FJA Member Travels to Central America Bringing Hope and Assistance
|FJA Members Matthew K. Foster, Esquire; June Mye; and Scott E. Gwartney, Esquire||Gwartney with children in Leon, Nicaragua|
Tallahassee attorney and FJA member Scott Gwartney ventured to Leon, Nicaragua to bring a little light to thousands of displaced people. Gwartney learned of the ministry taking place in Leon, Nicaragua, led by Oscar Corea, through International Impact Ministries. “Corea has an amazing story,” says Gwartney. “He has a truly personal connection to these starving people because as a child he told me of how he used to have to go to school hungry with only a glass of water mixed with a packet of sugar to keep him from starving.” Now, Corea feeds 10,000 people per day through his ministry, which translates to “Eagle’s Wings,” and his connection to US-based non-profit Feed My Starving Children. Another aspect of Corea’s ministry that sparked Gwartney’s interest was sports – soccer in particular.
When Gwartney began assembling his group he enlisted Chris Albanese, former soccer player and missionary, as well as the sons of his close friend and missions partner Allen Eppinger. Eppinger’s sons are involved with soccer at Georgia Tech and Southeastern and they ended up enlisting several of their current and former teammates. Also included in his group were his paralegal, June Mye, and his law partner and fellow FJA member, Matt Foster. While in Leon the group built a shower facility, distributed food, cooked meals and they even won quite a few soccer games too! “The sports element of this mission trip really provided us a way to connect and minister to the people in Leon,” says Gwartney.
Gwartney has been involved with international missions since his first trip to the Amazon in 2004. “I went with Dr. Wes Scoles, whom I didn’t know very well, and another attorney acquaintance of mine. After that first trip I was hooked.” Since then Gwartney has participated in one to two mission trips per year going everywhere from Amazonas, Brazil to Costa Rica to Indonesia and Nicaragua. Mission work runs in the Gwartney family. Gwartney’s brother is a missionary in Uganda, and Gwartney has taken his family on a mission trip with him and other families to Costa Rica as well. “It was important to me to expose our kids to how the world works, and I think middle school is a good age for that,” said Gwartney. To Gwartney, it is healthy to help other people. His mission work gives him a sense of balance and perspective.
Scott Gwartney is a partner at Brooks, LeBoeuf, Bennett, Foster & Gwartney. He specializes in medical malpractice and nursing home litigation. He is a member of the Florida Justice Association (where he currently serves on the Nursing Home Task Force, and has previously served on the Medical Malpractice Task Force), the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, the American Trial Lawyers Association, and the Federalist Society for Law & Public Policy (formerly Vice-Chairman, Tallahassee Lawyers Chapter, 1993-94). He was also just recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the top 100 trial lawyers of the year.