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Jack Gillrup Award

The Jack Gillrup: Spirit of the ADA Award was created in 2007 to recognize an assiduous leader in the Northeast Florida Disability Community. In 2008, the decision was made to recognize two individuals to receive Jack Gillrup awards; one, a citizen and the other, a community leader.

General Information:

  • Due date for nominations: September 13th, 2019
  • Nominations open to citizens of the following counties: Duval, St. Johns, Baker, Clay, and Nassau counties that have shown leadership, perseverance, and dedication to the Disability Community of Northeast Florida.
  • Submissions to be reviewed by the Mayor’s Disability Council.
  • Awards will be presented at the Spirit of the ADA in October.
  • One vote per person, per category
  • Inquiries regarding nominations: Jose Morales JoseM@theilrc.org or (904) 399-8484

There are two award categories.

Citizen: A person with a disability who has been a positive example to the disability community.
Community Leader: A person with or without a disability who has furthered the Independent Living movement.

To download forms in a PDF format, click here.

Nomination Form

Jack Gillrup: Spirit of the ADA Award

The Spirit of the ADA is sponsored annually by the City of Jacksonville's Disabled Services Division and the Independent Living Resource Center. Ticket registration will be announced soon. To sign up for updates, click here.


[Image Description]: Jack Gillrup smiles, with a group of five people, wearing his FSU cap. Two people are Sean Pozin and Dr. Kris Webb (previous Jack Gillrup Award winners). A young girl is in the picture. She has a Minnie mouse backpack attached to her standing wheelchair.



John A. "Jack" Gillrup, was born in the "real" Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota to John and Maxine (Christensen) Gillrup on November 13, 1938.

Jack graduated from Florida State University and Jacksonville University before going to work for the Social Security Administration where he was in charge of Public Information and Public Relations in Northeast Florida. Jack later served at the pleasure of three different mayors during his time as Chief of the Disabled Services Division for the City of Jacksonville from 1991 until he retired in 2007. As Chief, Jack strived to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities in Jacksonville and make all city services as accessible as possible.

Two of Jack's proudest accomplishments during his service with the City of Jacksonville were the creation of the Jim Brady Scholarship program for students with disabilities and the authorship of Ordinance 2002-869, which requires all property owners to make their businesses accessible to all persons, including people with disabilities.

For many years Jack was the Florida Field Editor for the Disabled Outdoors magazine, a national publication geared toward men and women who continue to enjoy outdoor activities in spite of their disabilities. Jack was co-founder of the Florida Handicapped Sportsman, Inc., and served as board member of Easter Seals of Florida and WJCT/Stereo 90.

Jack was a key supporter of the Radio Reading Service for over 1,000 reading impaired individuals in Northeast Florida. He served on the advisory board of Bethesda Park for the Disabled and was appointed by Governor Jeb Bush to serve two terms on the Commission for Employment of the Blind and Other Severely Handicapped. The Jack Gillrup: Spirit of the ADA Award was created in 2007 to recognize a leader in the Northeast Florida Disability Community.
Jack's hobbies included writing, fishing, hunting, traveling and target shooting. One of his lifelong dreams was to hunt big game on safari in Africa, which he was able to accomplish in 1994.

Jack passed away at the age of 80, on November 21, 2018. He is survived by his wife, Frances; his eight sons, Rory, Jeff (Jill), Addam, Chris, Greg, Kevin, Eric and Doug (Virginia) several grandchildren, a few great-grandchildren and two younger brothers, Ted (Kay), and Rob (Brenda), one niece and four nephews.