Stars and Bars 

Ever wanted to ask Jerry Lawler to make you a Gin Rickey? Or maybe you've been waiting to ask the mayor to make you a Mai Tai at the Mercedes-Benz dealership on Poplar while models walk around in the latest fashions from Laurelwood. It's go time.

"STRUT! Memphis," a benefit for the Community Legal Center, is a fashion show with celebrity bartenders such as Lawler, Mayor A C Wharton, newscaster Mearl Purvis, mega-lawyer Leslie Ballin, mega-doctor Susan Murmann, and some dude named VanWyngarden.

There are over 30,000 families in Shelby County whose income is between 125 and 175 percent of the poverty line. That means they can pay their rent, but they struggle beyond that. When they buy a used car, get a divorce, or run into landlord problems, the legal help they need is often out of reach.

Community Legal Center serves this niche by providing pro bono advice to people who do not qualify for Memphis Area Legal Services, which helps those below the poverty line.

"We have too many reports of seniors who have lost their homes or cars to scams. Very often the only thing that can reunite senior citizens with their property is free legal help," Purvis says. 

In 2009 alone, the CLC fielded more than 5,000 calls, met with 143 clients at bimonthly clinics, and formally represented 400 Memphians with legal problems.

But remember: Not all celebrity bartenders are created equal. Ballin warns, "Attendees should order from the other bartenders. I practice abstinence. Since 2003, I have not woken up with a hangover or pregnant."

"Strut! Memphis" Fashion Show, Mercedes-Benz of Memphis, 5389 Poplar.

Thursday, October 27th, 6 p.m.

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