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NCBF Receives Largest Gift

NCBF Receives Largest Gift

Announcement dignitaries included, front from left, Caryn McNeill, Ellie Bradshaw, Marie Dixon, Mary Ann Dixon Hubbard and Jason Hensley. Back: George Hausen, Garrett Dixon, Bill Dixon and Brett Hubbard.

The North Carolina Bar Foundation (NCBF) has received its largest gift ever as the result of planned gifts totaling nearly $1 million from the late Charles D. Dixon.

The funds have been designated to the NCBF Endowment’s Legal Aid of North Carolina (LANC) Fund, which Dixon helped launch in 2007 with a lead gift of $100,000. The Hickory attorney, who practiced for more than 60 years with Patrick, Harper & Dixon, died in 2016.

The Foundation’s largest gift since its establishment in 1960 was formally announced on Jan. 24 at the downtown Raleigh office of Legal Aid of North Carolina – 10 years to the date that the Charles D. Dixon Justice Fund was dedicated.

Click here to view photos from the announcement event.

Proceeds from the endowed gift will underwrite a dedicated position in LANC’s Morganton office, which serves Alexander, Avery, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, McDowell, Mitchell, Watauga and Yancey counties in northwest North Carolina.

“Endowing a position in Morganton in his name would be the most appropriate way to honor Mr. Dixon,” said George Hausen, executive director of LANC. “That way, hundreds of people will get legal representation who otherwise would not have.

“The gift really has an impact on the work that we do. And by using these funds for a specific purpose in the office that serves Mr. Dixon’s community, his gift will continue to give back to his community.”

Exactly 10 years prior to last week’s announcement, Charles Dixon, flanked by NCBA President Janet Ward Black and President-Elect Charles Becton, acknowledged the establishment of the Charles D. Dixon Justice Fund.

“Mr. Dixon was a visionary,” adds Caryn McNeill, president of the NCBF and the North Carolina Bar Association. “His gift invites all our members to see our Foundation as he saw it – as a powerful philanthropic partner that supports the causes we lawyers and legal professionals are most passionate about.”

Born on Dec. 12, 1926, Dixon was a 1943 graduate of Belmont High School. He proceeded to North Carolina State University and attended classes for two years before joining the U.S. Army. Upon his honorable discharge in 1947, he earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1952.

Dixon was inducted into the NCBA General Practice Hall of Fame in 2003 and was a past president of the Catawba County Bar Association and the 25th Judicial District Bar. He was married to the former Mary Louise Edgerton and the former Dorothy Lindsay, by both of whom he was predeceased, and is survived by four children, 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Son Bill Dixon and his wife Marie, daughter Mary Ann Dixon Hubbard and her husband Brett Hubbard, and grandson Garrett Dixon attended the ceremony. Garrett Dixon spoke on behalf of the family.

The LANC Fund was initiated during the 2006-07 bar year and activated in 2010 when two grants totaling nearly $28,000 were awarded to assist LANC staff lawyers with repayment of law school loans. Today the value of the LANC Fund is approaching $2.5 million, from which grants totaling nearly $300,000 have been awarded.

The primary beneficiaries of LANC Fund grants have been participants in the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Summer Internship program and staff attorneys who receive financial assistance through the Student Loan Repayment Assistance Project.

“Those of us in the Morganton office of Legal Aid of North Carolina came to know and admire Charles Dixon through his volunteer work as a faithful participant in our local pro bono intake project,” said Barbara Degen, senior managing attorney. “When we learned about the continuation of his support for our advocacy through his incredibly generous gift, we were overwhelmed.

“The use of these funds to support a Charles Dixon Fellowship in the Hickory area is a beautiful and appropriate tribute by the North Carolina Bar Foundation to honor the memory of this great and gentle man who cared so deeply for those in his community.”

“Mr. Dixon led a life of true service to his community and his neighbors,” added Ellie Bradshaw, managing partner at Patrick Harper & Dixon.

The North Carolina Bar Foundation is committed to uniting the talent and generosity of the legal profession to be a power of greater good for the people of North Carolina. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that was established by the North Carolina Bar Association, with which it is closely affiliated.