Nonprofit Connect has announced its 2020 Philanthropy Awards Honorees, which include a large group of Kansas Citians who have impacted the community. Shook, Hardy & Bacon is pleased to share that retired Partner Gene Balloun has been selected as the “Volunteer of the Year” for his commitment to foster and adopted children.
Balloun, and the other honorees, will be recognized at the annual Awards Luncheon, May 13, 2020, at the Muehlebach Tower at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown.
Balloun says this accomplishment could not have happened without the unwavering support of his law firm. In 2018, the scholarship fund he founded hit a milestone with pro bono adoptions. The Kansas Foster and Adoptive Children Scholarship Fund reached $1 million in scholarships awarded to foster children since the program began in 2001. The program uses state-paid fees from pro bono adoption cases to fund the program. More than 1,500 Kansas adoption cases have been completed, helping families complete the legal process of finding permanent homes for children.
Balloun, who continues to do pro bono work, started the scholarship program while providing pro bono adoption assistance, together with other Shook attorneys, to families and children. In addition, Balloun and his wife have been foster parents to 29 children, and adopted a son and a daughter who were in foster care.