At this Sunday's home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, over 500 youth who earned their seat will be cheering the Jaguars on with their chaperones from the Honor Rows section in the north end-zone. Sponsoring agencies for these youth are The Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida, HabiJax, North Jacksonville Youth Development, First Coast Family and Housing Foundation, YMCA - Johnson Branch, and the City of Jacksonville Beach Carver Community Center.
The Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation has awarded a total of 4,144 Honor Rows seats for the 2001 regular-season Jaguars home games to youth, staff and volunteers participating in 38 programs, the largest amount since Honors Rows began in 1995. In the last six years, the Foundation has awarded more than 15,000 seats to youth, parents, mentors and agency staff.
Honor Rows allows local nonprofit agencies to develop their own programs through which economically and socially disadvantaged youth and families in Greater Jacksonville can earn seats to Jaguars home games. These programs seek to motivate youth ages 9 to 16, with assistance from parents, volunteer mentors and agency staff, to better themselves and the community through specific public-service initiatives and academic and behavioral improvement. All programs last a minimum of eight weeks, with some programs continuing for a full year. All youth participating in an Honor Rows program are required to sign and fulfill an anti-substance abuse pledge, promising to abstain from illegal drugs, tobacco products and alcohol.
Historically, nearly 80% of youth participating in an Honor Rows program meet their goals and earn their seat to a Jaguars home game. In addition to seats, Honor Rows participants receive a complimentary meal, a special yellow T-shirt, hat, pledge card, certificate and recognition at the stadium during the game. Honor Rows 2001 is sponsored in part by ALLTEL, Reebok and The Robert Wood Johnson's Foundation Sports Philanthropy Project. Game day volunteers are provided through the United Way of Northeast Florida.
The following agencies are participating in the 2001 Honor Rows program:
B.E.S.T. (Bethel Enhancing Students Totally)
Baptist Home for Children
Big Brothers Big Sisters
Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida
Boys' Home Association
Children's Home Society
City of Jax Beach Carver Community Center
Clay County Behavioral Health Center
Communities in Schools of Jacksonville
Communities in Schools of Nassau County
Communities in Schools of St. Johns County
Drugs Aren't The Answer
Duval County 4-H Foundation
EPIC Community Services
First Coast Family and Housing Foundation
Gateway Girl Scout Council
Girls Inc. of Jacksonville
Guardian of Dreams
Historic St. Johns County Police Athletic League
Jacksonville Marine Institute
Jewish Family & Community Services
Junior Achievement of Florida's First Coast
Mali Vai Washington Kids Foundation
North Jacksonville Youth Development
PACE Center for Girls Jacksonville
River Region Human Services
State Attorney's Office
Sutton Place of Nassau County/SED Unit
The Bridge of Northeast Florida
The Webb Center
YMCA - Claude J. Yates
YMCA of Florida's First Coast
YMCA - Johnson Branch
The Jaguars Foundation received the 1996 Governor's Community Investment Award (non-profit division) for Honor Rows. The Foundation also has received the WTLV-12 Top of the Class Award in 1996 and the Bridge Builder Award in 1997. In addition, Honor Rows was featured in Forbes Magazine in December 1998. In 2001, the Foundation received the Florida Department of Education's Commissioner's Business Recognition Award.
Honor Rows is the largest of several Jaguars Foundation programs using Jaguars game seats for charitable purposes. The Foundation's General Charitable Use seating programs include Sailors Aweigh (providing home-game tickets for youth whose parents are on deployment with the US Navy), youth football, flag football, the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation, Nike Let Us Play Camp Volunteers and others. Altogether, the Jaguars Foundation allocated more than $400,000 worth of home-game seats to charitable purposes for the 2001 season.
The Jaguars Foundation focuses on strategic grantmaking, networking and volunteer support to serve economically and socially disadvantaged youth and families of Jacksonville. Other Foundation programs include: Grantmaking to area non-profit agencies; Playbooks, an innovative program established in 1996 to inspire young people to read; Straight Talk, a program designed to educate and reduce the incidence of teen pregnancy and the spread of AIDS and other sexuality transmitted infections (STI's) through an unprecedented partnership with local media organizations; and a youth anti-tobacco initiative established in partnership with The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to reduce smoking among youth.