Jacksonville’s legal and business communities collectively contributed more than $159,000 to the 2023 Freed to Run Challenge Nov. 17-18 at the Duval County Courthouse.
Judges, attorneys, other legal professionals and community leaders donated to and participated in a 24-hour run, a 12-hour run and a bicycle ride from the St. Johns County Courthouse to the courthouse Downtown.
Proceeds from the event, founded by Gunster Jacksonville shareholder Mike Freed, benefit Jacksonville Area Legal Aid’s Shelter for Elders endowment, which addresses housing issues such as reverse mortgage foreclosures, door-to-door scams, wrongful evictions, substandard living conditions and other shelter-related challenges faced by vulnerable older adults.
Freed’s first philanthropic collaboration with the community, the Freed to Run marathon series, raised more than $2.25 million since 2017 for the North Florida Medical Legal Partnership at JALA that helps pediatric patients and their families who have legal issues.
The 2023 sponsors were the Delores Barr Weaver Legacy Fund; VyStar Credit Union; Jacksonville Area Legal Aid; the Gunster law firm; Driver, McAfee, Hawthorne & Diebenow; Ameris Bank; The Fannin-Johnson Group; Florida Blue; Jaguars Foundation; The Clay Lee Family; Harrell & Harrell; Jacksonville Transportation Authority; Freed to Laugh; IMC; Seminole Electric Cooperative; Jacksonville Icemen; Cross Creek Steakhouse; The Truck Accident Law Firm; and Donahoo McMenamy.
Billie Jo “BJ” Taylor, a Jacksonville attorney with Harrell & Harrell and a volunteer with JALA; Paul Ferrara, senior vice president-commercial banking for Ameris Bank; and Dr. Mandana Davani, who specializes in diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine at Flagler Health+, were event co-chairs.