2018 Citizen Lawyer Award Winner Donald Prentiss
The Citizen Lawyer Committee of the NCBA Young Lawyers Division, in conjunction with the NCBA Citizen Lawyer Committee, provides expanded coverage of the 2018 Citizen Lawyer Award recipients in recognition of their volunteer service and leadership in their communities and beyond.
By Rebecca A. Poole
ELIZABETH CITY – For more than 35 years, Donald Prentiss has been an active citizen and leader in Elizabeth City. Although Prentiss has devoted many hours in the office and courtroom during his career as a civil litigator, his most noteworthy time has been spent within his community.
Early in his legal career, Prentiss was inspired to get involved with the Food Bank of Albemarle. After seeing firsthand from some of his own clients that their next meal was not guaranteed, Prentiss wanted to do all he could to help feed those in need within his community. Prentiss has done just that for the last 30 years, which includes his role on the Food Bank of Albemarle’s Board of Directors from 1990 to 1999.
Liz Reasoner, the Executive Director of the Food Bank of Albemarle, applauds Prentiss’ role within the organization: “While serving as President of the Board of Directors in 1998, Prentiss kicked off a large capital campaign that raised more than $500,000 in capital funds. This enabled the Food Bank of Albemarle to move from an old 3,000 square foot tire warehouse to a brand new 20,000 square foot facility in 1999. In 2008, he was invited back to help launch the Food Bank of Albemarle’s new Mobile Food pantry Partnership with Kraft Foods. I know we are a stronger organization because of his dedication and commitment to the Food Bank of Albemarle’s vision that by 2025 our communities will be hunger free.”
Prentiss has continued his support of the Food Bank of Albemarle by providing counsel to the organization on legal issues it encounters. Prentiss also provides constant support for the Food Bank of Albemarle’s current leadership and advice on how to promote community involvement and engagement of the Food Bank of Albemarle’s mission and fundraising opportunities. Prentiss has truly enjoyed his role within the Food Bank of Albemarle and says it has helped him “guard against being one dimensional.”
Prentiss has been a true advocate for his clients and his community over the past 35 years and the North Carolina Bar Association is pleased to recognize Prentiss with the 2018 Citizen Lawyer Award.
Rebecca A. Poole is an attorney for Ellis Family Law in Durham.