Inspired by the story of Jacksonville Jaguars legend Tony Boselli and his battle against COVID-19, the team is purchasing 45,000 Jaguars-branded protective masks for distribution later this month throughout the Jacksonville area.
Sourced through a Jacksonville company, the masks will be distributed by the Jaguars to local companies still operating and interacting with the public. In addition, masks will be distributed to not-for-profit groups whose mission is currently focused on local COVID-19 efforts.
The Jaguars' initiative is in support of the #Masks4Jax campaign and the team's overall mission to inform and rally the Jacksonville community as the entire world copes with the challenges presented by COVID-19. Distribution of the masks, which feature the Jaguars logo, will begin late next week and conclude before the end of April.
An impactful public service video recorded by Boselli, who contracted COVID-19 and was hospitalized and treated locally by the Mayo Clinic, was posted by the team on Monday night and has since been circulated well beyond Jacksonville. The production of the Jaguars masks amplifies Boselli's primary message of the importance of protecting yourself, your family and your community if one must leave home.
"When you go out in public, here in Jacksonville or anywhere, put a mask on," Boselli says in his public service announcement. "It will protect you, it will protect your family and those you come in contact with. If we wash our hands, if we do our social distancing and we wear a mask, we'll get through this faster, safely and together."
In March, the team announced that Jaguars owner Shad Khan made a personal gift of $1 million in support of northeast Florida's response to the COVID-19 crisis. The funding is designed to provide essential support to local organizations focused on the immediate health and well-being of First Coast residents. Florida's First Coast Relief Fund, Feeding Northeast Florida, The Clara White Mission, The Jacksonville Public Education Fund and the local chapter of the American Red Cross have all received funding from the $1 million donation.
Khan's original auto parts manufacturing company, Flex-N-Gate, is also engaged in the national response to the crisis by converting a lighting plant in Grand Rapids, Mich., where engineers and workers are urgently producing essential parts that will be used to build ventilators assembled by General Motors in Kokomo, Ind.
A complete summary of all Jaguars programs is available at https://www.jaguars.com/covid19.