Backyard golf raises $50,000 for legal aid

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History was made May 22 in attorney Steve Pajcic’s backyard.

The notable moment came when Tom Lloyd, playing in the fourth annual Wiffle Golf & Happy Hour at Anne and Steve Pajcic’s home in Avondale, made a hole-in-one on the 6th hole.

The ace, the first in the history of the event, was worth $6,000 to Lloyd – and $6.000 to Jacksonville Area Legal Aid.

“It’s $6,000 for the sixth hole. We’ve been hoping for one,” said Steve Pajcic.

The Pajcic & Pajcic law firm established the event to be an annual fundraiser for JALA. Each year, Pajcic matches 100 percent of entry fees, sponsorships and donations from participants to help provide legal aid for people in 17 North Florida counties.

After all the pledges are received, this year’s total should be about $50,000, he said.

The tournament was one of four fundraisers for legal aid in April and May that raised more than $100,000 to help fund legal services for people who otherwise would not be represented by an attorney, said Carter DeWitt, JALA chief development officer.

Two events in April – the Equal Justice Awards dinner and the inaugural Ninja Warrior competiion – raised a combined $46,000 for JALA.

Sponsors put the Law Day luncheon in May over the $5,000 mark, and the Young Lawyers Division of the St. Johns County Bar raised $3,000 for JALA at “Cornhole for a Cause” at the Fountain of Youth.

The yard golf event put the two-month total over $100,000.

“We had quite an April and May,” said DeWitt.

In addition to the record contribution, Pajcic said the fourth edition of his event attracted a different crowd than in years past.

The group of about 100 people who attended included former Jacksonville Jaguar Donovin Darius and Edward Waters College President Nat Glover.

This being an election year, several candidates also made an appearance, “judicial and otherwise,” Pajcic said.

Attorney John Morgan of Morgan & Morgan made the largest single donation this year when he wrote JALA a $6,000 check.

That’s what the backyard golf tournament that each year makes legal aid the top prize winner is all about, said the host.

“As lawyers, we have a special responsibility to JALA. It’s important for those of us who make a good income from the civil justice system to help people who really need an attorney but can’t afford one,” Pajcic said.

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