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Law & Order

In The News
By Steve Hoffman, Staff Writer

Law & Order

Attorneys do far more than practice law. Sometimes they make the communities in which they live and work cleaner, safer, and more prosperous through various charitable activities. Want evidence? Consider the Kennett Square law firm of Perna & Abracht, LLC.

Perna & Abracht associates are involved in various community activities.
Photo by Dennis Dischler
Shortly after she joined Michael Pern’s law firm in Kennett Square, Jennifer Abracht discovered how dedicated Perna was to helping the community.

“When you work for Michael Perna, it’s just understood that you’re going to be involved,” she explained with a laugh. “But really, that was always my view of what attorneys do. That’s part and parcel of the job.”

Perna, for instance, was instrumental in founding Kennett Run Charities, Inc. two decades ago. The annual race not only shines a spotlight on Kennett Square, it has raised tens of thousands of dollars that get distributed to charitable organizations in the area.

“Over the {18-year history}, we’ve contributed to hundreds of organizations,” said Perna. Requests for aid have gone up, and the organization has made an effort to have money on hand to be able to help out during emergencies in the community.

The origins of the Kennett Run can be traced to early 1989, when Perna proposed to the Board of Directors of the Rotary Club of Kennett Square that it should join with other Kennett area service clubs to host an event that would achieve camaraderie among the service organizations, establish a fundraising opportunity to benefit local charities, and showcase the town of Kennett Square.

“It continues to get bigger and better,” said Perna. “We’re very optimistic that it will keep growing in the future.”

Perna and Abracht, coincidentally, both happen to be avid runners who participate in the event as well. They are also both involved in various other community activities. Perna was instrumental also in the establishment of a second Rotary in the Kennett Square area.

Abracht also servers on the board of directors of the Kennett Area YMCA.

Abracht said that a benefit of being involved in community activities is that, “You get to meet so many people that you wouldn’t meet in your everyday occupation. It’s also very fulfilling.”

Not long after Abracht joined the firm, Perna detected that his partner was falling in love with the town and urged her to join Historic Kennett Square, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to attracting residents, visitors, and businesses to Kennett Square.

“I served one-term as vice president and then I was asked to be president. I enjoy my work with them. I feel like we’re making a difference,” she explained.

The above is excerpted from the cover story in the Annual Business and Industry Review. The story also appeared in the Summer/Fall 2009 Kennett Square Today magazine.

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