The Tampa Bay Lightning named the Honorable Emiliano Jose “E.J.” Salcines its Lightning Community Hero during their Dec. 28 game in Tampa. Judge Salcines then donated $20,000 of his award from the Lightning Foundation to The Florida Bar Foundation.
“We are incredibly honored by Judge Salcines’ generosity,” said Donny MacKenzie, the Foundation’s executive director. “He is passionate about the justice system and has made countless positive contributions to his community. We are delighted and honored that he allowed us to use these funds in support of our Loan Repayment Assistance Program.”
The Foundation’s Loan Repayment Assistance Program provides lawyers who work at qualified civil legal aid organizations loans up to $5,000 per year to pay off student loan school debts. Loan recipients who remain employed at qualified civil legal aid organizations after one year are eligible to have their loans forgiven by the Foundation. The program was created to strengthen and expand civil legal assistance for the poor by supporting the recruitment and retention of qualified civil legal aid staff lawyers. Last year, the Foundation provided 259 LRAP loans to legal aid lawyers throughout the state of Florida.
“The Florida Bar Foundation has a long history of making grants that have a substantial impact on our state’s poor and vulnerable,” said Judge Emiliano “E.J.” Salcines. “I am pleased to make this donation to the Foundation’s efforts to support legal aid lawyers so that they in turn can help those who need it most.”
Judge Salcines won The Florida Bar Foundation’s 2021 Medal of Honor Award, for his trailblazing, diverse career of more than 50 years, and his dedication to the administration of justice, public service, and education.
According to the Lightning Foundation, he became the 467th Lightning Community Hero since Jeff and Penny Vinik introduced the Lightning Community Hero program in 2011-12 with a $10 million, five-season commitment to the Tampa Bay community. Judge Salcines split his award money between The Florida Bar Foundation and the Tampa Bay History Center.