The Jaguars Foundation board has awarded $594,000 to 22 area nonprofits in its first grant cycle of 2011. The organizations serve economically and socially disadvantaged children and families in Northeast Florida.
The foundation has donated $14.6 million in grants since 1995 to youth-serving programs in the Jacksonville area, which includes Duval, Baker, Clay, Nassau and St. Johns counties.
“Our dream of the Jaguars Foundation began even before Jacksonville was awarded the 30th NFL franchise in 1993, and we awarded our first grants before the team played its first game in 1995,” said foundation Chair and CEO Delores Barr Weaver in a news release.
Foundation Executive Director Peter Racine said that unlike most professional sports teams, the Jaguars Foundation does not solicit contributions and it does not hold fundraising events.
Grants primarily are funded from team revenue and the awards continue on schedule while NFL owners and players are in contract negotiations.
Weaver and the board said the foundation would continue making grants “even if there was a work stoppage that affected team revenue, and we maintain a reserve fund just for that reason,” said Racine.
The general program grants issued in the first cycle were:
• Best Buddies International Inc., $10,000. Middle and high school peer mentoring project.
• Boselli Foundation, $7,000. Reading curriculum for two after-school program sites.
• Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida, $27,000. Youth programs at the Woodland Acres Boys & Girls Club in Arlington.
• Bridge of Northeast Florida, $50,000. Support of the Weaver Zone Teen Connection year-round youth academic, enrichment, job skills and employment program.
• Cathedral Arts Project, $25,000. Arts program serving low-income elementary children.
• Communities In Schools of Jacksonville, $35,000. Youth dropout prevention/literacy enhancement program in multiple public school sites in Jacksonville.
• Communities In Schools of Nassau, $30,000. Dropout prevention program (grades 6-12) at multiple public school sites in Nassau County.
• Communities In Schools of St. Johns, $12,000. After-school summer health, nutrition, fitness program at the OUR Center in Hastings
• DLC Nurse & Learn, $25,000. Child care scholarship support for low-income working families for infants and children with disabilities and medical problems in an inclusion center.
• Duval County 4-H, $20,000. 4-H Junior Master Gardening Program at various Duval County Public School sites.
• EPIC Community Services (American Legion Post 194), $12,000. After-school and summer academic and enrichment program for 25 elementary school students from West St. Augustine neighborhoods.
• Fresh Ministries, $20,000. Eastside Center’s summer employment preparation and placement program.
• Habitat for Humanity of the Jacksonville Beaches, $30,000. Multisite after-school tutoring program.
• Hope Haven Children’s Clinic and Family Center, $15,000. Language enhancement and mental health services for low-income youth at Guardian Catholic Schools.
• Hubbard House, $36,000. Helping at Risk Kids (HARK) program.
• JASMYN Inc., $30,000, at $15,000 per year over two years. Safety Net Program, health education and access to case management and mentoring program for at-risk youth.
• MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation, $75,000. After-school teen program (college/career preparation and tennis).
• Northside Community In-volvement Inc., $20,000. WIN Youth enrichment and basketball program.
• OneJax, $20,000. Diversity education learning lab including the four-day Metrotown intensive institute program and the LOUD year-round program.
• Sanctuary on 8th Street, $30,000. After-school and summer camp for low-income children in Springfield.
• St. Gerard Campus, $40,000. Licensed day care service for students at St. Gerard High School in St. Augustine who have infants and toddlers.
• YMCA Florida’s First Coast, $25,000. Baker County YMCA Sanderson Teen Center.