Through the generosity of Jaguars fans, more than 110 tickets have been donated to charitable organizations this season. The cash and in-kind ticket gifts valued at over $4,500 came as a result of the Jacksonville Chamber Cornerstone Luncheon on September 4th. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver, Jaguars owners, along with head coach Jack Del Rio, Jaguars players, coaches, the ROAR cheerleaders and JAXSON de Ville were special guests. Mrs. Weaver, who is also Chair/CEO of the Jaguars Foundation, noted at the luncheon that many families and business owners who are loyal Jaguars fans are struggling in this economy and that understandably impacts ticket sales. She also noted that some avid Jaguars fans cannot afford to buy tickets and suggested that individuals and businesses could buy tickets and donate them to charities that would allow some of these folks to be able to attend a game this year.
That started the "ball rolling." Although the Jaguars Foundation and team provide a significant number of tickets to charitable organizations through the Honor Rows®, whereby youth earn their seat through a goal setting program, Sailors Aweigh for U.S. Navy families with a parent(s) on deployment, and HabiJax in recognition of their volunteers, and other charitable seating programs, they can not meet the need of all of the area's worthy groups.
One couple, U.S. Navy Admiral (retired) Kevin Delaney and Pat Delaney, wrote in a note to Delores, "Since Day One, when all of the seats could have been sold out, you became the only NFL franchise to offer discounted tickets through the USO and give tickets to the family members of our deployed military members (through Sailors Aweigh)." Admiral Delaney continued, "We have been season ticket holders since before Day One, but I was moved by your words at the Chamber Cornerstone Luncheon and want to send you a check to buy some seats for children through the Jaguars Foundation."
As a result of the ticket donations by Jaguars fans, three organizations received blocks of 30 seats for either the November 8 or November 22 Jaguars home games: Barnabas International, a senior citizen volunteer organization, Starlight Children's Foundation, which supports families with children with illnesses and disabilities, and ARC Jacksonville which supports disabled adults. Other recipient charitable organizations include The Bridge of Northeast Florida and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida. Joanne Hickox, founder and executive director of Barnabas explained, "This is a blessing for the senior volunteers who were selected to go to the game in recognition of the hundreds of hours they donate to children's programs and other non-profits throughout Jacksonville, providing in-kind support to these organizations with a value of thousands of dollars."
"We are thrilled to know that even in this tough economy, the generosity of our fans is bringing joy to the lives of others," exclaimed Mrs. Weaver. "We truly have the best fans and I thank them for their support." Mrs. Weaver added that if additional fans would like to donate tickets for charitable organizations for any of the upcoming games, they can contact the Jaguars Foundation at 904-633-KIDS.