May 7, 2018| Rebeccah Lutz
G.C. Murray II, Esq., will represent Leon County, Florida, in the nation’s most prestigious public service awards, the Jefferson Awards, as the Tallahassee Democrat’s top Volunteer of the Year.
Murray, president and founder of the Innovative Community Engagement Foundation (ICE) was honored during the Tallahassee Democrat’s Volunteers of the Year luncheon, sponsored by First Commerce Credit Union, on May 3 at Florida State University.
A 40-year tradition, Volunteers of the Year honors local volunteers who have poured selfless service into the capital city to make it a better place for all.
Murray, the winner in the Education Category, and the overall winner from among hundreds of nominees and finalists, will travel to Washington, D.C., courtesy of sponsor CenturyLink, in June to compete in the Jefferson Awards. Founded in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Sen. Robert Taft Jr. and Sam Beard, the awards recognize the nation’s top public service leaders and
Murray has provided thousands of hours of service to youth in Tallahassee and the surrounding areas since founding ICE in 2014. The organization, composed of volunteers, many who are attorneys and other young professionals, is headquartered in Tallahassee and has chapters in Jacksonville, Miami, and Orlando.
Murray assists teachers by providing subject matter experts and programming to schools in Leon and Gadsden counties, such as mock trials and career days that expose youth to future possibilities. He organizes the annual Share the Warmth Christmas Party at Tallahassee’s Springfield Community Center to distribute warm clothing and toys to children. He also coordinates distribution of back-to-school supplies, turkeys during the holidays and supplies following natural disasters. Through its annual clothing drive, ICE provides professional attire for young adults seeking employment.
Murray, deputy general counsel for the Florida Justice Association, is also passionate about serving law students. Named after Dr. Amber H. Drummond, who was a fierce advocate for professional development for law students, ICE’s AHD Institute for Advancement focuses on preparing current and future law students for the legal profession. Programming includes training in advocacy, networking, mental health, wellness and quality of life.
Murray leads each ICE initiative with passion and dedication. He works to build genuine relationships with youth and has a requirement of anyone who gives money to ICE – they must also give of their time. As a result, many of his friends, family members and colleagues are involved in direct service to students.
Murray, 30, is a new father and wants to set an example for his young son, he says. His father, a South Florida judge, has been instrumental in inspiring his own success and service.
“One of the things I’ve always been told is you have to give what you’ve received,” he said in the Tallahassee Democrat. “I’m definitely the beneficiary of community service … service has been in my heart and life since I was born.”
In addition to Murray’s award, ICE was recognized as a finalist in the Volunteers of the Year Nonprofit Category.
“I am honored by this opportunity to spread the word about what ICE is doing in Tallahassee and throughout the state,” Murray said. “We are proof that volunteers, working together, can make a difference in the lives of our youth and community. I look forward to growing ICE and creating more opportunities for community service.”