Foundation Awards Grants

JAGUARS FOUNDATION AWARDS GRANTS

TO LOCAL YOUTH-SERVING AGENCIES

The Jaguars Foundation Board announced the awarding of $250,500 in grants in its second grant cycle of 2006 to eleven local nonprofit organizations serving economically and socially disadvantaged children and families. A total of $849,570 in grants has been awarded in 2006.

Under the leadership of Delores Barr Weaver, Jaguars Foundation Chair and CEO, the Foundation's grand total in grant giving since 1995 is more than $9.8 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 were already awarding grants before the team played its first game in 1995," Weaver remarked. "I am proud of the Jaguars Partners for making a million dollar commitment annually to support the Foundation's grant making and other important programs for youth and their families."

According to the Foundation's Executive Director, Peter Racine, this year's grants included many agencies with long-term track records of proven quality services for children, as well as some promising new initiatives such as an after-school program for elementary students operated by the West St. Augustine American Legion Post 194 members; a professionally staffed musical theatre training program for inner city youth at Stage Aurora; a teen male responsibility mentoring program affiliated with Abyssinia Baptist Church; and an expansion of a program operated by the Independent Living Resource Center for Northeast Florida to help low-income high school students with disabilities to be better prepared to enter the work-force. Racine stated, "These quality programs give low-income children and teens a chance to capitalize on opportunities for success in the future that we all want our children to have."

The Jaguars Foundation made the following grant awards in the second cycle for 2006:

• American Legion Post 194, West St. Augustine, $25,000. (EPIC in St. Augustine will serve as the fiscal agent for the grant.) After-school and summer youth tutoring, recreation and mentor program.

• APEL (AIDS Prevention and Education for Life) Health Services Center, a program of Abyssinia Baptist Church, Jacksonville, $28,000 (Straight Talk grant). Teen peer male education program in collaboration with the Duval County Health Department's Alliance for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention.

• Catholic Charities Bureau of the Diocese of St. Augustine – Ministry for Persons with Disabilities, $10.000. Support for low-income disabled children to be able to attend "Camp I Am Special" and other summer camp programs operated by the organization.

• Kids Bridge, St. Augustine, $47,500. Nurturing parenting program and supervised visitation program for families with children in foster care.

• Metro Kids Konnection, Jacksonville, $20,000. After-school and summer program for youth residing in the Cleveland Arms subsidized housing complex.

• Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida, $25,000. Support for the Center's work with and on behalf of nonprofit organizations serving youth and families in northeast Florida.

• Stage Aurora, Jacksonville, $20,000. Musical theater education program for low-income youth.

• Heart for Children, Jacksonville, $20,000. After-school educational and recreational program for low-income youth on Jacksonville's Eastside.

• Independent Living Resource Center for Northeast Florida, $10,000 (challenge grant). Expansion of their post-secondary education readiness program for low-income youth with disabilities in St. Johns County.

• Outward Bound, Yulee, $20,000. "Summer of Discovery" Outward Bound program for selected low-income youth from Nassau and Duval counties.

• United Congregations for Community and Youth, Jacksonville, $25,000. After-school, summer enrichment program and gang prevention programs serving youth residing in various neighborhoods in West Jacksonville.

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.

Application deadline for the Foundation's next grant cycle is February 16, 2007. For information on the Grants Program guidelines and application, please visit the Jaguars Foundation website at www.jaguars.com/foundation/grantmaking.asp or call (904) 633-KIDS.

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