The Jacksonville Jaguars joined the Police Athletic League, LISC-Jacksonville and the City of Jacksonville to inaugurate the newly refurbished community football in Jacksonville at Flossie Brunson Eastside Park on Tuesday, September 27, 2011. This is the eighth grant Jacksonville has received for a new or refurbished community field from the NFL Grassroots Program of the NFL Youth Football Fund. The program is a partnership of the NFL owners, the NFL Players Association and LISC (Local Initiatives Service Corporation). The field will be operated by the Police Athletic League of Jacksonville and maintained by the City of Jacksonville.
On-hand for the ribbon cutting were Jaguars owners Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver, Jaguars players Jason Hill and Jarrett Dillard, members of The ROAR of the Jaguars Cheerleaders, Sheriff John Rutherford, LISC President/CEO Michael Rubinger, City Councilman Dr. Johnny A. Gaffney, PAL Director Lt. Derrick Mitchell, Florida State Representative Mia Jones, Pastor Torin Daley from First Baptist of Oakland Church and other local dignitaries.
LISC Jacksonville, through LISC's NFL Youth Football Fund program and in conjunction with the Jacksonville Jaguars, helped secure $65,000 in funding to begin the project. The City of Jacksonville contributed $190,000 from its Jacksonville Journey Funding for Capital Projects. Council Member Gaffney's Office contributed an additional $40,000. The Lucy Gooding Charitable Trust and Operation New Hope also contributed financially to the project.
The refurbishment effort included laser grading of the surface, a new irrigation system and sod, bringing the area up to ADA compliances standards, new bleachers, goal posts and fencings. Two new basketball courts and a sidewalk area are also being added.
This is the eighth football field that LISC Jacksonville has secured funding for refurbishment and the third PAL field. The eight fields represent a total investment of LISC/NFL funds of nearly $700,000. Wayne Weaver noted, "LISC is a major partner with the NFL and being part of the 'NFL family' here in Jacksonville has allowed the Jaguars organization to access these grants."
About NFL Youth Football Fund
Established in 1998 by the NFL and the NFL Players Association, the NFL Youth Football Fund seeks to use football as a catalyst to promote positive youth development. They have worked with LISC nationwide to provide field refurbishment. To learn more, visit www.lisc.org.
About LISC Jacksonville
LISC Jacksonville provides training, advocacy and funding in partnership with community residents to assist with the transformation of targeted neighborhoods into healthy, sustainable places to live. To learn more about LISC Jacksonville's Building EPIC Communities Initiative, visit www.liscjacksonville.org.
About the Police Athletic League of Jacksonville
PAL is a nonprofit youth-serving organization with the cooperative effort of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. PAL has provided after school educational programs, summer camp and sports programs for the past 39 years. To learn more, visit www.jaxpal.com.
About the Jaguars Foundation
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 $14.6 million since 1995; Straight Talk™, a strategic partnership with local media, non-profit organizations and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida designed to educate and reduce the incidence of teen pregnancy and the spread of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases among teens; "Play 60 Challenge, 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. For more information visit the Foundation's pages at www.jaguars.com.