Jaguars Foundation Awards Honor Rows Seats To More Than 4,100 Youth, Parents, Mentors and Agency Sta

More than 600 youth were awarded a ticket to one of the first two Jaguars home games, part of more than 3,000 youth who will participate in the Jaguars Foundation's Honor Rows this season. The Foundation partners with Reebok and 38 Jacksonville area nonprofit agencies which 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 43,300 Honor Rows seats have been awarded to youth, parents, staff and volunteers, including 4,150 for the 2007 season.

With assistance from parents, mentors and agency staff, youth ages 9 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, with some programs continuing for a much longer period. All youth 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, t-shirt, cap, pledge card, and certificate of completion, courtesy of Reebok, Honor Rows co-sponsor. 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 2007 Honor Rows grant recipients and their assigned home game:

Tennessee Titans

Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Florida

Boys & Girls Club of NE Florida

Community Connections of Jacksonville

The Bridge of Northeast Florida

Atlanta Falcons

Central Metropolitan CME Church

Communities in Schools of Jacksonville Team Up

Families FIRST

Gateway Community Services

Jacksonville Marine Institute

Northeast Florida Community Action Agency

Northside Community Involvement

Houston Texans

Child Guidance Center

Jewish Family & Community Services

MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation

Northeast Florida Community Action Agency

River Region Human Services

Shands Jacksonville Sickle Cell Program

State Attorney's Office

The Children's Place

United Congregations for Communities & Youth

Indianapolis Colts

(Night Game: no youth attending.)

San Diego Chargers

Children's Home Society

Communities in Schools of Nassau County

Community Connections of Jacksonville

EPIC Community Services

Guardian of Dreams

Buffalo Bills

Bethel Baptist B.E.S.T. Academy

Boys & Girls Club of NE Florida

daniel, Inc.

Friends of the Jacksonville Public Library

Girls Inc. of Jacksonville

Habitat for Humanity of Jacksonville Beaches

Metro Kids Konnection

Police Athletic League of Jacksonville

Potter's House Christian Academy

Carolina Panthers

Communities in Schools of Jacksonville

Communities in Schools of St. Johns County

Duval County 4-H Foundation

Empowerment Resources

PACE Center for Girls

Sanctuary of Northeast Florida

Oakland Raiders

Communities in Schools of Jacksonville

Duval County 4-H Foundation

The Bridge of Northeast Florida

YMCA Baker County

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 $10.3 million since 1995; The Official Playbooks®, an innovative program established in 1996 in partnership with public libraries 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 organizations; "What Moves U," a youth anti-obesity initiative in partnership with 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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