The Will County Bar Association presented Service to the Community Awards during its annual Christmas party on Dec. 5 at Mistwood Golf Club in Romeoville.
The nonprofit association serves the Will County legal community. This year’s gala also served as a fundraiser for the Daybreak Center homeless shelter. The event was hosted by Bar Association President Erin Webster O’Brien, Vice President Don DeWilkins and Second Vice President Bob Bodach, who also served as emcee for the evening.
Each year the association presents Service to the Community Awards to one lawyer and one non-lawyer. Previous honorees include Sen. Edward Petka, Judge Gerald R. Kinney, George Rydman, Dr. Kristine Condon, Sam Andreano and Terry D’Arcy.
The Lawyer Award is presented to an attorney or judge who has advanced the legal profession through education, counseling, advocating and service to the community.
The 2019 award was presented to the Judge Richard C. Schoenstedt. Schoenstedt is a third-generation Will County attorne. For many years before taking the bench, he was a practicing attorney and community volunteer. Schoenstedt has served as a judge since 2001. He has served as chief judge since 2012.
Under his his leadership, Will County planned and has begun construction of its new courthouse, which is expected to open next year.
“Decades in discussion, years in preparation and construction, now months from opening … you got it done,” Bodach said.
The non-Lawyer Award is presented to a non-lawyer member of the Will County legal community who, through community service, hard work and dedication to their profession, has advanced the reputation of the legal community as a whole.
The 2019 award was presented to James M. Roolf, senior vice president and corporate relations officer of First Midwest Bank.
Roolf has served on the boards of Silver Cross Hospital, Will County Center for Economic Development, Joliet Catholic Academy and the American Red Cross Illinois River Valley Chapter. He has chaired the United Way of Will County’s Campaign numerous times and regularly gives of his time to Cornerstone Services and the Easter Seals Celebration of Giving Telethon.
Roolf volunteers locally while also taking his talents to state and national organizations. As chairman of the Illinois Bankers Association, Roolf has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Jim’s character, integrity and kindness to others represent the values of our profession,” Bodach said. “He has shown a desire to serve his community and his profession.”