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For Ziff Law Firm paralegal, helping is a family tradition
By Jim Reed
Ziff Law Firm, Elmira
At the Ziff Law Firm, we're proud to work with people who care so much about giving back to their communities, both at work and in their personal time. For Annette Viselli Thorne, a paralegal at Ziff Law, helping others has been a big part of her life since childhood.
Her father, the late Tony Viselli of Sayre, Pa., set an example for a teenage Annette. "It never hit me until a few years ago that I am following in my father's footsteps and he'd be proud," said Annette, who is busy collecting new mittens, gloves, scarves and hats for all ages this month as part of Ziff Law's annual Mitten Drive.
Annette organizes the Mitten Drive, now in its 13th year, every holiday season for Ziff Law. To donate, drop off new items at our law firm at 303 William St. in downtown Elmira weekdays during business hours and you will be entered in a Dec. 20 drawing for one of two great prizes.
Annette’s father, who was a machinist at Ingersoll-Rand, served for 57 years with the Sayre Volunteer Fire Department and involved Annette in a lot of their fundraisers for the department and others in the community. The fundraisers included helping with Salvation Army’s annual kettle drive and an annual fire department auction.
"There were many times growing up where I'd go with him to somebody's house to help with whatever was needed," she said. "He’d say, 'come on, let’s go,' and I was right there with him because I knew why we were going out and what was going to happen."
Annette's other big annual community service project is Ziff Law's popular Veteran of the Game program, where people in the community nominate a military veteran to be honored during home Elmira Enforcers pro hockey games at First Arena in Elmira and during Elmira Pioneer games in the summer at Dunn Field.
The program has honored hundreds of veterans and their families. Annette was inspired to start the program when Ziff Law partner Adam Gee mentioned one day that the Buffalo Sabres honored veterans during their games. Annette was immediately excited about starting the program at First Arena with the support of Ziff Law.
"It’s awesome to work for a law firm that is so supportive of community service," she said.
Annette contacts Twin Tiers veteran organizations every year to interest volunteers in the program. She coordinates the program between the veterans and the Arena, and does it all behind the scenes, just like the Mitten Drive. The winter clothing donated this year will be available to the less fortunate in our community on Christmas Eve during the Giving Back program at First Arena.
This holiday season, the folks at the Ziff Law Firm hope everyone remembers the example set by people like Annette and so many others and performs simple acts of kindness in their communities. You can help Annette with her Mitten Drive if you wish -- call 607-733-8866 and ask for Annette if you have questions -- or provide assistance in some other way of your choosing.
Every act of kindness, big or small, helps someone in need and may inspire others to do the same.
Thanks for reading,
Photos in text: Attorney Jim Reed; Annette Viselli Thorne and the Mitten Tree.
Recent columns by Jim Reed:
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The Catharine Valley Trail is a jewel of the FLX
Seneca Lake boaters, do you have enough liability insurance?
Be prepared to act quickly after a motor vehicle crash
WNY snowmobile crashes put spotlight on dangers
Getting to the truth about medical malpractice cases
Recent column by Ziff Law’s Mike Brown:
Cayuta man and his family face many challenges ahead