognition of his efforts in creating a model program to help seniors stay in their homes when facing tax foreclosure.
  • Tri-County TRIAD Logo (Cropped)Tri-County TRIAD, a collaboration of law enforcement and fire personnel, senior citizens, and the community, selected in recognition of its provision of vital services to Tri-County area seniors for nearly 30 years.

Southeast Michigan

  • Judge Derek MeineckeJudge Derek Meinecke, 44th District Court, Oakland County, selected in recognition of his work in ensuring seniors are treated with respect and dignity in the court system.
  • Rhonda Powell (Edited).pngRhonda Powell, Director of Macomb Community Action, selected in recognition of her leadership on aging issues throughout Southeast Michigan as well as across the entire state of Michigan.
  • Robert SpadaRobert Spada, Deputy Chief of the Special Victims Unit, Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, selected in recognition of his passion for protecting senior victims from abuse and exploitation.
  • First Step Logo (Downloaded)First Step, the Western and Downriver Wayne County Project on Domestic and Sexual Violence, in recognition of its leadership in providing domestic violence services to older victims across Southeast Michigan.

West Michigan

  • Bonnie Hogoboom(Edited)Bonnie Hogoboom, Resource & Integration Navigator at Region 3B Area Agency on Aging, selected in recognition of her passion in working to improve the lives of seniors throughout Calhoun County.
  • Nancy Kropiewnicki (Edited)Nancy Kropiewnicki, Contract Coordinator at Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan, selected in recognition of her leadership in acting as the driving force behind the Kent County Elder Abuse Coalition.
  • Catherine Metzler (Downloaded)(Edited)Catherine Metzler, Attorney at Miller Johnson, selected in recognition of her service, leadership, time, and resources provided to and as part of the Kalamazoo Elder Abuse Coalition.
  • Advocates for Senior IssuesAdvocates for Senior Issues, a non-partisan association of local citizens and organizations interested in the concerns and well-being of older adults, in recognition of service as a community voice for seniors across Western Michigan.

“Elder Law of Michigan has chosen to honor these individuals and organizations for their commitments to seniors and the recognition of these efforts by their peers in the service provider community. Each and every one of this year’s honorees have made a significant, positive impact on the lives of Michigan seniors by helping seniors put food on their tables, advocating for seniors regarding their legal issues both in and out of the courtroom, or championing the prevention of abuse and exploitation of vulnerable adults.” – Keith Morris, President of Elder Law of Michigan, Inc.

The Call to Justice Awards honor those that share the mission of Elder Law of Michigan to advocate for, educate, and assist those in need, with a continued focus on older adults and persons with disabilities. Previous Joe D. Sutton Call to Justice Awards honorees have included: U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (2013), Michigan Attorney General Frank Kelley (2011), Judge James Alexander (2015), Judge David M. Murkowski (2014), Judge Edward Sosnick (2012), WMU Cooley Law School’s Sixty Plus, Inc., Elderlaw Clinic (2015), and many other attorneys, medical professionals, members of the press, community activists, and local organizations.

The Call to Justice Awards reception includes a cocktail hour featuring hors-d’oeuvres and cash bar, followed by an awards ceremony celebrating our distinguished honorees. Reception tickets are available at at a cost of $99 per ticket, including a tax deductible contribution of $49. The net proceeds of the Call to Justice Awards benefit Elder Law of Michigan through the Access to Justice Fund by supporting Elder Law of Michigan‘s Legal Hotline for Michigan Seniors, providing thousands of seniors and vulnerable adults with no-cost legal services.

About the Access to Justice Campaign
Access to Justice CampaignElder Law of Michigan participates in the Access to Justice Fund to increase resources for civil legal aid to the poor in Michigan. The Access to Justice Fund is a partnership of the State Bar of Michigan, the Michigan State Bar Foundation, and Michigan’s civil legal aid programs. Tax deductible contributions to the Access to Justice Fund are received and administered by the Michigan State Bar Foundation according to the Access to Justice Fund Guidelines located at:

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