Foundation seeks Medal of Honor Award nominees

The Florida Bar Foundation will be accepting nominations for the 2017 Medal of Honor Awards until Feb. 3.

The Medal of Honor Award is given in two categories. The first category is for members of The Florida Bar, including practicing lawyers, judges or teachers in the legal field. The second category is for non-lawyers, including lawyers who are not currently practicing. All nominees must be Florida residents.

Nominees in the lawyer category must have a demonstrated dedication to the purpose of The Florida Bar, which strives to inculcate in its members the principles of duty and service to the public, to improve the administration of justice, and to advance the science of jurisprudence.

The 2016 Medal of Honor Award in the lawyer category was presented to Tampa attorney Kathleen S. McLeroy for her innovative ideas to increase IOTA revenue, her successful efforts to preserve county funding for legal aid, her leadership of organizations supporting pro bono at the national, state and local level, as well as more than 20 years of direct services to pro bono clients.

Recent recipients of the award also include attorney and former First District Court of Appeal Judge William A. VanNortwick Jr., Robert C. Josefsberg of Miami, Hank Coxe, III, of Jacksonville, and former Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth.

Nominees in the non-lawyer category must have made outstanding contributions to the improving the administration of justice in Florida through research, writing, or other deeds of significant character and quality.

The 2016 Medal of Honor Award in the non-lawyer category was presented to Kevin Gay of Jacksonville for his work as CEO of Operation New Hope, which he founded in 1999 to help rebuild Jacksonville’s challenged urban communities and give ex-offenders the opportunity to successfully transition home and lead productive lives.

Past recipients of the Medal of Honor Award for a non-lawyer include Kathleen “Katie” Self of Sarasota for her pioneering work in the implementation of teen courts across Florida and the volunteering of her services in establishing the Teen Court of Sarasota; Elizabeth Lander “Budd” Bell of Tallahassee for over four decades of volunteer advocacy to improve the lives of Florida’s children, elderly and disabled; and Dr. Walter F. Lambert of Miami for his life’s work as a medical advocate for abused and neglected children, and for his significant volunteer work for South Florida children in foster care.

Nominations for The Florida Bar Foundation’s highest honor should describe the specific achievements that would qualify an individual for the Medal of Honor Award, and also should include a brief biographical sketch of the nominee.

Nominations can be completed online at Nominations forms also are available from the Foundation and should be sent to: The Florida Bar Foundation, Medal of Honor Awards Program, 875 Concourse Parkway South, Suite 195, Maitland, FL 32751 or via e-mail to

The Medal of Honor awards will be presented at the Foundation’s annual dinner during The Florida Bar Annual Convention June 22, 2017, at the Boca Raton Resort & Club in Boca Raton. For more information, call The Florida Bar Foundation at (800) 541-2195, or (407) 960-7000.

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