I saw this posted on the Jaguars.com message board and thought it was prudent to share. With all the negativety surrounding the Jaguars draft and the backlash from a vocal minority in passing on Tim Tebow, I thought this hit right at home. Especially on the heels of the Jaguars potentially breaking their record for most new season tickets sold this week.
This letter displays perfectly what some people are missing or just don't know about the importance of the Jacksonville Jaguars in Jacksonville.
Jaguars: The importance to Jacksonville
Posted: April 27, 2010 - 3:47pm
Letters from Readers
"I do not know the Jaguars' owners and I do not work for any of their organizations. However, I have served on several local nonprofit boards that have benefited from their generosity.
The citizens of Northeast Florida need to be made fully aware of how much our owner and our team financially support and make a difference in our community every day of the week.
Since 1995, the Weaver family through both their Weaver Family Foundation and their Jacksonville Jaguar Foundation has given back almost $60 million to our community. That number is staggering, but it becomes even more astounding when compared to other NFL teams and to our city's budget.
First, based on my research of publicly filed IRS Form 990s, none of the other 31 NFL owners or their teams has financially given back to their local communities over that time period anywhere close to what the Weavers and the Jaguars have given back to Jacksonville.
Just counting the $12.9 million that the Jaguars Foundation alone has made in charitable contributions leads the next closest NFL team's foundation, the Texans Foundation, by over $8 million.
Second, Jacksonville has never had a private benefactor give back to our community at the financial magnitude and annual consistency that the Weavers and the Jaguars have given back; averaging almost $4 million per year combined.
To put that in context, that is three times greater than our city's Military Affairs Division's annual budget to assist our 238,000 local veterans and active duty service members.
Another amazing fact when analyzing the Weavers' selfless generosity is what they did in 2007. Up to that point, their Weaver Family Foundation had already given back over $20 million to our city.
In 2007, when our economy was entering recession and television blackouts were beginning, the Weavers dug deeper and personally donated $21 million to 38 Northeast Florida nonprofit organizations.
That singular act of giving won the Weavers the 2008 Tocqueville Society Award from the national United Way. So at a time when we stopped supporting our team, the Weavers did the opposite and doubled-down in their support of our city. They believed in us, even though many of us stopped believing in our team.
To lose the Jaguars and the Weavers would be devastating to our local nonprofit community and would increase the burden on local government to fill the void, which we all know it cannot and would not be able to fill.
We are truly blessed to have the Weavers and the Jaguars in Jacksonville because their efforts off the field not only lead by example in the NFL and in Jacksonville, they also lead by miles."
Thanks to Kristen for sharing this.