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Jaguars Foundation Awards $712,750 in Grants to Local Youth-Serving Agencies

The Jaguars Foundation Board announced the awarding of $712,750 in grants in its first grant cycle of 2009 to 24 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 $12.5 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. "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.

General Youth Program Grants:

• American Legion Post 194 (through EPIC Community Services): $20,000. After-school and summer program for elementary students in West St. Augustine.

• Best Buddies International, $20,000. A mentor program that provides youth, both with and without intellectual disabilities, the opportunity to form friendships, at Forrest High School, Southside Middle School, and Lake Shore Middle School.

• Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida, $26,250. After-school and summer programs at the Woodland Acres Boy and Girls Club.

• Bridge of Northeast Florida, $50,000. The Bridge Teen Connection program in Springfield.

• Communities in Schools of Nassau County Inc, $40,000. Multi-site student dropout prevention program at Nassau County Public Schools.

• Communities in Schools of St. Johns, $24,000. Youth/family, physical fitness, healthy nutrition, academic and arts enrichment program in Hastings, Florida.

• DLC Nurse & Learn, $28,000. Financial assistance for specialized child care services for low-income families with children who have severe disabilities and medically complex conditions.

• Empowerment Resources Inc., $15,000. Journey Into Womanhood program promoting leadership development in girls ages 9-17.

• Episcopal Children's Services, $19,500. Continuation grant for the Male Involvement Initiative in Head Start and Early Head Start centers in Baker, Clay and Nassau counties.

• Florida Community College at Jacksonville Foundation, $7,000. "Karate and Careers" after-school youth college preparation, recreation and mentoring program.

• Fresh Ministries, $18,000. Teen mentoring program and teen summer employment program at the Eastside Neighborhood Outreach Center.

• Habitat for Humanity of Jax Beaches, $30,000. After-school academic, tutoring and computer skills programs for youth at the Jordan and Donner centers in Atlantic Beach, and the Rhoda L. Martin Cultural Heritage Center in Jacksonville Beach.

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

• JASMYN, $40,000. Safety Net Program for at-risk youth, including those residing in out-of-home settings such as foster care, homeless, or other high-risk situations.

• National Council of Negro Women's Child Watch Partnership of Jacksonville, $25,000. Community based after-school and summer tutoring enrichment program for girls at the Reed Educational Campus in northwest Jacksonville.

• Sanctuary on 8th Street, $30,000. After-school enrichment and summer camp for low income children.

• TLC In, $20,000. Leadership and character development program for teens during and after- school.

• YMCA Florida First Coast, $25,000. After school teen recreation and mentor program at the Baker County YMCA teen center in Sanderson.

Straight Talk Grants in partnership with the Weaver Family Foundation (each foundation provides ½ of the funding) for comprehensive educational programs to help prevent teen pregnancy and HIV-AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections:

• The Bridge of Northeast Florida, $40,000. Straight Talk.

• Girls Inc, $40,000. Preventing Adolescent Pregnancy.

• PACE Center for Girls Jacksonville, $30,000. Time to be a Girl.

The Foundation, in partnership with Baptist Health-Wolfson Children's Hospital, also awarded $129,000 in Youth Anti-Obesity grants to five non-profits to prevent childhood obesity and promote healthy lifestyle choices, through increasing physical activity and better nutrition.

For information on the Grants Program guidelines and application, please visit the Jaguars Foundation website at

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 Diet Pepsi, to encourage reading and use of local public libraries;

• What Moves U, co-sponsored by Baptist Health/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, an initiative to reduce tobacco use among youth.

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