The Jack Del Rio Foundation will hold a special back-to-school event at the Florida Blue Health & Wellness Practice Fields following Thursday's morning practice. More than 250 children will receive a backpack full of school supplies and two tickets to one of the Jaguars' two home preseason games. Several members of the Episcopal High School football team will be distributing the backpacks to the children.
The children invited by the Jack Del Rio Foundation are from the Children's Home Society, United Way, Voices for the Children and the Boys & Girls Club. Each child will receive a Jaguars backpack filled with notebooks, pens, pencils and other items supplied by the foundation.
"Every child should have the proper supplies as they return to school," Del Rio said. "I'm looking forward to having them at practice and meeting our players. It's also a great opportunity for them to attend an NFL game."
Del Rio and his wife, Linda, established the Jack Del Rio Foundation in 2008 to help improve the lives of children in Northeast Florida by assisting programs that aid in the development, education and enrichment of our youth. The foundation was heavily involved with children from the Naval Station Mayport in 2010 as part of the "Jack's Pack" program.
Del Rio and the staff at NS Mayport coordinated the "Jack's Pack" program and selected 25 children, boys and girls, to participate in its inaugural year. Each participant had to complete an essay and have a parent who is active duty Navy stationed at NS Mayport. The foundation held an event each month and included dinner at Maggiano's in the St. Johns Town Center, a tour of the North Florida campus and a behind the scenes tour of EverBank Field.
The foundation hosted an event for 25 children from the Police Athletic League in December of 2011. The day included lunch at Winn Dixie and a $75 gift certificate for additional purchases. Following lunch, the group was transported to Academy Sports and Outdoors for a special shopping spree in which each child received a $100 gift card for the holidays.