Athens firm honors milestone year by paying it forward
It’s a celebration 75 years in the making.
Forston, Bentley & Griffin, an Athens-based law firm, turns 75 this year. And they’re celebrating in a big way.
“We debated many different ways of celebrating the firm’s 75th and how to celebrate in a COVID world,” said Kevin Lang, partner at Forston, Bentley & Griffin. “But frankly, even absent COVID, I think we settled on a way of commemorating the milestone that feels true to the values of this firm.”
To mark 75 years of serving the Athens area, Forston, Bentley & Griffin has established a $75,000 donor-advised fund with the Athens Area Community Foundation — funds all aimed at boosting area nonprofits.
“We were looking for a way to celebrate the firm’s longevity and history. This just felt like the right way for us to do that,” explained Kevin. “The AACF does such a good job administering and connecting with nonprofits in the area. We felt like it was a good mechanism, a good way to structure our charitable giving.”
With the fund, Forston, Bentley & Griffin can continue to give back, connecting to more nonprofits in need.
“Sarah [McKinney, AACF President & CEO] and her team have such good connections with all the area nonprofits,” Kevin said. “They have such a good feel for who needs funding and what plans need support. They have insight we don’t have — which is so helpful. We value that insight.”
This isn’t the first time the firm has worked with the community foundation and it won’t be the last.
“We have confidence in Sarah and her team, as well as the board,” Kevin said. “In fact, this new partnership has gone so well, we’ll be continuing the relationship past our 75th anniversary.”
While this fund may be new, giving back isn’t. Serving their community is a long-standing tradition at Forston, Bentley & Griffin.
“Community involvement — and having the attorneys here at the firm actively involved in the community — is really important to us,” said Kevin. “And we have a history going back to the founding of the firm of being involved in organizations and giving to nonprofits that are important to our community.”
In a way, their history of service started even before their founding — in the jungles of the South Pacific and on the beaches of Normandy. Founded by a pair of veterans fresh out of service in World War II, Forston, Bentley & Griffin’s partners boast a history of service to both their country and their community.
“They had a pretty amazing young adulthood experience coming through World War II. Particularly Mr. Griffin with his experiences at Normandy,” said Kevin.
And giving back is one way they’re honoring that legacy.
“Our founding partners were so involved and so generous with their time, trying to do things that helped Athens and helped people in our community,” explained Kevin. “And we really try to make sure that ethos continues with the firm. We felt like this [fund] was a good reminder that this level of help and charitable giving is important.”
Giving through AACF also helps givers make a broad impact with their gift.
“It’s a great way to use the knowledge base the AACF has — to know what charities are out there, what their needs are, what impact they make on the community,” said Kevin. “For those who are interested in giving to charities in our area, I think this is a very good way to go about it.”