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Poyner Spruill LLP honored the life and legacy of our late colleague Cheslie Kryst during our second annual Service Week. Kryst worked as an attorney then as the firm’s Diversity Advisor. She was passionate about volunteering at nonprofits and advocating for those in underserved communities. Kryst had a life-long battle with mental illness and died by suicide in January 2022. Each year, Poyner Spruill raises awareness for mental health resources and gives back to local communities in Kryst’s honor.

During May 6-10, 2024, Poyner Spruill organized the second annual Service Week. Kryst’s mother and mental health advocate, April Simpkins, began the week with a presentation about her involvement in the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in Kryst’s honor and the importance of mental health wellness. On Tuesday, the firm’s Charlotte office volunteered at the Hospitality House of Charlotte, doing yard work to improve the grounds of their facility. The Raleigh office partnered with the Green Chair Project on Wednesday to pack up furniture and computers for families in need. On Thursday, Poyner Spruill’s Rocky Mount office worked with Meals on Wheels to deliver meals to seniors in the community. To end the week, the Raleigh office helped Haven House Services by organizing and cleaning their Essentials Pantry.

“Service Week is a time for us to commemorate Cheslie’s memory by continuing her desire to give back to the community,” said Managing Partner Dan Cahill. “Cheslie meant a great deal to us, and we are grateful that we can honor her legacy by devoting a week to educating our firm about mental health and volunteering in our local communities.”

Poyner Spruill and Wake Forest University School of Law established the Cheslie C. Kryst Advocacy and Social Justice Law Scholarship in 2022. Each year, students from underrepresented backgrounds who are passionate about social justice and civil rights issues receive this award. To make a gift to the Cheslie C. Kryst Advocacy and Social Justice Law Scholarship, please visit wfu.law/cheslie.

 

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