WVAJ Presents Car to Community Unity Organizer
Shayla Leftridge Sold Her Car to Pay for September Event
November 1, 2016
Charleston, W.Va. -- The West Virginia Association for Justice presented a car to Shayla Leftridge, the Institute woman who sold her car to cover expenses for the Community Unity event she organized in September. More than 100 WVAJ attorney members from throughout West Virginia donated money to purchase the car for Leftridge. The car was presented to Leftridge by WVAJ President Jane Peak.
Community Unity brought together hundreds of community members, including area families, law enforcement officers, other first responders and elected officials. The event was organized in the wake of growing protests over police brutality nationally.
"It is an honor for the West Virginia Association for Justice and our members to present this car to Shayla Leftridge today. In the wake of rising tensions between law enforcement and community members in other cities across the country, Shayla stepped up because she didn't want to see it happen here. Shayla is a perfect example of what one person can do to make a real difference in people's lives and neighborhoods," said Peak, who practices in Morgantown with Allan N. Karlin and Associates.
WVAJ member and Charleston attorney J. Timothy DiPiero coordinated the effort for the association after learning about the Community Unity event and the personal sacrifice Leftridge made to pay for the event.
"There are so many negative news stories every day. It's disheartening, but then I was watching the news and saw the story on Shayla and what she did to bring our community residents and our police officers together. I started thinking about what we could do to help her out and help this effort continue to grow," said DiPiero, who practices with the Charleston firm of DiTrapano, Barrett, DiPiero, McGinley and Simmons.
"I decided that I'd ask 100 WVAJ members to give $100 each so that we could purchase a car to replace the one she sold. I was so pleased that we got that and more so we're able to not only buy her the car, but also help fund next year's Community Unity event. I am hopeful that Shayla’s event, along with the efforts of others who are working to improve police and community relations, will help make Charleston a more fair, safe and friendly city."
DiPiero also thanked Tim Short Acura of South Charleston, which reduced the sale price of the car in recognition of Leftridge's work and community leadership. Shayla Leftridge herself was surprised when told that WVAJ would be presenting her with a car.
"I couldn't believe it. I called several friends because it didn't seem real to me. Then, I met with Tim and he showed me the stack of checks that he had received from people I don't know who wanted to help me. I never saw that many checks. It was overwhelming. I just started crying," said Leftridge.
"It means so much that people saw what I did and wanted to help me. They cared about what I did, and they want to help me keep doing it. That's what so special about this community and this state. There are so many caring people, and they want to step up and help each other. That's why I wanted to make this community stronger and safer for everyone. So many people don't have what we have here."
"The good news is that I won't have to sell this car. The response to my event has been overwhelming. A lot of people want to support Community Unity and help it grow. I'm very blessed."
WVAJ AFFINITY PARTNERS