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Foundation enlists former NBA players to promote civil legal services

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Florida Bar FoundationSix former professional basketball players are participating in an upcoming public service ad campaign to benefit The Florida Bar Foundation.

The Foundation’s Board of Directors discussed the campaign at its June 18 meeting, where Executive Director Donny MacKenzie reported the effort grew from his acquaintance with former player George Tinsley.

“I went out to George and made the pitch and about a week later, I’m on a phone call with Artis Gilmore and whole bunch of people,” he said. “They’re pretty excited about it, it resonated with them.”

Besides Gilmore, Tinsley recruited former players Dave Cowens, Otis Birdsong, Tracy McGrady, and Dwight Davis. Tallahassee media consultant Gary Yordon, who produced the recent One Campaign pro bono program, volunteered his time, MacKenzie said, so the Foundation has only production expenses.

The goal of the campaign is to broaden support for civil legal services beyond the legal profession.

“This is not a problem just for lawyers, this is a societal problem,” MacKenzie said. “I’ve been trying hard to expand our sources of revenues.”

If the campaign is successful, MacKenzie said, he’s already talked with the Legal Services Corporation about possibly undertaking a national campaign using NBA players across the country.

The first ads are in production and could be aired within several weeks.

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