Highlights for Steppin’ Out 2015
The 4th Annual Stepping Out with the Innocence Project of Florida was held on April 16th at Mission San Luis in Tallahassee. The evening was filled with encouragement and hope. This really was a special time to be able to honor the exonerated and their families and look forward to what we would like to continue to accomplish in Florida.
The night began with a VIP reception with the exonerees, sponsors, special guests, and those who would receive awards. After bidding on the silent auction commenced, we began the dinner and program. Throughout the night we were able to hear about some of the stories of exonerees such as Orlando Boquete, Alan Crotzer, James Bain, William Dillon, and Wilton Dedge. The story of their lives filled our hearts with inspiration. We then presented the Innocence Project of Florida Partner in Justice Award to Walter McNeil, an exemplary law enforcement leader in Florida, as well as nationally and internationally. We also presented the Frank Lee Smith Innocence Award to the co-author of the New York Times Best Seller Picking Cotton, Jennifer Thompson.
Jennifer Thompson took the stage to share the emotional story of her own part in the misidentification and wrongful conviction of Ronald Cotton, the man who she falsely believed raped her in college. Her presentation brought us hope as we were able to see the healing power of forgiveness. She travels and shares her story to help raise awareness of misidentification, wrongful conviction and reconciliation as a tool to combat adversity. Jennifer helped close off the night on an optimistic note.
We would like to thank everyone who attended this special night, especially to our sponsors who made the night a success. We were pleased that we raised $60,000, which will fund our litigation efforts on behalf of the innocent in Florida prisons.
Enjoy the highlights of the evening by clicking through the gallery below. (If we’ve misidentified you or misspelled your name, please accept our apologies; please let us know so we can correct our mistake. Email corrections to Jackie Pugh at email@example.com.)
Steppin’ Out 2015 VIP Reception and Silent Auction
Steppin’ Out 2015 Dinner and Award Ceremony
- Harry Lee & Sue Anstead
- Robert & Sharon Kerrigan
- Rothman & Associates, P.A.
- Tallahassee Democrat
- Bogenschutz, Dutko, & Kroll, P.A.
- D’Alemberte & Palmer, P.A.
- Hinkle & Foran, P.A.
- Law OFfice of Pumphrey and Prince, P.A.
- Service Plus
- Tannebaum Weiss, P.L.
- The Hotel Duval
- Akbar Law Firm, P.A.
- Barney Bishop Consulting LLC
- Ruthie Dickson
- Janet Ferris & Phil Padovano
- Florida Public Defender Association
- Rev. Bryan Fulwider
- Hilly Field Florists & Gifts
- Michael Minerva & Jo Anne Smith
- Luke Newman, P.A.
- Law Offices of Jerry Berry, P.A.
- Republic National Distributing Co.
- Reginald R. Garcia, P.A
- Paula Saunders & Roy Forman
- Sean Desmond for State Attorney Campaign
- Southern Wine & Spirits
- The Mills Firm
- Tri-Eagle Sales