PHILANTHROPY & COMMUNITY SERVICE
Pete, Susan, and Maggie Wellborn, with Pete’s parents Paul and Jane, pose with Governor Sonny Perdue at the signing into law of Georgia’s “Slam Spam E-mail” Act, of which Pete was the primary author.
Pete and Westminster stars Michelle Bonnot, daughter Maggie, Meryl McCurry, and Elyse Ensor – four of the greatest young people in the world, all of whom Pete had coached since they were ten years-old – celebrate an upset win in the 2012 GHSA Region AA Championship game.
Coverage in the Macon Telegraph of Pete’s annual Black History Month presentation at Eugenia Hamilton Elementary School in Macon.
One Huddle seeks to instill in our society the same love, brotherhood/
sisterhood, and accountability that make team sports so wonderful.
Towers High School honors Pete and Maggie Wellborn for their contributions through For Glove of the Game to the Towers team.
The quantity and nature of Pete’s charitable activities seem to belie the fact that he “also” practices law. In a Macon Telegraph story about Pete’s community service, author James Palmer poignantly summarized the spirit and nature of Pete’s philanthropic efforts: “How many lives did you try to change today? Pete Wellborn’s answer is probably a lot better than yours or mine.”
Pete designed, implemented, and taught on a volunteer basis the first-ever Internet Law classes at both Georgia Tech and Mercer Law School. He continues to guest-lecture on Internet Law/IP issues for Georgia Tech’s College of Industrial Design, Georgia State University (where he is also a Mentor for the Intellectual Property Law Society), and Emory University. Pete also logged hundreds of hours as a tutor for student-athletes at Georgia Tech and a mentor for Georgia State’s student-athletes.
Pete has also left an indelible service-related stamp in the political and law-making arenas. Pete was tapped by the late Paul Coverdell – at the time, a newly-reelected U.S. Senator – to serve as his legal advisor for technology and Internet issues. When Governor Sonny Perdue championed the need to protect Georgians against deceptive commercial e-mails, he turned to Pete to write Georgia’s “Slam Spam” Act, which was signed into law with great fanfare at a public ceremony at Georgia Tech at which Pete was a guest of honor. Pete was also consulted by federal lawmakers regarding the bill that would eventually become the federal law of commercial e-mail: the CAN-SPAM Act. The Federal Trade Commission invited Pete to Washington D.C. to speak at a high-level summit on that same issue. Pete has also spoken for the Federal Bureau of Investigation at conferences relating to hacking and other computer crimes and at numerous Internet Law-related CLE seminars. Since 2005, Pete has served on the Board of Directors for the Georgia Technology Authority and, in 2017, became an officer (Secretary) of the Board. He also serves as an evaluator for Georgia’s Technology Innovation Showcase Awards and, along with Governor Nathan Deal, spoke at the 2017 Awards Banquet.
PRO BONO LEGAL SERVICES AND LAW-RELATED ORGANIZATIONS
In representing pro bono Clients who could not otherwise afford the path to justice, Pete’s victories have run the gamut from a successful appeal to the Supreme Court of Georgia in a child custody case to the successful prosecution of claims asserted by a terminally-ill woman against a cemetery that erroneously buried an unrelated deceased man in the Client’s prepaid plot next to that of her deceased husband. (The unusual letter memorializing that victory – which begins, “The body buried next to your Client’s deceased husband’s gravesite has been disinterred and moved . . . ” – still hangs in a place of honor in Pete’s office.) Pete has provided countless hours of pro bono service and advice to a host of 501(c)(3) entities, including the Fatherless Daughter Project (providing counseling and empowerment to girls and women who grew or are growing up fatherless); Women Alone Together (offering advice, companionship, and education for women who are divorced, widowed, or otherwise “alone”); and the Johnny Gant Foundation (providing boxing-related athletic opportunities to at-risk inner-city youths). Under Pete’s direction and encouragement, the Firm’s other attorneys have provided pro bono services for organizations ranging from the Georgia Lawyers for the Arts to the Trevor Project (an organization dedicated to ending suicide among LGBTQ young people). Pete is also on the Leadership Council for the Georgia Intellectual Property Alliance.
Pete has been and is a prolific youth sports volunteer, coaching more than 70 seasons of softball, baseball, basketball, and soccer coaching virtually every level of sport, from beginner-level recreational teams to elite-level nationally-ranked teams. Pete’s coaching resume includes seven years (2009-2015) as an assistant softball coach at Westminster, including a surprise Region Champion season in 2012 for which Pete was named the Georgia High School Association Region 6-AA Assistant Coach of the Year. Pete – like his wife Susan – is also a multi-year/multi-sport winner of the Coach of the Year award at the Northside Youth Organization (“NYO”).
“FOR GLOVE OF THE GAME”
In 2011, Pete assisted his daughter Maggie (then a freshman in high-school) in founding For Glove of the Game (“FGG”), an entity dedicated to ensuring that no deserving Atlanta-area youth or high school softball player lacks the equipment or training to achieve her softball-related goals. Over the past seven years, FGG has offered free skills clinics to interested, underprivileged players and has donated more than $100,000 of new, top-of-the-line equipment to players and schools otherwise unable to purchase the costly gear. FGG recently expanded its philanthropic efforts to the sport of track-and-field, replacing more than $10,000 worth of equipment stolen from a youth track club serving some of the most disadvantaged neighborhoods in the metro-Atlanta area.
In 2017, along with several other former Georgia Tech football players, Pete founded “One Huddle.” One Huddle recognizes that the differences that people use to separate “us” from “them” – including race, religion, nationality, and socioeconomic status – dissolve as sports teammates work toward a common end. Teammates learn quickly that the blood looks the same, the sweat smells the same, and each player must count on every other player just to survive. Young people who may have been raised to hate each other become brothers and sisters. Coach Bill Curry calls this the “Miracle of the Huddle.” One Huddle is dedicated to spreading throughout our society the same sort of love and unity as that seen in team sports and to remind athletes of all ages and skill levels – from middle school substitutes to college and professional superstars – that, as they acknowledge in the ONE HUDDLE PLEDGE – they are role models for many others and accordingly have incredible power to bring about positive transformative changes to our culture.
OTHER SPORTS-RELATED CHARITABLE EFFORTS
Pete was a founding board member of Georgia Tech’s “Wrecking Crew,” a support organization for the women’s basketball program. He also provided key help in the presentation instrumental in 2017 in convincing Bibb County, Major League Baseball’s “Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities” (“RBI”) Program, and the Cal Ripken Foundation to join forces to construct a multimillion-dollar, multi-sport athletic complex for one of Macon’s most socio-economically challenged areas.
For fifteen years at Eugenia Hamilton Elementary School in Pete’s hometown of Macon, Georgia, Pete implemented and executed an annual Black History Month program that included mentorship of fifth, sixth, and seventh grade students toward a three-pronged core message: (1) that socioeconomic status does not limit the heights to which a person may aspire; (2) that people of all races, religions, etc. should be “loved” (not just “tolerated”); and (3) that, as Martin Luther King so eloquently explained, it is the content of one’s character that define that person. In relation to his annual appearances, Pete gifted the school with numerous donations to its library and Black History collections, including books, stamps, figurines, and other Black History memorabilia.
OTHER CHARITABLE & COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES
Pete has also provided substantial support to a plethora of deserving charitable associations, including “No Kid Hungry,” the Boys and Girls Clubs, Action Ministries, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and the United Way.