TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – For the fourth year in a row, a Jacksonville attorney is running six marathons across Florida in six days to raise money for legal assistance for people who can’t afford it.
Attorney Mike Freed, a shareholder with the Gunster Law Firm, began his 160-mile endeavor Monday with the first leg of his journey, which takes him from Tallahassee to Monticello. Over the next five days, his effort will take him to Madison, Live Oak, Lake City, and Macclenny before he arrives in Jacksonville.
It’s all part of Freed to Run, a fundraiser that raises money for Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, a nonprofit law firm that provides free legal counsel to individuals and families in need.
“People that are dealing with these challenges have a lot of problems – physical, financial and others – so for me it’s just a manifestation of what they experience,” Freed said. “The little bit of sacrifice that I do to run for six days straight is nothing compared to the challenges they have to suffer. So I’m happy to do my part and it gets people’s attention and instead of having people give a little bit, they give a lot.”
Since launching the fundraiser, Freed has helped raise more than $1 million for JALA. This year, he hopes to top that by raising $2.25 million. All donations will be matched at 125 percent by Baptist Health up to $1.25 million.
And Freed won’t be running alone. He’s recruited runners on 14 teams, each of which is collecting donations that will allow JALA to support Northeast Florida pediatric patients through the nonprofit group’s Northeast Florida Medical Legal Partnership, which helps serve about 200 children a year.
Here’s the complete list of marathon dates & locations:
- First Marathon: Monday, Nov. 16, 9:30 a.m., Florida Supreme Court, 500 S. Duval St., Tallahassee
- Second Marathon: Tuesday, Nov. 17, 9 a.m., Jefferson County Court, 1 Courthouse Circle, Monticello
- Third Marathon: Wednesday, Nov. 18, 8:45 a.m., Madison County Courthouse, 125 Range St., Madison
- Fourth Marathon: Thursday, Nov. 19, 8:30 a.m., Suwannee Circuit Court, 200 S. Ohio Ave., Live Oak
- Fifth Marathon: Friday, Nov. 20, 8:15 a.m., Columbia County Courthouse, 173 N.E. Hernando Ave., Lake City
- Sixth Marathon: Saturday, Nov. 21, 8 a.m., Baker County Courthouse, 339 E. Macclenny Ave., Macclenny
- 5k Run: Saturday, Nov. 21, 1:15 p.m., Jacksonville Farmers Market, 1810 W. Beaver St., Jacksonville
- Finish Line Celebration: Saturday, Nov. 21, 2 p.m., Duval County Courthouse, 501 W Adams St., Jacksonville
To learn more or donate, visit FreedtoRun.com.