Leaders from Florida Blue, Community First Credit Union and Fisher, Tousey, Leas & Ball to co-chair Freed to Run 3.0

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The exponential growth of Jacksonville Area Legal Aid’s largest fundraiser, Freed to Run, will get a boost this year from three newly appointed co-chairs of the event: Darnell Smith, Florida Blue’s market president for North Florida; Eric Krall, mortgage sales manager with Community First Credit Union; and Ryan M. Ludwick, an attorney with Fisher, Tousey, Leas & Ball.

The trio will work to attract more sponsors and relay teams, with Smith focusing on the health-care community, Krall on the business community, and Ludwick on the legal community and related industries.

All proceeds from the Dec. 15-20 Capitol to Coast six-marathon relay series will go toward an endowment for the Northeast Florida Medical Legal Partnership 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 safe and sanitary housing, as well as access to health care, educational accommodations, and other needed services.

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Freed to Run
Jacksonville partnership helps families navigate legal issues complicating children’s medical care

One September day in 2017, the foundation of Marckly Charles’ world collapsed.

His widowed mother died at age 50 of a heart ailment, leaving him head of the household and parent figure for his three younger siblings. He had no relatives to help out.

Charles was 20.

“It was tough,” he said. “I didn’t know where to go or who to reach out to.”

Charles had a longtime goal — becoming a nurse — which kept him centered after his mother’s death. He and his eldest sister worked, and he paid the mortgage and other bills and kept the family steered straight ahead. But he encountered legal obstacles when he tried on his own to gain custody of his younger siblings, get his mother’s estate settled and obtain public benefits for the family. He started saving money for an attorney to help him navigate.

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Freed to Run
'Freed to Run' Events raise money for legal aid

FLORIDA BAR Freed to Run teams gathered in front of the Baker County Courthouse for the last of six consecutive marathons through which Jacksonville attorney Mike Freed of Gunster and 19 teams of runners raised nearly $300,000 for Jacksonville Area Legal Aid (JALA) and the Northeast Florida Medical Legal Partnership (NFMLP).

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Freed to Run
Freed to Run/Jax Area Legal Aid

COMMUNITY FIRST Community First was proud to participate in an amazing relay team event, Freed to Run, which covered six marathons (157 miles) in six days (December 2-7) with various teams covering the distance from the Florida Supreme Court in Tallahassee all the way to the Duval County Courthouse in Jacksonville.

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Freed to Run
Freed To Run

WJCT Local attorney Mike Freed started a fundraising event last year when he pledged to run 157 miles from the Florida Supreme Court to the Duval County Courthouse, single handedly raising nearly $70,000.

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Freed to Run 2.0 Finish Line

CIRCLES CHARITY REGISTER Freed to Run 2.0 is a now a 6 marathons in 6 days point-to-point relay – with teams joining Mike Freed and covering the distance by taking turns throughout the day. While each team member runs, teammates shuttle ahead via transportation provided by Elite Parking Services of America.

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Freed to Run