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Medical, legal, and business leaders to co-chair Freed to Run 4.0

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Mike Freed running Jax Bar

Mike Freed right, founder of Freed to Run.

Having raised more than $1 million in its first three years, Jacksonville Area Legal Aid’s largest fundraiser, Freed to Run, is going the distance toward its $2.25 million goal under the leadership of four newly appointed event co-chairs: Dr. Nayla Osman-Chahlavi, pediatrician at Village Pediatrics; Dr. Ali Chahlavi, neurosurgeon at St. Vincent’s Medical Center; Richard Fannin, financial advisor with Wells Fargo advisors; and retired Fourth Judicial Circuit Judge Hugh Carithers.

The group will work to attract more sponsors and relay teams, with the Chahlavis focusing on the health-care community, Fannin on the business community, and Carithers on the legal community and related industries.

Nemours has kicked off the 2020 fundraising with a $10,000 lead gift.

All proceeds from the November 16-21 Capitol to Coast six-marathon relay series will go toward an endowment for the Northeast Florida Medical Legal Partnership (NFMLP) and will be matched at 125% by Baptist Health.

The NFMLP provides civil legal aid to pediatric patients and their families to ensure they have access to safe housing, health care, educational accommodations, and other services critical to the children’s health. Nemours and Baptist Health/Wolfson Children’s Hospital are among the NFMLP partner institutions.

The Freed to Run 4.0 co-chairs explained their reasons for joining the cause:

“During our 12 years in Jacksonville, we have been active members of our community, having co-chaired St. Vincent’s Red Rose Ball in 2013 and St. Vincent’s Mary Award in 2017. We watched our friend Mike Freed, along with multiple local teams, run and collect money for JALA, helping families obtain free legal aid in our city. As physicians and concerned citizens, we strongly support organizations that provide any type of aid to underserved families. We are honored to be serving as health care chairs this year.”

  •  Drs. Ali and Nayla Chahlavi – St. Vincent’s Medical Center and Village Pediatrics

“As a current member of The Florida Bar Foundation’s board of directors and former chair of the Fourth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee, I have been dedicated to increasing access to justice for the underserved in our community for many years. I am pleased to continue this commitment by helping generate greater support Freed to Run and the Northeast Florida Medical Legal Partnership.”

  •  Judge Hugh Carithers, Florida Bar Foundation

“As a financial advisor at Wells Fargo, I develop strategies for pursuing people’s financial goals, and I know a winning strategy when I see one. Jacksonville Area Legal Aid is well on its way to its $2.25 million goal to endow the Northeast Florida Medical Legal Partnership, and I’m pleased to help them get there. Freed to Run has the potential to ensure the well-being of countless families in Northeast Florida, and I’m thrilled to be on board.”

  •  Richard Fannin, Wells Fargo

Freed to Run began in 2017 when Gunster shareholder Mike Freed ran six consecutive marathons from the steps of the Florida Supreme Court to the lawn of the Duval County Courthouse, stopping at courthouses along the route and raising more than $70,000 for JALA.

Each of the last two years he has repeated the journey accompanied on each of the event’s six days by relay teams, several of which are back this year for their third year.

“We are fortunate to have the Chahlavis, Judge Carithers and Richard Fannin helping Mike Freed fulfill a collective vision that has brought so many together from across the Northeast Florida community to ensure pediatric patients and their families have the civil legal help they need,” said JALA CEO Jim Kowalski. “We know that, just as with adults, children are affected by many social determinants of health, and the Northeast Florida Medical Legal Partnership is about overcoming those socio-economic barriers to achieve better health outcomes for our region’s kids.”

For information about sponsoring Freed to Run, registering a team or donating, visit

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