By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
The Interfaith Alliance of Oklahoma’s 2016 Annual Meeting, Dinner and Awards Presentation will be held on Thursday, October 20 at the Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, in Oklahoma City.
Check in will begin at 6 p.m. with a buffet dinner and program to follow. The deadline to register is Tuesday, October 18.
A non-partisan, clergy-led grassroots organization, the Interfaith Alliance Foundation of Oklahoma’s mission is to promote the positive, healing role of faith in civic life and to challenge intolerance and extremism.
The evening’s special guest speaker will be Federal Judge Robert Bacharach, on the Tenth United States Circuit Court of Appeals.
Bacharach’s topic will be “The Importance of an Independent Judiciary in Preserving Our Democracy.”
President Barack Obama nominated Judge Bacharach on January 4, 2013 to a seat vacated by Robert H. Henry. His nomination was confirmed by the Senate on February 25 that year.
After graduating from the University of Oklahoma and Washington University School of Law, Judge Bacharach practiced law in civil litigation at Crowe & Dunlevy in Oklahoma City for approximately 12 years. He then served as a United States Magistrate Judge in the Western District of Oklahoma for 14 years.
Bacharach is the recipient of the Federal Bar Association’s Earl W. Kintner Award and Special President’s Award. The American Bar Association gave Judge Bacharach a unanimous rating of “well qualified,” which is the highest rating given.
Bacharach has served on the Board of Directors of the Lawyers Helping Lawyers Foundation, which helps attorneys experiencing depression, alcoholism, and drug dependency. He also served as the Director and Executive Committee Member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Oklahoma City.
In a 2015 interview with Norman Transcript reporter Joy Hampton, Judge Bacharach said, “Working as a magistrate judge, I came to believe that every lawsuit or criminal proceeding was the most important one, because it was the most important to those parties.”
Regarding his new role in the Tenth Circuit, Bacharach stated, “All of us really try to abide by the principle that justice delayed is justice denied. I want to approach each day with the earnestness of purpose that I came into the job with.”
The evening will also include the introduction of the organization’s 2017 officers and board members by Carl J. Rubenstein, MD, President of the Interfaith Alliance of Oklahoma.
The 2016 Harley Ventors Humanitarian Award will be given to Gene Rainbolt, Founder and Chairman of BancFirst.
In addition, the Community Service Award will honor Steven Charles, head of RockTown Youth Mentoring, a program that works with under-served youth in Oklahoma City.
Individual tickets are $50 per person. Gold table sponsorships including a table of eight are available for $500, and Silver sponsorships costs $250 for a half-table for four.
With over 150,000 members drawn from more than 50 traditions, local Alliances in 38 states and a national network of religious leaders, The Interfaith Alliance works to encourage compassion, civility and mutual respect for human dignity in an ever increasing diverse society.
Interfaith Alliance Foundation of Oklahoma memberships are $20 for individuals and $50 for family memberships. Student memberships are $10.
“Your membership in TIA is an investment in a hope for a better Oklahoma.” Rubenstein said. “Be the first to join The Interfaith Alliance Foundation of Oklahoma with your 2017 Membership. Joining today, or before the end of 2016, allows you to receive the benefit of a 2016 contribution for the 2017 year.”
To register online, visit www.tiaok.org or for more information, call 405-755-4638.