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Fifth ‘Freed to Run’ marathons set for November

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Mike Freed

Mike Freed

With $1.5 million in contributions in the bank, Jacksonville Area Legal Aid supporters are lacing up for the fifth “Freed to Run” series of marathons, their biggest charity event of the year.

From November 15-20, participants, led by Gunster shareholder Mike Freed, will run a series of six marathons between the Supreme Court in Tallahassee and the Duval County Courthouse in Jacksonville, a 157-mile stretch.

Donations support civil legal aid for pediatric patients through the Northeast Florida Medical Legal Partnership. Supporters say they are closing in on their goal of establishing a $2.25 million endowment.

Jacksonville attorneys and event co-sponsors Tom Bishop and John Mills, of Bishop-Mills, are reaching out to the legal community to recruit relay teams and sponsors.

“John and I have been so impressed with what Freed to Run and JALA have accomplished together. We’re proud to join our friend, Mike Freed, in helping to fulfill the $2.25 million goal to endow the medical-legal partnership, and to that end, we invite our fellow Northeast Florida attorneys to join us,” Bishop said.

The other co-sponsors are Dr. Raoul Sanchez, president of Carithers Pediatric Group, and Deno Hicks, managing partner of Converge Public Strategies for Northeast Florida, who will focus, respectively, on the medical and business communities.

The event has snowballed in popularity since Freed organized the first marathon in 2017, said JALA CEO Jim Kowalski.

“Looking back, it’s just incredible the momentum that has built since Mike Freed took the first step in a journey of 157 miles in 2017,” Kowalski said. “Now, 628 miles later, we are embarking on our fifth Freed to Run with the ultimate goal of raising $2.25 million now clearly in sight.”

Proceeds for the endowment are being matched at 125%, up to $1.5 million, by Baptist Health.

The Northeast Florida Medical Legal Partnership is part of a nationwide network of projects in which professionals from the medical and legal communities combine resources to produce outcomes for low-income and vulnerable patients (children and adults) that positively impact their health and ability to thrive, according to event spokesperson Nancy Kinnally.

Through the partnership, Jacksonville Area Legal Aid serves about 200 children a year, including patients of Wolfson Children’s Hospital, Nemours Children’s Specialty Care, Jacksonville, UF Health Specialty Pediatric Clinics, and Community PedsCare, a pediatric program of Community Hospice & Palliative Care, Kinnally said.

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