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JACKSONVILLE, Florida. – The City of Jacksonville is asking the City of Jacksonville to find a different date for its race this year.
City officials said that with Donna Deegan, founder and namesake of the Donna Foundation charity, currently running for mayor of Jacksonville, it would not be appropriate for the foundation’s 5K run to take place while early voting is underway and the May elections are only a few days away on May 16.
The Donna Foundation was encouraged to reschedule the race outside of the voting period.
“It would be unfortunate if the timing led citizens to question the GOC’s involvement in the electoral process,” said Brian Hughes, Jacksonville’s chief administrative officer. “For this reason, I wonder if the organization would consider changing the date to the Saturday after Mother’s Day rather than the Saturday before. It would still be Mother’s Day week, but would then come after the conclusion of the election, ensuring that there would be no confusion in the COJ’s involvement in the election.
For the moment, the permit for the 5K has not been issued.
“The email is clear. It is not a denial and it is not an endorsement. It is an effort to protect the organization and the GOC from the appearance of inappropriate electoral influence,” Hughes said. “Since this was an invitation to consider a reasonable alternative and pursue the discussion, the organization choosing to ignore the invitation and instead give an incorrect story to the media is a disappointment. “
We spoke with Amanda Napolitano, Executive Director of the DONNA Foundation, on Wednesday morning. That’s what she had to say.
The DONNA Foundation operates independently of Donna Deegan’s mayoral campaign. It is unfortunate that the City of Jacksonville is currently denying DONNA Foundation permit approval for the 2023 Black Knight DONNA Mother’s Day 5K, alluding to an “unintended public perception” of GOC involvement in the election process.
We sincerely hope this matter is resolved soon so that we can all move forward and restore our focus to where it belongs: celebrating survivorship, supporting breast cancer patients, and funding vital research.
Amanda Napolitano, Executive Director of the DONNA Foundation
News4JAX has also reached out to Daniel Davis’ campaign. They said we should contact the city of Jacksonville for more information.
The Black Knight Donna Mother’s Day 5K was held on the Saturday before Mother’s Day last year when it debuted as the first Mother’s Day race at Riverside in the Foundation’s 19-year history. .
The foundation has organized races around Mother’s Day for years, often tied to the Players Championship when it was held in May.
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Donna Foundation asked to move date away from election
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