Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew and center Brad Meester will hold a special back-to-school event today at the Florida Blue Health & Wellness Practice Fields at 12:15 p.m. More than 200 kids will receive a backpack full of school supplies and Allied Veterans of the World, Inc. & Affiliates is providing two tickets to a Jaguars preseason game. In addition, Florida Dairy Farmers will supply each child with a G-Gurt Portable Lowfat Yogurt and will have inflatables around the fields.
This is the second consecutive Jones-Drew and his foundation are providing school supplies for area children. Each child will receive a Reebok backpack filled with notebooks, pens, pencils and other items supplied by the foundation. Allied Veterans is donating 300 tickets (two to each child) to the Jaguars preseason home opener against Miami on Saturday, August 21.
Meester will be distributing backpacks full of school supplies to more than 50 children from Voices of Children of the First Coast. In 2009, Meester partnered with Guardian ad Litem in Jacksonville to create Brad's Buddies, a program to provide opportunities for abused and neglected children. Meester and his wife, Jamie, provide a monthly outing for the group with past events such as dinner at Maggiano's, a shopping spree at Wal-Mart and a visit to the Jacksonville Zoo. The group will be attending the Jaguars final home preseason game on Thursday, September 2 against Atlanta courtesy of Allied Veterans.
"I'm excited about hosting this event for the second straight year," Jones-Drew said. "I can't thank Allied Veterans and Florida Dairy Farmers enough for their support. It's important that the less fortunate have the proper supplies as they return to school. It's also a great opportunity for them to attend an NFL game."
The children invited by the Maurice Jones-Drew Foundation are from the Police Athletic League, Children's Home Society and daniel Memorial. Jones-Drew along with several of his teammates will distribute the backpacks.