The Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation announced the grand prize winners of The Official Playbooks 2002-2003 contest on Wednesday, June 25 in the Weaver Suite at ALLTEL Stadium. Two grand prize winners and seven runners-up were selected as representatives of the five-county greater Jacksonville area.
Chair and CEO of the Jaguars Foundation, and team co-owner, Delores Barr Weaver; Jaguars cornerback Jason Craft and mascot Jaxson de Ville were on hand to sign autographs for winners and their families following a brief awards presentation.
The grand prize winners received footballs autographed by Jaguars players and the runners-up won autographed Jaguars caps. The contest was comprised of two drawings in January and June. The winners were selected from entries received from area children in Duval County and Jacksonville's surrounding counties of Clay, Nassau, Baker and St. Johns.
The Playbooks reading initiative is sponsored by Pepsi, Reebok and local libraries and was established to inspire young people to read. The program received WTLV Channel 12's "Top of the Class Award" in 1996. In The Official Playbooks, Jaguars owners, players, coaches, cheerleaders and staff recommend books they found particularly motivating as youth or as adults today. Youth can pick-up The Official Playbooks during the football season at local libraries. Playbooks can also be accessed year-round at the interactive website playbooks.org where children can submit book reports and are eligible to win monthly prizes. The Foundation also awards approximately $300,000 annually to programs that promote literacy. In addition, players, cheerleaders and team mascot Jaxson de Ville visit dozens of schools, libraries and youth-serving agencies to encourage reading.
Following the awards presentation, winners and their guests enjoyed a pizza party, ice-cold Pepsi and a tour of the Jaguars weight room and the players' locker room.