The last home game of the 2006 season is here, and the last group of 450 youth will be present to cheer the Jaguars to a victory against the Patriots. Despite the fact that all of these youth are out of school and many had set and achieved their personal goals more than a month ago, their excitement about today's game has not waned. Overcoming several personal obstacles, these youth are celebrating their accomplishments today because they earned their seat to the game.
Seated in the 300-level section of the North End Zone, boys and girls worked hard to improve their academic performance, attained personal goals, learned about nutrition and physical health, and participated in a variety of community service projects. In addition, all youth made and kept a pledge to abstain from tobacco, alcohol and illegal drugs.
Note that at the end of the first quarter, Delores and Wayne Weaver will wave in congratulations to the youth and their agencies for persevering and earning their seat to today's game. Please join the Weavers and other fans in The Wave.
Honor Rows is a unique program that uses seats at Jaguars home games as incentives for young people to set and achieve ambitious but realistic goals. The flexibility of the program allows participating nonprofit agencies to determine how best to use seats for their particular program.
Each Honor Rows participant receives a special T-shirt, hat, free meal, certificate of achievement and recognition at the stadium during the game. Yet, the personal goals
and skills each youth attains have a long-lasting impact on their future.
Honor Rows was instituted in 1995 during the Jacksonville Jaguars inaugural season, "The Season of Firsts." The Jaguars Foundation has developed innovative programs to empower youth. Many of these programs have received national recognition and have been widely replicated.
This year, more than 4,200 seats have been awarded to 43 nonprofit agencies. Almost 3,300 youth alone will have participated in the program by the end of the 2006 season. In the past eleven seasons, the Foundation has awarded nearly 35,000 Honor Rows seats to youth, parents, mentors and agency staff. This is in addition to the donation of other charitable seats.
The Jaguars Foundation is sponsored by Reebok and Alltel. The United Way of NE Florida mobilizes game-day volunteers who ensure the safety and enjoyment of Honor Rows participants.
The following agencies are present for today's game:
Bethel Baptist B.E.S.T. Academy – 50 youth
Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida – 165 youth
Daniel, Inc. – 35 youth
Historic PAL of St. Johns County – 165 youth
PAL of Jacksonville – 25 youth
YMCA of Baker County – 10 youth
For more information about The Foundation's Honor Rows Program or other Foundation initiatives, please contact Tarek Tabet at 633-6579.