About the ESRBF

The Escambia – Santa Rosa Bar Foundation (the Foundation), a separate 501(c)(3) charitable organization, is the philanthropic arm of the ESRBA.  The mission of the Foundation is to foster:
 
  • Greater accessibility to the judicial system;
  • Improvements to the overall quality of the administration of justice;
  • Law-related education and increased public awareness of the judicial system: and
  • Improved management and operation of the court system
 
The Foundation hosts fundraisers during the year and accepts grant request. It is governed by a board of directors, which meets quarterly.
 
HISTORY OF THE ESCAMBIA-SANTA ROSA BAR FOUNDATION
 
Eighteen years ago, the Foundation was a small, struggling organization with an endowment of less than $15,000.  Today, that endowment has grown to more than $115,000.  All the while, the Foundation experience steady growth while having a positive impact many local individuals and organizations.
 
Over the years, the Foundation has done so much more than just grow its endowment.  It has served as a conduit for Bar Association related fundraisers to help area organizations and programs, as well as awarded grants for various endeavors.  The Foundation has been involved in awarding grants totaling $203,743.  Most of those grants ($189,873) were the result of special event fundraising activities such as the Young Lawyer Division’s Breakfast with Santa (formerly known as Holidays in January) $117,330, Gulf Coast Kid’s House Black Tie Gala, $51,000, and Law Week designated charities such as Backpack Buddies, $9,115.  The remainder of the grants provided funding for High School Mock Trial competitions, $4,800, Law Week Courthouse Tours for school children, $3,250, John Appleyard publications for Middle Schools, $2,215, scholarships for legal studies at Pensacola State Colleges, among other assorted programs.
 
One of the key components for securing the endowment was the creation of the Wall of Honor display in the M.C. Blanchard Judicial Building.  The Wall of Honor was dedicated in 2007 as a way to celebrate the lives and careers of deceased judges and attorney members of the Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar Association.  For a modest donation to the Foundation, the name of a former member can be enshrined on the Wall.  To-date, we honor 17 individuals on the display.
 
On December 31, 2017, Stephen Echsner stepped down as the Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar Foundation’s Board President after serving in that role since 2000, steering the Foundation through prosperous as well as lean times.  The entire Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar Foundation Board of Directors, under Stephen Echsner’s leadership, should be proud of the positive impact they have made in the community over the last 18 years.