Today, during the Florida Cabinet meeting, Governor Rick Scott, Senator John Thrasher and Volunteer Florida CEO Chester Spellman presented the Volunteer Florida Champion of Service Award to the staff and volunteers of Justice Coalition.

Governor Scott said, “It is an honor to present the Champion of Service Award to the hardworking and dedicated staff and volunteers at the Justice Coalition. Over 130 volunteers dedicate their time and energy to support the Justice Coalition, and their work should be commended. I applaud their efforts to prevent crime and assist those who are tragically victimized by violent offenders.”

Now in its 18th year, the Justice Coalition is a nonprofit organization serving innocent victims of crime on Florida’s First Coast. The coalition provides immediate crisis intervention for victims of crime, including educating victims on their rights, creating a plan of action, connecting victims to a network of resources, and accompanying victims to court proceedings. The coalition also educates the general public on criminal justice issues and is pro-active in the fight against crime.

Senator John Thrasher said, “I have seen firsthand the tremendous work that the Justice Coalition provides, and I am thankful to know that people who find themselves in unthinkable circumstances have the coalition to turn to. These advocates assist victims of crime to navigate through the judicial process, fight for justice, and receive the help and resources they need.”

Executive Director of the Justice Coalition Ann Dugger said, “On behalf of innocent victims of violent crime in North Florida and the Justice Coalition’s volunteers, we gratefully accept Gov. Rick Scott’s distinguished Volunteer Florida Champion of Service Award. We appreciate your recognition of the outstanding reputation we have earned with the community and with law enforcement in our endeavors to assist the many hurting families whose lives are forever changed by violence and our efforts to help make our community a safer place to live.”

CEO of Volunteer Florida Chester Spellman said, “3.4 million Floridians volunteer every year, and the Justice Coalition is a shining example of how Floridians with different talents and resources can collaborate for the greater good. Their hard work improves our communities and strengthens our state.”

The Volunteer Florida Champion of Service Award honors individuals and groups for their outstanding volunteer efforts. For more information about the Volunteer Florida Champion of Service Awards, visit: www.volunteerflorida.org.

# # #

Volunteer Florida, the Governor’s Commission on Community Service, was established in 1994 by the Florida Legislature to administer grants under the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993. The Commission grants funds to Florida AmeriCorps and National Service programs; coordinates volunteers and donations in a disaster; and inspires all Floridians to serve their communities. For more information, visit: www.volunteerflorida.org.