The Jaguars Foundation has exceeded one million dollars in grant awards in 2002, for the third time in Jacksonville Jaguars history. The Foundation announced that 15 grants were awarded totaling more than $353,075 to local youth-serving programs in the second cycle of 2002. This brings the grand total for 2002 to $1,095,854 in grant awards. The Foundation's grand total for giving since 1995 is over $5.8 million in the Jacksonville area, which includes Duval, Clay, Nassau, St. John's and Baker 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," Delores Barr Weaver, Chair and CEO of the Jaguars Foundation exclaimed. "I am proud of the Jaguars and its partners for making the million dollar commitment to support these important programs for youth and their families. In light of the September 11th tragedy and our current state and national economy, grant support of our local agencies is that much more important."
According to Greg Johnson, President of the Sports Philanthropy Project, a national training center and clearing house for professional team and individual athlete foundations, "The Jaguars Foundation is recognized nationally for its excellent programs, and this level of grant awards places the Jaguars at or near the top of philanthropy among teams, not just in football, but in all of the professional leagues."
Peter Racine, the Foundation's Executive Director, reported that the grants help to ensure that the most economically and socially disadvantaged children have the opportunities and support they need to grow up and positively contribute to the Jacksonville-area community. The grants address critical areas for youth, including quality, safe after-school programs; child and family literacy; access to quality arts and cultural programs; preventing child abuse; and preventing teen pregnancy and the spread of AIDS/HIV and other sexually-transmitted infections.
GRANT AWARDS. The following grants were awarded by the Jaguars Foundation in the second grant cycle for 2002:
Boys & Girls Clubs of Nassau County Foundation Inc.: $25,000 for construction of a permanent facility in Nassau County (matched with a $25,000 grant from the Weaver Family Foundation).
Cathedral Arts Project, Inc.: $23,575 to continuing support of after-school arts and tutoring programs for school children grades 1-5.
Clara White Mission, Inc.: $26,500 in continuing support of the Brentwood Greater Expectations Program (after-school tutoring and prevention activities).
Community Asthma Partnership, Jacksonville: $25,000 for continued support of the C-CAP Program to identify and address the needs of high-risk underserved children with asthma.
Dignity U Wear Foundation, Inc.: $25,000 for continued support of the Director of Development and Acquisitions position to obtain donated new clothing for children and adults in shelters, foster care, or otherwise in need.
First Coast Family Center: $36,000 for continued support of volunteer mentors and Parent Aide Program at their child abuse prevention program.
Hubbard House: $38,000 for continued support of individual therapy for children who have witnessed and/or been a victim of domestic violence.
The Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art: $35,000 for continued support of ArtExplorium in the Classroom, a visual arts & literacy program for inner-city schools and schools with limited art resources.
Junior Achievement of Florida's First Coast, Inc.: $12,500 to help pilot school based programs in economic education and financial literacy in Jacksonville's Northside, Duval County School Board Region 1.
The Kesler Mentoring Connection, Inc.: $25,000 to continue support of the youth mentoring resource center serving Northeast Florida
The National Conference for Community and Justice: $20,000 for continued support of METROTOWN, a multi-cultural teen residential leadership program.
Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida, Inc.: $12,500 for continued support of the resource center to serve area nonprofit organizations (matched with a $25,000 grant from the Weaver Family Foundation).
The Salvation Army: $25,000 in support of quality childcare for homeless children.
St. Gerard Campus, Inc.: $12,000 in support of computers and educational software for school serving young mothers/pregnant teens in St. Augustine.
Theatreworks, Inc.: $12,000 for an academic teaching strategy for schools that utilizes the performing arts, reading and tutoring.
In addition to grantmaking, other Foundation programs include:
• Honor Rows: Seats at Jaguars home games are used as incentives for youth participating with local agencies to set and achieve goals. During the 2002 season, 4,600 seats were awarded to agencies in the Jacksonville area. This program won the 1996 Governor's Community Investment Award.
• General Charitable Use Seats: In addition to Honor Rows, the Foundation offers seats to a variety of other charitable organizations. During the 2002 season, the Foundation dedicated more than 7,200 seats. The total in-kind value of Honors Rows and other charitable seats exceeds $430,000.
• Straight Talk: Led by Delores Barr Weaver, this program targets teen pregnancy and STI prevention through a partnership with local media. Straight Talk includes: annual live television production of a town hall forum; production of a teen-focused video; Public Service Announcements in the stadium and on television; a web site (straighttalk.jacksonville.com) in partnership with The Florida-Times Union; and, in conjunction with the Weaver Family Foundation, has awarded nearly $300,000 in grants. For the 2002 season, Straight Talk "Teens & Sex…The Real Truth" live simulcast is scheduled for Thursday, May 22rd, from 8:00-9:00 p.m. on stations WJCT-PBS 7 and WJXT-CBS 4. The show will continue to be broadcast by local stations throughout the following week.
• Youth Anti-Tobacco Initiative: Partnering with The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Jaguars Foundation uses signs on scoreboards and in local schools, on autograph cards and on Honor Rows pledge cards to send the message to youth that smoking is neither "cool" nor conducive to athletic performance. The Jaguars were also the first team to remove tobacco advertising from the back cover of game-day programs.
• Technical Assistance: Through a partnership with The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Sports Philanthropy Project, Jaguars Foundation staff provides technical assistance in program development, evaluation and improvement to local youth-serving agencies, and nationally to other sports teams or team-related philanthropic efforts.