Sullivan & Worcester Wins American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer "Law Firm Challenge"


"Making Strides" Fundraising Team Sets Record in 2008, Beats Second Place Firm With More Than Double the Donations

S&W Press Release
March 9, 2009

Boston, MA – March 9, 2009 – Sullivan & Worcester LLP, a corporate law firm based in Boston, with offices in New York and Washington, D.C., announced today that they’ve won the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer "Law Firm Challenge" for the third year in a row.

According to the American Cancer Society, Sullivan & Worcester (S&W) was once again the firm with the most funds raised for the 2008 Challenge.  The team from S&W, comprised of employees and their families, raised $61,100 to support the Society’s programs of breast cancer research, education, advocacy, and patient services. 

“Winning this challenge for a third year in a row is just fantastic,” said Dianne Hertneky, Sullivan & Worcester’s Chief Operating Officer.  “To set a fundraising record in this tough economy is truly amazing.  It’s a testament to our incredible team here, many of whom have friends or family members whose lives have been impacted by breast cancer. Everyone really pitched in this year,” she added.  “Those who didn’t walk supported the cause through a variety of different efforts, and I’m really proud of our firm. We’re looking forward to defending our title again this fall!”

Law Firm Challenge Team Co-Captains: paralegal Chris Bullock and administrative assistant Patti Flannery, headed up a real grassroots effort that produced S&W’s largest team and highest fundraising total to date.  Their efforts included “pizza wars” among the firm’s floors, an in-house, on-line silent auction that included the offices in New York and Washington, D.C., a craft fair and raffle featuring homemade items, sales of a new “Sullivan & Worcester Family Cookbook” and a host of other creative initiatives, like collecting fees for “Jeans Friday,” that produced real results.  They also assembled a large team for the Making Strides Walk, held back in October.

In 2008, 16 law firms joined the Making Strides “Law Firm Challenge” and collectively raised more than $130,000 for the fight against breast cancer.  Sullivan & Worcester won in 2007 by raising about $45,000, and in 2006, with a total of more than $23,000.  The Society implemented the challenge in 2000, which fosters friendly competition among local law firms wanting to participate in its Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk, held annually in October.  In that time, firms have raised over $850,000 for the cause.

“We are truly appreciative of how the Law Firm Challenge has grown over the years and the creative ways that companies such as Sullivan & Worcester have developed to raise funds," said Steve Balfour, Director of the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. "Sullivan & Worcester has taken on a strong leadership role with this challenge as well as in making a difference in the lives of thousands of people impacted by breast cancer.”

S&W staffers credit management at the firm for their ability to win the Challenge, year after year.  “Our COO, Dianne Hertneky, communicates to our employees how important it is to take our charitable efforts to the next level,” says Bullock.  “She really leads by example, and when she gets directly involved in the fundraising, others follow.  It has allowed us to build a real support system around the effort,” adds Flannery.

Bullock and Flannery have really commandeered the fundraising efforts at Sullivan & Worcester.  He has a rapidly growing cookie baking business within the firm that fully benefits Making Strides, and she has been just as entrepreneurial, forming a lunchtime knitting group whose creations are also sold or auctioned off for Making Strides.  Flannery was also one of only 49 individuals who received the 2008 American Cancer Society Sandra C. Labaree New England Volunteer Values Award at October’s Walk.  The whole firm has really gathered around the cause, though, pulling in vendors to donate, and giving fellow staffers undergoing final cancer treatments a send-off, complete with flowers and a small celebration.

Making Strides is the nation’s oldest and largest one-day breast cancer fundraiser, and is the American Cancer Society’s signature event during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.  In 2008, almost 40,000 people walked the 5.7 mile route along the Charles River Esplanade in Boston and raised nearly $3.4 million.

Boston is one of more than 100 Strides events held throughout the nation. 2009 will mark the event’s 17th anniversary and will be held on Sunday, October 4.

About Sullivan & Worcester LLP:

Sullivan & Worcester LLP is a leading corporate law firm providing counsel to domestic and international clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to emerging businesses. With more than 185 lawyers in Boston, New York and Washington, D.C., the firm offers services in a wide range of areas, including corporate finance, securities, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, tax, real estate, private equity and venture capital, bankruptcy, regulatory law, and employment and benefits. Sullivan & Worcester is also recognized for its representation of REITs and its deep expertise in mutual fund law. For more information please visit

About the American Cancer Society:

The American Cancer Society is the nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer through research, education, advocacy and service.  For more information on Making Strides Against Breast Cancer call 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit