Our Commitment to the Community
At Fox Farley Willis & Burnette, we focus our efforts and our practice on helping those in our community who are at their most vulnerable. We understand that our success is dependent on the community we serve. That’s why we want to support our community as much as possible, and not just from the standpoint of representing people who need a lawyer. Our firm and everybody in our firm is committed to participating in the community in a meaningful way.
Here are a few ways we are giving back:
Fox Farley Willis & Burnette Scholarship Fund: We have established a fund to award scholarships to graduating seniors at each of the Anderson County high schools in order to help with the rising costs of attending college. The scholarships are based on both academic performance and community service. In line with our desire to support the more vulnerable, we also focus our criteria on children of single parents and seniors who would be the first generation of their family to attend college.
Second Harvest Food Bank: Second Harvest is the largest hunger relief organization in East Tennessee, serving over 200,000 who are at-risk of hunger. 1 in 5 children in our community are at-risk of hunger on a daily basis. We have partnered with Second Harvest in their “Food for Kids” program to help provide food for at-risk children at Briceville Elementary School.
Autism Society of East Tennessee: Fox Farley Willis & Burnette has been a strong supporter of the Autism Society of East Tennessee for many years. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are increasingly being identified throughout America, but in our area as well. ASES supports efforts at both education and providing services to the autism community. Through personal experiences of members of our firm, we have seen the significant need for support of those who have been diagnosed with being on the autism spectrum. We have been long time supporters of the annual Autism Society of East Tennessee’s charity golf tournament. Bruce Fox, in particular, has helped organize and support the golf tournament since its inception. Bruce has also been engaged in helping to establish and support Breakthrough Corporation, which was established to provide residential and in-home supports for adults focusing on lifelong education, job skill development and community integration. Though services for children with ASD have been available for many years, those services have traditionally stopped once a child reaches adulthood, except for the severely disabled. Breakthrough is changing the way adults with special needs due to ASD are being supported and integrated into the community as a whole.
Amachi Knoxville: It is a tragic fact of life that children experience one or more of their parents spending time in prison. It is also a tragic fact that, statistically, approximately 70% of these children will spend time in prison as adults as well, unless there is intervention. Amachi is an organization dedicated to stopping this cycle by providing volunteers serve as mentors to these children. Children with mentors do better in school, get along better with their families and are less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol than their peers. Having a mentor is great for any child, but for a child whose parents are locked up, it’s a lifeline. A mentor shows the child by example that there is a better way. Mentors teach these children life skills that can literally save their lives. Attorney Brad Burnette has been serving as a mentor for years with Amachi. Fox Farley Willis & Burnette is proud that last year, Brad was honored as mentor of the year for the entire organization.
CASA of the Tennessee Heartland: Each year, hundreds of children are removed from their homes because of abuse and neglect in Anderson, Blount and Scott Counties. Currently, CASA of the Tennessee Heartland is able to give a voice of hope to half of these children. The core purpose of CASA of the Tennessee Heartland is to provide a voice for abused and neglected children in our community. As a non-profit, volunteer-based agency, our mission is to empower CASA volunteers to advocate on behalf of abused and neglected children in juvenile court. It has been proven that children with a CASA volunteer do not get “forgotten” in the foster care system, they receive necessary services and medications and are less likely to return to the court system. Fox Farley Willis & Burnette has been a strong supporter of CASA for years, including providing primary sponsorship for its largest fundraiser each year, the “Barbeque and Bluegrass Bash.” Attorney John Willis has been especially involved with CASA, providing pro bono legal services and serving on its Board of Directors. Currently, John is the President of CASA’s board.
Tennessee Wildlife Federation: If you spend more than just a few minutes with Bruce Fox, you will learn at least two things. First, Bruce has been an avid hunter since he was a child growing up in Anderson County. Second, Bruce is passionate about preserving our wildlife and conserving our natural resources for future generations. The Tennessee Wildlife Federation naturally brings those passions together. The TWF is the largest and oldest organization in Tennessee dedicated to the conservation of the state’s wildlife and natural resources through stewardship, youth engagement, and public policy. Fox Farley Willis & Burnette has supported the TFW for years through fundraising and educational efforts. In particular, Bruce is honored to serve on its Board of Directors, having most recently been elected by his fellow directors to Vice-Chairman.
Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding (STAR): STAR provides Equine Assisted activities for children and adults with physical, mental and neurological disabilities. Working with, grooming and riding horses in a controlled, supported environment helps individuals with balance, coordination and muscle tone through exercises done on horseback. Psychological benefits include increased independence, motivation and self-control. Vocabulary development and sequential learning contribute to cognitive gains, and self-esteem soars as the riders learn to control their mounts. The recreational aspect of STAR’s program proves invaluable for these special persons who normally cannot participate in conventional sports. STAR has tailored, specific programs for children, at-risk youth, and adults (including veterans suffering from traumatic brain injuries, sensory loss and/or PTSD). Fox Farley Willis & Burnette has been a proud donor for years. We have gotten to know this program so well through the participation of John Willis’s son in the riding program. Working with horses has provided him with a tremendous amount of confidence and helped him overcome many sensory and developmental challenges associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Friday Night Football and Full Court Press: There is probably nothing more American and unchanged than high school football and basketball games. They are still one of the cornerstones of our community, where everybody sees everybody else. With several graduates of Clinton High School here at Fox Farley Willis & Burnette, including Bruce Fox and Mike Farley, we are proud to be the supporters of Clinton High School’s athletic department. We have also sponsored the radio broadcasts of the CHS football and basketball games on WYSH radio for years, bringing the excitement of Dragons athletics to those who aren’t able to attend the games.
Anderson County Fair: “The six best days of summer” comes to Anderson County every July and Fox Farley Willis & Burnette is there! From providing the hospitality tent with free water, free ice cream on Senior Citizens Day, providing games like the “Cash Grab” and raffles for great prizes, we always have a great time at the Fair. The Fair brings together our entire community in Anderson County, and we love seeing our friends and meeting new people every year.
Preservation of America’s Civil Justice system and our 7th Amendment rights to trial by jury: As attorneys focused primarily on representing clients who have been wronged by the conduct of companies and individuals, we are keenly aware of how fragile our system of justice is. The founding fathers tried to secure our rights to a trial by jury in our Constitution through adoption of the Bill of Rights. For decades, however, that right has been constantly under assault by special interests who seek to avoid responsibility for their actions in causing harms and losses to Americans. Fox Farley Willis & Burnette is dedicated to the continued struggle to maintain those rights. That’s why we participate in such organizations as the American Association for Justice, the Tennessee Association for Justice and Lawyers Involved For Tennessee. In fact, Bruce has been a trustee of LIFT and is currently vice-president of TAJ. We are proud to continue the fight started by our forefathers more than two centuries ago to uphold a civil justice system that relies on values like responsibility and accountability.
If you would like to learn more about some of the fantastic organizations discussed above, please visit their websites: