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Jaguars Foundation Awards $554,820 in Grants to Local Youth-Serving Agencies

The Jaguars Foundation Board announced the awarding of $554,820 in grants in its first grant cycle of 2008 to the following 22 local nonprofit organizations serving economically and socially disadvantaged children and families in Northeast Florida:

• Art4Jax: $10,000. Community music and fine arts school in Riverside, including participation in the Children's Enrichment Workshop after-school program.

• Baker County YMCA: $25,000. After-school/summer teen programs, including character development, service projects, substance abuse/sexual health education, and personal goal setting, for Baker County youth at YMCA in Sanderson and Macclenny.

• Boys and Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida: $25,000. Woodland Acres Boys and Girls Club in Arlington.

• The Bridge of Northeast Florida: $50,000. After-school/summer teen programs in the Weaver Zone at The Bridge's main campus in Springfield.

• Catholic Charities Bureau of the Diocese of St. Augustine, Ministry for Persons with Disabilities: $10,000. Scholarships for disabled children from low-income families to attend Camp I am Special, to ensure that no youth is turned away due to financial hardship.

• Communities in Schools of Jacksonville: $70,000. Primary prevention services for at-risk elementary age students at Biltmore Elementary and Lake Forest Elementary schools.

• Community in Schools of Nassau: $30,000. Tutoring, mentoring, homework club, summer remediation and other services for students at Fernandina Beach Middle and High Schools, Hilliard Middle/Senior High School, Yulee and Callahan Middle Schools and West Nassau High School.

• DLC Nurse & Learn: $20,000. Financial assistance for specialized child care services for low income families with children who have severe disabilities and medically complex conditions.

• Duval County 4-H. Foundation: $30,000. Volunteer Junior Master Gardner program in area elementary schools that provides hands-on natural science, math, reading and writing skill development; and the creation and care of gardens at the schools.

• Empowerment Resources: $10,000. Journey Into Womanhood (JIW) program promoting leadership development in girls ages 9-17.

• Episcopal Children's Services: $6,820. Male Involvement Initiative at Head Start and Early Head Start centers to increase the role fathers play in the healthy development of their children.

• Fresh Ministries: $8,000. Eastside Neighborhood Outreach Center, specifically to support the Center's outreach to youth and families.

• Girls Scouts of Gateway Council: $40,000. Development of Girl Scout troops in low-income housing communities throughout Jacksonville.

• Hubbard House: $36,000. Counselor position for the HARK Program to assist children and youth who have experienced or witnessed domestic violence.

• JASMYN: $20,000. Safety Net Program for at-risk youth, including those residing in "out of home" settings, homeless, foster care, or other high-risk situations.

• Mali Vai Washington: $50,000. Utilizes tennis as a tool to develop positive life skills and to encourage academic achievement; particularly with youth who otherwise would not be exposed to the sport.

• Managed Access to Child Health: $10,000. Matching grant, contingent on receipt of Federal SAMHSA grant to develop a comprehensive system of mental health care for children with serious emotional disturbances and their families.

• OneJax: $40,000. Metro Town teen diversity education program.

• St. Gerard Campus: $25,000. On-site day care center for teens with children who are attending the St. Gerard accredited school and/or reside in their maternity home.

• Trinity Lutheran Church, Children's Enrichment Workshops: $12,000. After-school enrichment program for low-income elementary children in the Riverside area.

• United Congregations for Communities & Youth: $25,000. After-School positive youth development in West Jacksonville.

• USO-Jacksonville: $2,000. Support for the "Sailor's Aweigh" program for families with a parent on deployment or recently returned from deployment to attend a Jaguars home game.

Under the leadership of Delores Barr Weaver, Jaguars Foundation Chair and CEO, Foundation's grand total in grant giving since 1995 is more than $11.6 million for youth-serving programs in the Jacksonville area, which includes Duval, Baker, Clay, Nassau, and St. Johns counties. This level of giving is among the top few of professional sports teams.

"Our dream of the Jaguars Foundation began even before Jacksonville was awarded the 30th NFL franchise in 1993, and we were already awarding grants before the team played its first game in 1995," Weaver remarked. "I am proud of the Jaguars Partners for making a million dollar commitment annually to support the Foundation's grant making and other important programs for youth and their families." Unlike most professional sports teams, the Jaguars Foundation does not solicit contributions nor hold fundraising events.

For information on the Grants Program guidelines and application, please visit the Jaguars Foundation website at http://www.jaguars.com/foundation/grantmaking.aspx

About the Jaguars Foundation:

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® uses seats at Jaguars home games to reward economically and socially disadvantaged youth for reaching pre-determined academic, behavioral, and public service goals;

• Straight Talk™, in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida and local media, to help reduce teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, and other sexually transmitted diseases;

• The Official Playbooks®, in partnership with Pepsi, to encourage reading and use of local public libraries;

• What Moves U, co-sponsored by Wolfson Children's Hospital, in partnership with the NFL, American Heart Association and Duval County Public Schools, to prevent youth obesity, promote physical activity and good nutrition; and,

• Jaguars Don't Smoke initiative to reduce tobacco use among youth.

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