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Jaguars and Jaspers team up

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (December 27, 2002) - For the eighth year, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Otis Smith Kids Foundation are teaming up to give Jaguars fans a say in the annual Jacksonville Jaguars MVP Award.

Fans may visit www.jaspers.com now and make their selection for which Jaguars star is the team's most valuable player. The Jacksonville Jaguars MVP award is the only Jasper determined strictly by a fan vote.

This year is the first year that fans have two opportunities to vote. First, like previous years, fans may select any individual Jaguars star as their MVP. This year, however, the Jaspers will announce the three Jaguars with the most votes in January. These Jaguars will be the finalists, announced at a special news conference. Fans may continue to vote for one of the three finalists through April.

"This area of the country is very passionate about football and extremely passionate about the Jaguars," said Tim Murphy, executive director of the Otis Smith Kids Foundation, the organization that produces the Jaspers each June. "It is only appropriate that fans pick the winner of this exciting award.

"This year, we expect this award to be more competitive than it has been in years past," Murphy said. "It could easily go to one of several Jaguars. There's no clear winner. As we focus solely on local athletics, the Jaguars are going to be among the evening's highlights."

The Eighth Annual Jaspers honor the top sports performances of the year on the First Coast. The show will televise live on WTLV NBC 12 on Saturday evening, June 14, 2003 from the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts. The Jaspers are the signature fundraising event for the Otis Smith Kids Foundation. All proceeds from the event benefit the Foundation's local efforts. Tickets are available by calling 904/880-6847. For more information about this event, please visit www.jaspers.com

The Otis Smith Kids Foundation provides programs and services for underprivileged children in Northeast Florida in the areas of education, personal development and recreation. Since its inception in 1989, the not-for-profit organization has Fans may vote starting today at www.jaspers.com

touched the lives of thousands of children. Founder Otis F. Smith, a Jacksonville-native and former Jacksonville University and NBA standout, established the Foundation in an effort to support his community and to help today's youth become tomorrow's leaders. To get involved or to learn more about the Otis Smith Kids Foundation, call 904/880-6847 or visit www.otissmithfoundation.com

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