Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan announced that the Jaguars and the Boy Scouts of America-North Florida Council are partnering to kick off the "Every Boy Deserves a Chance" Matching Gift Campaign. The Jaguars Foundation will match dollar-for-dollar for every donation made, up to $100,000.
Mr. Khan, an Eagle Scout – the highest earned rank in Scouting – said, "Scouting had a tremendous impact on my life as a boy growing up in Pakistan. Indeed, I can frankly say that my scouting experiences played an absolutely vital role in preparing me for life." One of Mr. Khan's most memorable scouting experiences as a boy was attending the International Boy Scout Jamboree held in Athens, Greece in 1963. He was the youngest in the group, turning 13 years old as he and his fellow scouts embarked on a six-week trek through various countries by land and water to reach Athens in time for the Jamboree.
The "Every Boy Deserves a Chance" campaign is the North Florida Council's first capital and endowment campaign. It will support three main areas: 1) the urban ScoutReach program which helps ensure that any boy can benefit from Scouting, regardless of his socioeconomic situation; 2) physical improvements at Camp Shands, including a new aquatic center, campsite shelters and housing; and 3) an endowment to help secure the Council's long-term future for generations of new Scouts. When the campaign ends and major gifts are added to this phase, the North Florida Council hopes to raise $6.5 million.
Jack Sears, Jr., Scout Executive/CEO for the North Florida Council, said, "We are thrilled to partner with the Jaguars for this campaign. The Jaguars and the Scouts have had a great relationship including the team's sponsorship of the ScoutReach Sports Luncheon from 2009 through 2012 which has raised $40,000 to $60,000 annually in support of the Urban Scout Reach program." Mr. Sears added, "This new partnership takes us to the next level. The goal during this phase of the campaign is to raise $250,000 from our scouting families and friends. However, with the addition of the $100,000 Jaguars match, the total amount raised will now be $350,000.
Brian Sexton, the "Voice of the Jaguars" game-day radio announcer since the team's opening season, is the Honorary Chair of the grassroots campaign. Mr. Sexton, himself an Eagle Scout and whose sons are also in the Scouting program, stated, "I'm honored to help a cause so close to my heart. I have striven to exemplify the values I learned in the Scouting program throughout my life and now I get to share that experience with my sons. This campaign will help ensure that many more youth can have the same Scouting opportunities that my family and I have."
For more information about the campaign, or to make a gift, please contact the North Florida Council at 904-388-0591 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Photo from left to right: Andrew Solomons – Life Scout; Daniel Solomons – Eagle Scout; Jaguars owner Shad Khan – Eagle Scout; and Malachi Miller – Eagle Scout)