VERY SPECIAL KIDS MAKE IT TO THE HONOR ROWS®
For many low-income youth, attending a professional football game is an opportunity they only dream about. Yet, the Jaguars Foundation is committed to making this dream come true. With guidance and support from their parents/guardians, mentors, and agency staff, more than 450 kids will celebrate their accomplishments this Sunday because they will have earned their seat to the game against the Titans. For most of these school-aged children, this is their first NFL game experience.
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 fitness, and participated in a variety of community service projects. In addition, all youth made and kept a tobacco, alcohol and drug-free pledge with support from their parents and mentors.
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 an innovative 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 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:
Community Connections of Jacksonville – 215 youth
Cultural Ctr. of Ponte Vedra (Mayport Elem.) – 39 youth
Empowerment Resources – 14 youth (all girls)
Girls Inc. of Jacksonville – 60 youth (all girls)
Jacksonville Youth Sanctuary – 10 youth
Jewish Family & Community Services – 27 youth
Metro Kids Konnection – 38 youth
Potter's House Christian Academy – 19 youth
Sanctuary of Northeast Florida – 20 youth
Shands Jacksonville Sickle Cell Program – 13 youth
The Children's Place – 13 youth
For more information about The Foundation's Honor Rows Program or other Foundation initiatives, please contact Tarek Tabet at 633-6579.