Community Involvement

Michaels & Smolak gives generously in time and money to its Community. Here are some of the many organizations we support financially and with our time:

merry go round theater

Owasco NY’s Merry-Go-Round Theater. We have for many years sponsored the Merry-Go-Round Theatre splendid Musical productions. M&S partner Jan Smolak has been a Board member for Over 13 years and has served as its Board president for two years.



Michaels & Smolak Auburn Little League 2008

Auburn Little League Team. Michaels & Smolak purchased the Auburn Little League Score Board. Also, the Auburn Pony League “Michaels & Smolak” team wears our name on their jerseys. GO M&S TEAM!!



Hockey team

We sponsor youth hockey teams and broadcasts for youth hockey



auburn ny ymca

Auburn YMCA. Every year we give generously to the Auburn Bowl-a-Thon fundraiser. In addition, M&S partner Michael Bersani served on the Y’s Board for a decade and was its president for two years.

Geneva YMCA. Mike Bersani, who lives in Geneva, makes sure M&S supports this Y, too.



Jan Smolak and Kids in Pool

Boys & Girls Club of Geneva . M&S partner Mike Bersani sat on the Board for a decade and was its president for two years. For many years, when the B&G Club had its Bowl-a-Thons, we were lead sponsors. We continue to contribute to the Club’s annual foot race. In addition, for many years Mike took Boys & Girls Club members to the local YMCA pool on Fridays after work. Here’s Mike with the kids:



immigrant farm worker

Worker Justice Center of New York (formerly known as Farmworkers Legal Services of New York). M&S lawyer Mike Bersani has served on their Board for almost two decades. In addition, Mike – who is fluent in Spanish – gives free legal help to Spanish-speaking farmworkers.



Mike Bersani was awarded Citizen of Year by Geneva Chamber of Commerce in 2009 . For his efforts with immigrants and the Boys & Girls Club of Geneva. Read all about it HERE



volunteer lawyers project

Pro Bono Legal Services. All attorneys at M&S perform pro bono legal services. Currently, attorneys Jan Smolak and Mike Bersani are volunteering with the Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County.



United Way

Cayuga County United Way. M&S founding member Lee Michaels has served as President of the Cayuga County United Way, campaign co-chairman, and was also on the New York State United Way board. M&S member Jan Smolak was on the United Way’s professional fundraisers committee for two years. Michaels & Smolak has previously honored United Way of Cayuga County volunteers as "hometown heroes" at Auburn “Doubledays” (our pro baseball team) home games.

Auburn Doubledays

How did this Michaels & Smolak charitable program work? We asked the United Way of Cayuga County to nominate volunteer "heroes". They choose dozens of volunteers who worked with their 23 partner agencies and 41 programs throughout Cayuga County. At each home game, one United Way volunteer was publicly recognized and honored as a "hometown hero" and received six game tickets and food vouchers for his or her family and friends. A different volunteer was honored at each home game. Michaels & Smolak funded the program, including the free tickets and food, for the "hometown heroes".



Syracuse Crunch

Syracuse Crunch (pro-hockey). During the fall and winter, Michaels & Smolak has sponsored a similar program in Syracuse, NY, called "Everyday Heroes". At each home game of the Syracuse Crunch hockey team we honored local volunteers who had been nominated by friends and co-workers. They got recognized in public as “everyday heroes” and received free food and tickets for themselves and their family.



Owasco Zoning Board of Appeals. M&S partners Jan Smolak and Dave Kalabanka have served on this zoning board. Dave still does and is the chairman.



Geneva Human Rights Commission. M&S partner Mike Bersani served on its Board for eight years and was its Board President for two years.



Bicycle Racing Club

Michaels & Smolak Bicycle Racing Club. That’s right, we have our own Bicycle Racing Club, “MSR” ( Michaels & Smolak R acing). Those cute bike racing jerseys were purchased by you-know-who.



Here are some other organizations we continuously support financially and with our time:

Auburn’s “ Majorpalooza”. A group that raises awareness and support for foster children who are underprivileged, disabled or afflicted by life threatening medical conditions.

The Auburn Great Race . An Auburn landmark annual run, bike, canoe race. M&S founding member Lee Michaels has been on its Board for more than two decades.

The Owasco Flyer (local annual bicycle race).

Big Brother/Big Sisters of Cayuga County. M&S Lawyer Jan Smolak has served on its Board.

Cayuga County Boy Scout Council. M&S lawyer Jan Smolak, an Eagle Scout, has served on its Board.

Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center. Attorney Dave Kalabanka has served on its Board.

Cayuga County Cornell Cooperative Extension. Dave Kalabanka has served on its Board.

Cayuga County Chapter of the American Cancer Society. David Kalabanka also previously served on this Board.

Auburn High School Boys Hockey . (Check out our ad on the Zamboni ad and our sign at the rink!). Attorney Dave Kalabanka regularly volunteers to man the scoreboard. Go Maroons!

Congregstion B’nai Israel . Founding partner Lee Michaels was the president of this congregation for two years.

The Matthew House. Hospice care.

Brian Bisgrove Home for Courage. A retreat and respite home for families with children who have life threatening illnesses or severely debilitating medical conditions.

Auburn Babe Ruth League

Skaneateles High School Girls Hockey

Jordan Elbridge School District theatrical productions

Onondaga Community College Women’s Basketball. Congrats to the Lady Lazers for clinching the Section III Championship Title in 2018!

Cayuga Sound Festival

Auburn Rotary Club Rhythm and Blues Festival

Auburn Lacrosse

Auburn Football

Auburn Basketball

Weedsport Basketball

Mynderse Boys Basketball

Mid- Lakes Girls Basket Ball

Auburn Hockey Boosters

Are there more groups and causes we have supported? Sure, but we can’t remember them all!

Client Reviews
★★★★★
He is one of the top lawyers in central New York & has the accolades to show for this, but in my book he's the top lawyer in the country. I am honored to have had the opportunity to work with Mr. Bersani & to have had him on my team!
★★★★★
I admire the amount of background work he did which was instrumental in getting me a very good settlement. Also, having never been involved in a personal injury lawsuit, Michael was very patient explaining the legal issues. You're in good hands with Michael Bersani and the firm of Michaels & Smolak. Richard
★★★★★
Dave took over my wrongful death case after it was badly messed up by another lawyer. He was dogged in his pursuit of all the information needed to make a solid case, and he succeeded in bringing it to a very satisfactory settlement. He was honest and straightforward, kind and compassionate through meetings, depositions, court appearances. I highly recommend him. Christine
★★★★★
Dave has handled our legal matters for over 20 years. Always there when we needed him. We were so happy with his professionalism and results that we referred him to several friends. If we ever need this type of service again, Dave will be the first and only call we make. Jackie