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McGuireWoods Provides Pro Bono Assistance to Nonprofit Arts Program for Veterans

A startup nonprofit organization that provides expressive arts programs for military veterans and their families gained tax-exempt status as a public charity, thanks to pro bono legal services provided by McGuireWoods.

The Armed Services Arts Partnership (ASAP) works with veterans, nonprofits and colleges to provide creative outlets for veterans and their families. ASAP began as a student-led initiative at the College of William & Mary that offered writing seminars for service members and veterans residing between Richmond, Va., and Virginia Beach. The initiative grew to include music sessions and standup comedy classes.

McGuireWoods associate Bradley Ridlehoover connected with ASAP founder and William & Mary graduate Sam Pressler in March 2015 after learning about the organization’s need for legal help from the Greater Richmond Bar Foundation’s Pro Bono Clearinghouse. Brad was impressed by Sam’s energy and determination and by his success in launching the William & Mary Center for Veterans Engagement.

“Brad allayed many of my concerns at the outset, and then was able to provide me with invaluable direction and support throughout the incorporation and determination process,” Sam said. “Brad went above and beyond, providing us with immediate feedback on our [IRS] Form 1023, connecting us to McGuireWoods’ trademark specialists in a time of need, and offering us timely legal counsel whenever we sent questions his way. It's hard for me to imagine the Armed Services Arts Partnership having a better pro bono experience.”

The McGuireWoods team applied for tax-exempt status in July 2015 and the Internal Revenue Service approved the request in September 2015. McGuireWoods associate Emily Voorheis helped ASAP by providing guidance in obtaining trademark protection.

“Sam’s dedication to helping veterans is inspiring,” Brad said. “It was an honor for us to assist him by incorporating the organization and obtaining IRS recognition as a public charity. I believe the organization will do great things through the efforts led by Sam and his ASAP team. I look forward to continuing our partnership.”