Cowford Chophouse, Justice Coalition team up to support crime victims

Annual MOO-VE IT 5K will benefit Justice Coalition's mission this year

By Francine Frazier - Senior web producer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The third annual Cowford Chophouse MOO-VE IT 5K will be held downtown on March 2 in remembrance of the late Michael Liles, former executive director of the Justice Coalition.

Cowford has also partnered with the Winston Family YMCA to offer “Couch to 5K” and “Couch to 15K” exclusive training programs.

The programs will be open to 30 people -- 15 in each program -- to help them prepare for the MOO-VE IT 5K or the Gate River Run, a 15k race taking place later in March. 

Jump to race registration info | Jump to training program info

The MOO-VE IT 5K will benefit the Justice Coalition, a nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of innocent victims of crime in the five-county area of Northeast Florida. 

Proceeds from the MOO-VE IT 5K will be donated in Michael Liles’ name to the Justice Coalition to support the organization’s mission to advocate for victims, educate victims about their rights, and work with law enforcement to make Northeast Florida communities safer. 

This year’s race will help fund the Justice Coalition’s newspaper, the Victims’ Advocate, which shares victims’ stories and is just one way the organization provides victims with a welcoming and safe community for healing.

“The Justice Coalition provides remarkable support for victims and their families,” said Cowford Chophouse owner Jacques Klempf. “We are proud to bring the community together through the MOO-VE IT 5K to raise awareness and funds that provide a voice for victims of crime in honor of Michael, whose incredible work and passion has been helpful and inspirational to so many.”  

Liles began his work with the Justice Coalition in 2017 after his wife was killed in a violent crime. His dedication led the organization to offer Liles the executive director position, in which he fought tirelessly to protect victims and their families. 

Liles passed away on Oct. 16, 2018, at the age of 62. Liles and his wife are survived by their five children and eight grandchildren. 

“Michael’s passion for victims was unparalleled, and his work to help them during the most difficult times of their lives will always be remembered,” said Robert Bracewell, chair of the Justice Coalition. “While Michael’s loss is still felt throughout the community, we continue to carry on our mission to stand up for those affected by crime and hope the Jacksonville community will stand with us by participating in the MOO-VE IT 5K in remembrance of Michael.”

In addition to proceeds from the MOO-VE IT 5K, Cowford donated 20 percent of proceeds from its Downtown Wine Down event on Oct. 18, 2018 to the Justice Coalition. Klempf also matched ticket sales with a personal donation to the Justice Coalition in remembrance of Liles and his impactful work with the organization.  

Registration Details

Runners can register to participate in the one-mile fun run for $25 and the MOO-VE IT 5K for $35 at http://1stplacesports.com/races/mooveit/ to benefit the Justice Coalition. 

Training Program Details

Additionally, race sponsor Winston Family YMCA has partnered with Cowford to conduct both a “Couch to 5K” and “Couch to 15K” training program for 30 individuals total with 15 in each program. Individuals can sign-up to take part in this all-inclusive six-week training program beginning Jan. 21, 2019.

The weekly training program includes three group running opportunities per week at the Winston Y, as well as additional fitness education information sessions. All participants must attend two out of three running sessions per week.

Sessions will be available on Monday at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday at 6:30 a.m. and Saturday at 9 a.m. each week.

Participants can register by emailing Ryan Parker, Winston Y Healthy Living Director, at rparker@fcymca.org. Space is limited to 15 spots for the “Couch to 5K” and “Couch to 15K” training groups, respectively.

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