Nothing brings Auburn and Cayuga County, NY, together like an attack from outside forces. Just as the ancient Greek city-states came together to fend off attacks from their ancient common enemy, Persia, all of Auburn and Cayuga County recently united to fend off an attack by the National Texas-based Boy Scouts of America. And Michaels & Smolak is proud of its role in that battle. Here’s what happened, and what we did about it:
The Texas-based Boy Scouts of America forced the Auburn-based local Cayuga County Council Boy Scouts to “merge” with a larger local council, “Long House” Council, which occupies Onondaga County and other territories to our north. As part of the “merger”, the Texas-based Scouts were forcing the transfer all the Cayuga County Council’s assets to Long House Council, taking them out of local control. One gem-of-an asset was “Camp Rotary”, a 33-acre camp located on the east side of Owasco Lake and used by local scouts since 1910. It was clear, and neither the cash-strapped National Scouts nor the equally economically distressed Long House Council denied it, that once they acquired Camp Rotary, they intended to sell it off to developers for cash. To make matters worse, Camp Rotary sits right next to the Auburn YMCA’s “Camp Owasco” and the local Girl Scout Camp. Those groups were not anxious to have development so close by.
So the not-for-profits and good citizens of Cayuga County and Auburn bound their forces to fend off the attack, with the battle cry, “Save Camp Rotary”! Local leaders came to Michaels & Smolak looking for legal representation for the local not-for-profit which held title to Camp Rotary, the Owasco Camp Association. Michaels & Smolak took on the case, stood up to the big national Scouts in Court, and after a year and a half of tough-fought litigation, helped negotiate a settlement that culminated in Auburn’s YMCA acquiring the Camp for a relatively small sum of money – $350,000 (it is easily worth over $1 million). It is now saved forever for local youth use! You can read several news reports about the battle here, here and here.
Michaels & Smolak donated approximately $20,000 worth of free legal services in support of this worthy cause. In gratitude, on December 20, 2011, the Cayuga County Legislature issued a “Proclamation” wherein special recognition was given to Michaels & Smolak for their role in saving Camp Rotary.
The Auburn-based Central New York personal injury firm of Michaels & Smolak is proud of their commitment to local charities and causes, and we thank Auburn and Cayuga County for allowing us to serve.
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