Denver, CO (PressExposure) January 11, 2012 -- Reeves Whalen, an associate at Burg Simpson, who practices personal injury and pharmaceutical drug litigation, recently concluded fundraising efforts on behalf of the Red Cloud Indian School in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Mr. Whalen visited and participated in class instruction at the Red Cloud Indian School in April 2011. Thereafter, he was prominently featured in the August 2011 Edition of Trial Magazine for his involvement in a letter writing campaign aimed at addressing the issue of poverty and alcohol abuse on the reservation and his efforts to raise funding for the school. Mr. Whalen became familiar with the Red Cloud Indian School when their men's basketball team appeared during a half time scrimmage at the Denver Nuggets Pepsi Center in 2009.
The Red Cloud Indian School was founded in 1888 and has over 600 students in elementary, middle, and high school programs. Red Cloud has an annual average attendance rate of over 90% and is credited with an impressive 45 Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholarship recipients, the highest per capita in the country. Over 90% of the school's operating budget comes from private donations. The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is 2.8 million acres, making it the second-largest reservation in the United States. However, approximately 80% of the residents are unemployed, 49% are living below the Federal poverty line, the per-capita income is the second poorest in the United States, the infant mortality rate is five times higher than the national average, the reservation has the highest teenage suicide rate in the country, and life expectancy is the second lowest in the western hemisphere behind Haiti. Obesity, diabetes, and heart disease occur in epidemic proportions on the Pine Ridge and death rates due to diabetes among Native Americans are 3 times higher than among the general United States population. While visiting the school, Mr. Whalen met with administrators, teachers, and participated in classroom instruction.
"What I'm doing her matters, this is a program in serious financial need and their students, who are performing miraculously under horrible conditions, deserve our immediate attention and support. These conditions exist here in America and we have a duty to act," commented Whalen. Mr. Whalen concluded his fundraising efforts this past week and presented donations to school officials on Friday November 18, 2011.
Mr. Whalen is an accomplished Colorado injury attorney. In 2011, Reeves Whalen was selected by the Denver Business Journal as a "Forty Under 40" Rising Star. In 2010, Mr. Whalen was selected as a Finalist by the Colorado Bar Association for the "Young Outstanding Lawyer of the Year" Award. Furthermore, in 2011, Mr. Whalen was appointed by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock to serve on the Administration's Transition Team as the Co-Chair for the Department of Excise & License. Currently, he serves on the Board of Directors for the Girl's Athletic Leadership School of Denver (GALS), The Save Our Youth Mentorship Program (SOY) in affiliation with the Denver Rescue Mission, and the Anschutz Medical Center Cancer Fund (AMC). Mr. Whalen teaches annually in the Denver Public Schools through the Denver Bar Association's Attorney Guest Teacher Program. In the past, while he served on the Executive Committee of the Democratic Party of Denver (DPoD), he moderated and participated in education reform forums with State Senator Michael Johnston and Lt. Governor Joe Garcia. In addition, he has served on campaign finance committees for State Representative Crisanta Duran, Denver Public School Board At-Large Representative Happy Haynes, State Senator Chris Romer, former Speaker of the House Andrew Romanoff, and Governor John Hickenlooper.
Mr. Whalen has an extensive background in philanthropic projects that extends beyond the United States. In 2009, Reeves visited Haiti and participated in the construction of an orphanage outside of Port Au Prince with a non-governmental organization, Center of Hope Haiti (COHH). Thereafter, in 2010, following the earthquake in Haiti, Mr. Whalen raised money to bring professional medical clinics to Haiti through The National Organization for the Advancement of Haitians (NOAH). As the community service co-chair for the Arapahoe County Bar Association, Mr. Whalen has established an annual volunteer program putting local attorneys together with Project CURE to help pack medical supplies for shipment to third world medical clinics. Mr. Whalen has been an associate attorney at Burg Simpson since 2008 where he practices personal injury and product liability law representing injured victims and consumers.