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Foundation awards $607,000

The Jaguars Foundation awarded $607,000 in grants to 22 agencies in its first grant cycle of 2005.

Under the leadership of Delores Barr Weaver, Jaguars Foundation Chair and CEO, the Foundation's grand total in grant giving since 1995 is over $8.7 million in the Jacksonville area, which includes Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, and St. Johns counties. "Our dream of the Jaguars Foundation began even before Jacksonville was awarded the 30th NFL franchise in 1993, and we started awarding grants even before our first football season began in 1995," Weaver remarked. "I am proud of the Jaguars and its partners for making the million dollar commitment annually to support these important programs for youth and their families."

Peter Racine, the Foundation's Executive Director, reported that the Foundation's priority continues to be quality prevention programs that provide opportunities to low-income youth. "Kids need quality after-school, summer and other prevention programs to give them a chance to capitalize on opportunities for success in the future that we all want our children to have," Racine said.

The following were awarded grants by the Jaguars Foundation in the first cycle for 2005:

• Baker County Family YMCA – $24,000 for a middle and high school after-school, tutoring and arts program.

• Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida – $25,000 for the Woodland Acres Boys & Girls Club's after-school and summer youth programs.

• Clay County Dental Care – $25,000 to help start and operate the new Volunteer Dental Clinic for low-income children located in Green Cove Springs.

• Communities In Schools of Jacksonville – $74,000 over two years for continued support of a multi-school site student drop-out prevention and literacy enhancement program.

• Communities In Schools of Nassau County – $25,000 for continued support of the "Prepare For Life" multi-school site program to help at-risk middle and high school youth to be more successful in school, graduate and be better prepared for a productive life.

• Community Connections of Jacksonville – $50,000 for continued support of the A. L. Lewis Community Center's after-school and summer youth programs.

• The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach – $20,000 for an after-school youth development and arts program for 4th and 5th grade students at Mayport Elementary School.

• DLC Nurse & Learn – $30,000 for continued support for low-income families needing preschool/extended day care for severely disabled infants and children.

• Duval County 4-H Foundation – $20,000 for continued support of their school-based multi-site 4-H Junior Master Gardening program.

• The Florida Ballet – $10,000 for dance instruction scholarships for low-income youth.

• Girl Scouts of Gateway Council – $40,000 over two years for Girl Scouting at 18 low-income housing sites in Duval County.

• Habitat for Humanity of the Jacksonville Beaches – $16,000 for continued support of the after-school reading and academic program at Jordan Community Center in Atlantic Beach.

• JASMYN – $30,000 for the Safety Net Program for youth who are at-risk for school failure or family breakdown.

• Kids Bridge – $17,500 challenge grant for a nurturing parenting program within the Kids Bridge supervised visitation program.

• Kiwanis Club of Jacksonville – $5,000 for a mentors reading program and other support for special education students in the SAVE Program at Southside Middle School.

• MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation – $50,000 over two years for continued support of the after-school youth homework assistance, tennis, fitness, and mentoring program held at the Emmett Reed Center.

• Otis Smith Kids Foundation – $20,000 for continued support for the school-based multi-site after-school tutoring program for children.

• Police Athletic League, Jacksonville – $25,000 for educational tutoring and mentoring program at the Mallison Park Community Center.

• Theatreworks – $24,000 for continued support of the school based multi-cultural theatre experience and creative writing after-school workshops for low-income children.

• Trinity Lutheran Church – $2,500 for transportation assistance to transport low-income children to and from activities at the Children's Enrichment Workshops in Riverside.

• The Historic St. Johns County Police Athletic League – $24,000 for continued support of the after-school tutoring program and activities for Hastings, Florida middle and high school students.

• The Bridge of Northeast Florida – $50,000 for continued support of The Bridge Teen Center in Springfield.

The Jaguars Foundation focuses on strategic grant making, networking, and volunteer support to serve economically and socially disadvantaged youth and families of Jacksonville. Other Foundation programs include Honor Rows® which uses seats at Jaguars home games to reward economically and socially disadvantaged youth for reaching pre-determined academic, behavioral, and public service goals; The Official Playbooks®, an initiative to encourage reading and use of local public libraries; Straight Talk™ which focuses on reducing teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, and other sexually transmitted diseases; and the Jaguars Don't Smoke campaign to reduce tobacco use among youth.

The Foundation is presently evaluating proposals for the second grant cycle for 2005, which will be awarded in November. The next grant application deadline is February 16, 2006. For information on the Grants Program guidelines and application, please visit the Jaguars Foundation website at or call (904) 633-KIDS.

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