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cotter lifting 2012

My name is Dan Cotter, aka The Lifting Lawyer.  I take my passion with powerlifting and pair it with raising money for mentoring.  The violence in Chicago this summer has been increasing. As a larger community, we must work together to provide alternatives to our youth. As the Chair of Lawyers Lend-A-Hand To Youth, I have been trying to literally shoulder part of a solution the last decade. I’ve witnessed how mentoring makes a difference in our community’s youth.   For example, at an award of a grant in May, I spoke with the mentees in one of the best practices mentoring programs supported by Lend-A-Hand.  They spoke of their arriving at the mentoring location early each day, directly from school, and said it was  “a sanctuary from the violent streets around them.”  The Executive Director of the program echoed their sentiments, telling me that the mentees were there anxiously awaiting his arrival each day.

In 2002, I created the unique fundraiser, Lifting to Lend A Hand.  I decided to combine my passion for mentoring with my love of power-lifting and competes in a regular power lifting competition. Like a walkathon, donors pledge a flat amount or by the pound. I then do the heavy lifting by competing in the meet and then I collect the pledges.   It is as grassroots as its gets, relying on emails and word of mouth for support.   In ten prior campaigns, I’ve personally raised more than $250,000 for mentoring.  This year, I became Chicago Bar Association President, so I announced plans to lift one final time with a goal of $100,000.   That amount equals one year of grants by Lend-A-Hand to best practice mentoring programs.  I’m lifting in the ADFPF National Powerlifting Championship on July 19 in Quincy, IL.  Please partner with me by donating at  With only a few days left, I’ve raised more than $52,000, please help me lift the rest!

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