Ross, Dixon & Bell doesn’t have much time left before the law firm’s name is lost in its merger with Atlanta-based Troutman Sanders. But that’s not keeping the D.C.-based firm, which will merge on Jan. 2, from getting into the holiday spirit.
For the past four years, the Make-A-Wish Program has teamed with college football's San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. This year, due to economic considerations, one of the companies that made a major commitment pulled its sponsorship of the program just two weeks ago -- leaving 600 kids in limbo after they had been promised a trip to Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, a party with a band and food, and a chance to participate in the bowl game festivities. Roy Bell, a San Diego-based partner at Ross, Dixon and a member of the Poinsettia Bowl's sponsorship committee, felt "horrible" when he heard the story.
Bell and two other San Diego-based senior partners, Mike Whitton and Fletcher Paddison, convinced the firm to scrap what would have been its 35th consecutive holiday party and use that money, along with personal donations from the firm’s lawyers and staff, to fund what the company had abandoned. Bell declines to name the company or how large the commitment was, but does say tickets to the game alone cost $38 apiece.
Lawyers and staff “unanimously voted to cancel" the party to help out the kids, Bell says.
So, with Ross, Dixon’s support, hundreds of children who live with life-threatening conditions will get their party and be able to attend tonight's bowl game while serving as honorary captains, helping with the opening coin toss, and retrieving the tee after the opening kickoff.
"This is really a gift to the Make-A-Wish program from us for all they do. There are a lot of kids recovering, and something like this gives them real hope. I can't wait until we get to meet each other," says Bell.
By the way, Bell says he'll be attending the game – which should be a compelling matchup, as Boise State (12-0) is looking to complete its second undefeated season in three years against another elite program in Texas Christian University (10-2). Bell says, "It's gonna be a hoot." When asked if he'd give the BLT a final score and a winner, he laughs, "You won't get a score from me. I'm going to be stopping by both schools’ suites so I don’t want to go there."