Nonprofit news: Jaguars, NFL helping build football field at Kooker Park in Springfield
The RSM audit, tax and consulting services office in Jacksonville donated $99,266 to Investing in Kids, a nonprofit that provides classroom resources for students and teachers in St. Johns County. At left, from left, front row: Katie Connor, RSM audit associate; Mimi Gros, RSM tax associate; Investing in Kids Executive Director Donna Leuders; Rachel Brown, RSM tax senior associate; and Holly Sipprell, INK director of marketing and events. Back row: Mike Vergo, RSM partner, left, and Randy Swift, VyStar Credit Union senior vice president of member services.
From left, Cole Pepper, board member of Daniel Kids Foundation board member; Dave Medvidofsky, The Main Street America Group vice president of human resources; Tom Van Berkel, Main Street America chairman and CEO; Warren Caterson, chief development officer at Daniel Kids Foundation; and Mark Friedlander, Main Street America head of corporate communications.
Preservation of the historic Spanish American War Fort in Arlington was one of the projects completed in 2016 by the North Florida Land Trust.
Wednesday, January 11, 10:42 AM EST
Operation New Hope received $100,000 from the Jacksonville Jaguars through the National Football League Foundation Grassroots Program to install a natural turf field and irrigation system at Kooker Park in Springfield.
It is the 13th field the NFL has supported with contributions totaling $1.3 million, according to a news release. As part of the project, the city will contribute $100,000 to continue support of local youth sports.
The grant from the Jaguars, the NFL Foundation and Local Initiatives Support Corp. is part of more than $3 million in field refurbishment awards allocated nationwide this year, the release said.
A partnership between the NFL Foundation and LISC, Grassroots has committed nearly $43 million to the program since 1998, helping fund 322 projects.
Fields are built or significantly renovated with improvements including irrigation systems, lights, bleachers, scoreboards, goal posts and turf.
“The improvements made through this partnership and grant will offer Jacksonville youth a fun and safe place to enjoy sports and physical activities that promote health and well-being,” Daryl Joseph, the city’s director of parks, recreation and community services, said in the release.
LISC identifies nonprofit community-based agencies that have an interest in building or refurbishing football fields in schools and neighborhood parks.
Agencies are then provided financing and technical assistance to improve the quality and safety of sports fields in their communities.
The agencies oversee the construction, maintenance and programming of the facilities.
In addition to the grant awarded by the foundation and LISC, ESPN is donating $25,000 to assist with the cost of amenities, including a practice field area, benches, bleachers and walkways.
Main Street America Group donates $4,500 to Daniel Kids
Jacksonville-based The Main Street America Group gave back to the community with its annual “Season of Giving,” including a $4,500 donation to the Daniel Kids Foundation presented by the insurance carrier’s NGM Charitable Foundation.
Established in 1884, Daniel Kids is the oldest child-serving agency in Florida.
The organization helps nearly 2,000 children and their families by providing a variety of programs.
This is the second consecutive year Main Street America has supported Daniel Kids.
The company donated to a nonprofit in all eight of its office markets across the country. In total, the foundation presented $28,500 to the organizations.
Historic year for North Florida Land Trust
From 1999 to 2015, the North Florida Land Trust protected more than 6,000 acres of land.
In 2016, it added more than 12,000 acres for conservation.
It is the most land the organization has preserved in one year since it was established 17 years ago. The milestone was attained with conservation easements, acquisitions of land and donations of both.
One of the main projects in 2016 was to identify lands throughout the trust’s seven-county area in critical need of preservation. The new Preservation Portfolio comprises 112,346 acres that should be preserved.
About 214 acres in the portfolio have been acquired and the agency will continue its mission through 2017 to acquire the remaining acreage.
Another highlight of the year was the acquisition of the Spanish American War Fort in Arlington.
With help from the city, the Delores Barr Weaver Fund and numerous donors, the land trust purchased the site and saved the 1898 fort from destruction.
When restoration is complete, the property will be turned over to the National Park Service and added to the Fort Caroline National Memorial as a public access park.
The trust also assisted the National Park Service in acquiring the Billy Tract, which is an 8 acre parcel that will allow for a trail between Fort Caroline, Spanish Pond, the Ribault Monument and the fort.
Monday not a holiday for AmeriCorps
City Year will mobilize 150 staff and corps members and 200 volunteers Monday at a Northwest Jacksonville high school for a day of service in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
City Year has partnered with local public schools since 2011 for a day “on,” not a day off.
Duval County School Board Chair Paula Wright, Superintendent Nikolai Vitti and volunteers from CSX Corp., Wells Fargo, Acosta, Sea Best, Teach For America, The Mission Continues and ImpactJAX will join Dan Foley, executive director of City Year Jacksonville, and the staff and corps members at Jean Ribault High School.
The anticipated 200 volunteers will help revitalize the campus with murals and landscaping projects.
“National service is a common experience that brings people together from all walks of life, and perhaps more than ever before, our country needs more unity and collaboration,” said Foley.
The day of service will begin at 8:30 a.m. with inspirational speakers to honor King’s legacy, followed by three hours of projects at Ribault.
Volunteers also will have the opportunity to participate in a health fair presented by North Florida Health Corps with activities from Tobacco Free Jacksonville, YMCA, UF Health, JASMYN, Hubbard House, Baptist Health, Wolfson Children’s Hospital and Clay Behavioral Center.
More than 100 AmeriCorps members work full time at 12 challenged schools to provide academic and social support to students who face the greatest risk of dropping out before graduation.
City Year Jacksonville is made possible by a public-private partnership between corporations, philanthropists, Duval County Public Schools, the Florida State Commission, The Corporation for National and Community Service and local sponsors.
‘Celebrating Our Heroes’ Feb. 11
Homebound seniors or people with disabilities in the Beaches area often need door-to-door transportation to a doctor’s appointment, the grocery store, the bank, the library or other destinations.
Beaches Dial-a-Ride offers a personalized option for people who are unable to use public transportation.
Celebrating Our Heroes is this year’s Beaches Dial-a-Ride fundraiser to thank volunteers and donors and to raise money.
It’s 5-8 p.m. Feb. 11 at South Beach Community Center in Jacksonville Beach.
There will be dinner provided by 4 Rivers Smokehouse, drinks and live entertainment compliments of Lynch’s Irish Pub.