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Young Lawyers Section ‘Tee it Up’ golf tournament benefits Girls Inc.

By Alexandria Hill, Board of Governors, The Young Lawyers Section of The Jacksonville Bar Association

On Oct. 17, approximately 90 golfers took to the course for The Young Lawyers Section of The Jacksonville Bar Association's annual "Tee it Up" golf tournament at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club Ocean Course.

Thanks to the support of the golfers and generous sponsors, The YLS raised more than $14,000 for this year's benefactor, Girls Inc. of Jacksonville.

This year marks the second consecutive year The YLS hosted and sponsored the annual tournament. This event was YLS' sixth charity golf tournament overall. In the last two years, The YLS has raised more than $30,000 for charitable organizations as a result of "Tee it Up."

The crowd was blessed with perfect weather and tremendous golf conditions. An awards ceremony and reception capped the memorable event.

"I want to thank all of the participating sponsors and golfers. We could not have accomplished this without their support. Further, I want to specifically recognize Christian George and Shea Moser for leading the charge," said Michelle Barnett, the current president of The YLS.

"This was truly a team effort and a testament to the strong leadership and membership of the YLS, and the strength of the Jacksonville Bar community in its entirety," said George, a two-time co-chair of the tournament.

Girls Incorporated of Jacksonville (formerly Girls Clubs of America) has a long history in Jacksonville having served the needs of young women and girls since 1970.

Today, Girls Inc. of Jacksonville coordinates after-school programs for young women and girls from elementary school to high school. These programs include a literacy-based program entitled GirlSMART; a program for younger girls entitled GIRLStart, geared toward kindergarten through second-grade girls specifically; and programs focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

These programs serve more than 1,700 girls every day and provide a supporting, safe environment, and offer homework assistance and enrichment activities like dance, computer, art, storytelling, theater and bullying prevention. At Girls Inc., all girls are empowered to be "strong, smart and bold."

"Girls, Inc. of Jacksonville was honored to be this year's benefactor," said Jill Bechtold, local attorney with Marks Gray and chair of the board of directors for Girls, Inc. "The funds will enable us to continue providing important programming and outreach to young girls throughout the Northeast Florida community."

For more information about Girls Inc. please visit girlsincjax.org.

Girls Inc. is also actively recruiting for its young professionals group, Girls Inc.'s Rising Leader Society (GIRLS).

If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Jamie Olinto at jamie.olinto@arlaw.com or Adina Pollan at adina.pollan@gray-robinson.com.

In addition to "Tee It Up", The YLS hosts other charity events throughout the year including the annual Chili Cook-Off and Holidays in January.

This year's Holidays in January is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 11. The event is coordinated with Family Support Services and provides a holiday celebration for children placed in foster care during the holiday season. Each child receives a bicycle and there is even a special visit from Santa. If you are interested in supporting Holidays in January, please contact Christine Bell at Cbell@dmphlaw.com.

The Chili Cook-Off is scheduled for March 1. If you are interested in supporting the Chili Cook-Off, please contact Eric Roberson at eric@jasonporterlaw.com.

The Young Lawyers Section comprises area lawyers who are 35 or younger, or who have been practicing law less than five years. The YLS has a large and enthusiastic membership and a very active and committed board of governors.

The YLS is dedicated to providing diverse programming and projects designed to benefit young lawyers, all members of the Bar, and the community at large. For more information visit jbayls.com.

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