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Jaguars Foundation Awards Honor Rows Seats to More Than 4,000 Youth

More than 4,000 youth will participate in the Jaguars Foundation's Honor Rows this season. The Foundation partners with 39 Jacksonville-area nonprofit agencies to provide goal-setting programs for economically and socially disadvantaged youth to earn a seat to a Jaguars home game. Since the inaugural season of 1995, a total of 51,900 Honor Rows seats have been awarded to youth, parents, staff and volunteers, including 4,588 for the 2009 season.

With assistance from parents, mentors and agency staff, youth ages nine to 17 seek to improve themselves and the community by setting and achieving goals for academic and behavioral improvement, increasing physical activity and eating more nutritionally, and providing volunteer community service. Program duration is a minimum of eight weeks. The youth also take an anti-substance abuse pledge to abstain from illegal drugs, tobacco products and alcohol. The child's parents or guardians co-sign the pledge card agreeing to support the youth in their promise. Historically, more than 90% of youth meet their goals and earn their seat.

In addition to a game day ticket, Honor Rows participants receive a complimentary meal, Tee-shirt, cap, pledge card, and certificate of completion. During the game, Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver lead The ROAR and Jaguars fans in a wave to congratulate the youth, seated in the north end zone, in recognition of their accomplishment, while the youths' enthusiastic response is shown on the large end-zone video screens. Game day volunteers provided through the United Way of Northeast Florida ensure that the youth have a safe and enjoyable game day experience.

Honor Rows is the largest of the Foundation's charitable seating programs, which also includes Sailors Aweigh (providing home game tickets for youth whose parents are on deployment with the U.S. Navy), youth football associations in low-income neighborhoods, HabiJax volunteers, Ronald McDonald House families and others. The Foundation allocates more than $420,000 worth of home game seats to charitable purposes annually.

Below are the 2009 Honor Rows grant recipients and their assigned home game:

09/20 Arizona Cardinals

Central Metropolitan CME Church

Community Connections of Jacksonville

Northeast Florida Community Action Agency

Northside Community Involvement

10/04 Tennessee Titans

The Bridge of Northeast Florida

Children's Home Society

Communities in Schools - Jacksonville

Families First

Lutheran Social Services

10/18 St. Louis Rams

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida

Child Guidance Center

daniel, Inc.

Duval Juvenile Residential Facility

Gateway Community Services

Hubbard House

Jacksonville Marine Institute

Jewish Family and Community Services

Northeast Florida Community Action Agency

River Region Human Services

United Congregations for Community and Youth

White Youth Foundation

11/08 Kansas City Chiefs

Communities in Schools - Jacksonville

Empowerment Resources Inc.

Guardian Catholic Schools

Shands Jacksonville

11/22 Buffalo Bills

Bethel Baptist Institutional Church

Boys and Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida

Community Connections of Jacksonville

Jacksonville Children's Choir

Heart to Heart Christian Academy

Sanctuary on 8th Street

12/06 Houston Texans

The Bridge of Northeast Florida

Communities in Schools of Nassau County

Communities in Schools of St. Johns County

MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation

PACE Center for Girls- Jacksonville

Police Athletic League of Jacksonville

Potter's House Christian Academy

12/13 Miami Dolphins

YMCA of Florida's First Coast

Duval County 4-H Foundation

Girls Inc. of Jacksonville

Habitat for Humanity, Jacksonville Beaches

The Jaguars Foundation seeks to leverage local, state, and national resources to serve economically and socially disadvantaged youth and families in greater Jacksonville. Other Foundation programs include: Grant making to area non-profit agencies totaling more than $12.5 million since 1995; The Official Playbooks®, an innovative program established in 1996 in partnership with public libraries and Pepsi to inspire young people to read; Straight Talk™, designed to educate and reduce the incidence of teen pregnancy and the spread of AIDS and other sexuality transmitted infections through a strategic partnership with local media, non-profit organizations and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida; "What Moves U," a youth anti-obesity initiative in partnership with Baptist Health/Wolfson Children's Hospital, the NFL and the American Heart Association; and the "Jaguars Don't Smoke" youth anti-tobacco initiative established in partnership with The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to reduce smoking among youth.

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