The Jaguars Foundation Board announced the awarding of $594,000 in its first grant cycle of 2011 to 22 local nonprofit organizations serving economically and socially disadvantaged children and families in Northeast Florida.
Under the leadership of Delores Barr Weaver, Jaguars Foundation Chair and CEO, the Foundation's total grant giving since 1995 is more than $14.6 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 awarded our first grants before the team played its first game in 1995," Weaver remarked.
Peter Racine, the Foundation's Executive Director, noted that, unlike most professional sports teams, the Jaguars Foundation does not solicit contributions nor hold fundraising events. The team's grant making program which is funded primarily from team revenue, is continuing on-schedule even though the NFL owners and players contract negotiations are still ongoing. "Mrs. Weaver and the Board have said from the beginning that the Foundation would continue its commitment to the community to provide grants and other programs, even it there was a work stoppage that affected team revenue, and we maintain a reserve fund just for that reason."
The following general program grants were awarded in 2011 Cycle One:
- *Best Buddies International Inc., $10,000. *Middle and high school peer mentoring project.
- Boselli Foundation, $7,000.Reading curriculum for two after-school program sites.
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida, $27,000. Youth programs at the Woodland Acres Boys & Girls Club in Arlington.
- Bridge of Northeast Florida,$50,000. Support of the Weaver Zone Teen Connection year-round youth academic, enrichment, job skills and employment program.
- Cathedral Arts Project, $25,000. Arts program serving low-income elementary children.
- Communities in Schools of Jacksonville, $35,000.Youth dropout prevention/literacy enhancement program in multiple public school sites in Jacksonville.
- Communities in Schools of Nassau, $30,000.Dropout prevention program (grades 6-12) at multiple public school sites in Nassau County.
- Communities in Schools of St. Johns, $12,000.After-school summer health, nutrition, fitness program at the OUR Center in Hastings, Florida.
- DLC Nurse & Learn, $25,000. Childcare scholarship support for low-income working families for infants and children with disabilities and medical problems in an inclusion center.
- Duval County 4-H, $20,000.4-H Junior Master Gardening Programat various Duval County Public School sites.
- EPIC Community Services (American Legion Post 194), $12,000. After-school and summer academic and enrichment program for 25 elementary school students from West St. Augustine neighborhoods.
- Fresh Ministries, $20,000.Eastside Center's summer employmentpreparation and placement program.
- Habitat for Humanity of the Jax Beaches, $30,000.Multi-site after-school tutoring program.
- Hope Haven Children's Clinic and Family Center,$15,000.Language enhancement and mental health services for low-income youth at Guardian Catholic Schools.
- Hubbard House,$36,000. Helping at Risk Kids (HARK) program.
- JASMYN, Inc $30,000,at $15,000 per year over two years. * Safety Net Program, health education and access to case management and mentoring program for at-risk youth.*
- MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation,$75,000. After-school teen program (college/career preparation and tennis).
- Northside Community Involvement Inc, $20,000.WIN Youth enrichment and basketball program.
- OneJax, $20,000.Diversity education learning lab including the 4-day Metrotown intensive institute program and the LOUD year-round program.
- Sanctuary on 8th Street,$30,000. After-school and summer camp for low-income children in Springfield.
- St. Gerard Campus,$40,000.Licensed daycare service for students at St. Gerard High School in St. Augustine who have infants and toddlers.
- YMCA Florida's First Coast,$25,000. Baker County YMCA Sanderson Teen Center.
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; * * Jaguars Play 60 Challenge, co-sponsored by Baptist Health/Wolfson Children's Hospital, in partnership with the NFL, American Heart Association and Duval County Public Schools, to help prevent youth obesity, promote physical activity and good nutrition; and, * Jaguars Don't Smoke,*an initiative to reduce tobacco use among youth. *