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Jaguars award $206,314

The Jaguars Foundation has awarded $206,314 in grants to nine local youth-serving agencies in its second grant cycle of 2005. The total amount awarded in 2005 is $1,048,737, marking the fifth year in a row that the Foundation has awarded more than one million dollars in grants.

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 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 even before the team played its first game in 1995," Weaver remarked. "I am proud of the Jaguars 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 looks for opportunities to leverage its dollars with others to ensure the long-term sustainability of quality programs for low-income youth. "Children and teens 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 second cycle for 2005:

· Baptist Health Foundation – $30,000 for Art With a Heart program's Artist-in-Residence position to provide art therapy program with children at Wolfson Children's Hospital.

· The Family Nurturing Center of Florida – $25,000 for therapeutic counseling program to help reunite children in foster care with their parents and prevent further child abuse or neglect.

· First Coast Family Center – $36,000 for the First Coast Friends Mentoring Program for training and supervising adult mentors of children at-risk for child abuse and neglect.

· The First Tee of St. Johns County – $10,000 to expand the number of low-income, minority and female participants in The First Tee's after-school life-skills and golf program.

· Heart for Children – $20,000 for after-school/summer education and recreation program.

· Jewish Family & Community Services – $15,314 for therapeutic personal growth groups for boys and girls in the dependency system.

· Metro Kids Konnection – $20,000 for after-school/summer program at Cleveland Arms housing complex.

· Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida, Inc. – $25,000 for continued support of a resource center for nonprofit organizations in northeast Florida.

· United Congregations for Communities and Youth – $25,000 for the Virtues Positive Youth Development after-school and summer program.

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 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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