Ready…..Set……..Four!!!!! Every year The Young Lawyers Section of The Jacksonville Bar Association hosts its Annual Tee it Up Golf Tournament to benefit a selected charity. Through the years, the Tournament has become one of our most successful events, and the charity chosen historically receives a substantial donation. This year we proudly hosted the Tournament to benefit the Jacksonville Public Education Fund (“JPEF”) and in particular the Ribault High School Future Lawyers. JPEF is a local organization that works to connect research with civic voice to bring about unified action in support of universally high-quality public schools for all children in Duval County. JPEF has many initiatives in support of this ultimate vision, and the Jax YLS has partnered with JPEF to mentor The Ribault Future Lawyers, a group of high school students who have an interest in joining the legal profession and becoming lawyers. It should be noted that the Ribault High Project was the immediate past recipient of the YLD’s Community Service Project of the Year. Many of the mentees come from poverty and struggling backgrounds, and through our efforts we provide the young men and women guidance and support to follow a path into the legal field. The future of these youth indeed looks bright, and we could not be more proud of the funds raised for the Ribault Future Lawyers. Initially, the Jax YLS mentored twenty (20) students, and through the program these young men and women were able to participate in mock trials, visit the Bryan Simpson U.S. Courthouse, Duval County Courthouse, State Attorney’s Office and Public Defender’s Office. The Jax YLS, through raising funds from the Golf Tournament, will be expanding the program and the vision is to make it a true staple in the community. It should be noted that the Ribault High Project was the immediate past recipient of the YLD’s Community Service Project of the Year.
Now, while Rocky Balboa may say “Y’know, sometimes charity really hurts”, I can assure you that is not the case for this Tournament. Let me Tee Up the event for you (yes, I will be here all night). The Tournament took place on October 20, 2016, on the Ocean Course of the prestigious Ponte Vedra Inn & Club. Firms and local businesses alike came together for this wonderful event to raise money for the students, and what better way to raise money for charity than to have fun….and fun they had. The golfers had a catered lunch following registration where each received a custom golf shirt and “swag bag” filled with goodies. After the cart girls were finished serving their first round of libations, the National Anthem was played followed by a shotgun start. As each foursome raced to their starting hole, the sense of competition in the air ignited. Whether it was winning a brand new car, being closest to the pin or having the longest driver, there was plenty of competition to go around.
Once the grass settled and the clubs were safely stowed back into their respective bags, the golfers settled up their score cards and the announcement of the winning team loomed. Of course, that was following a nacho and french fry bar….because why not? The grit and sweat from the day culminated in the much-anticipated announcement of the winning team, and this year, the winning foursome was sponsored by Thames Markey & Heekin, P.A. consisting of Brad Markey, Rob Heekin, Charles Keller, and led by team captain Ryan “the Hazard” Hyde. Each member of the team was presented with a custom prize pack full of golf gear and accessories from the Inn & Club Golf Shop. While there is only one winning team, the true winners are the Ribault Future Lawyers. We are still tallying the final count, but we expect to donate between $10,000 and $13,000 to the charity, which will provide much-needed support to the students. One of the proudest supporters of this group, The Honorable Bryan Davis, United States District Judge, sent a personal message to Ribault Future Lawyers: “AIM for SUCCESS! Best wishes and good luck!” We are proud to have had the great fortune to raise money for this truly magnificent organization and these uniquely special young men and women. The future is bright indeed for the future of our legal community!