Thursday, November 5, 2020

Florida Theatre receives another Grant during pandemic

Delores Barr Weaver
The Florida Theatre is pleased to announce a $30,000 challenge gift from the Delores Barr Weaver Legacy Fund at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida. This gift will be added to the existing Florida Theatre Board of Directors match for the “Cross the Finish Line” Campaign, doubling donations through December 31.

After going without more than 90% of its typical income for over six months, on October 9, 2020, the Theatre launched the “Cross the Finish Line” Campaign to raise the funds needed to reopen this December.

With this generous donation from the Delores Barr Weaver Legacy Fund, the “Cross the Finish Line” campaign now aims to raise $180,000 by December 31. This money will help the Theatre bridge the financial gap, and make it over the finish line for the December reopening.

“Mrs. Weaver has shown so much leadership in Jacksonville, encouraging the rest of us to support the many civic organizations that work to make Jacksonville a better place to live and work, and the Florida Theatre is extremely fortunate to be included in that effort during this time,” said Florida Theatre President Numa Saisselin. “From my perspective, it’s super energizing to have someone come along and tell you that your goal is not high enough, and then give you a boost towards the next level of achievement. It’s the philanthropic equivalent of Teddy Roosevelt leading the way up San Juan Hill.”

The historic, nonprofit Florida Theatre is sponsored by Community First Credit Union. For a complete list of upcoming events or to buy tickets visit the Theatre's official website

About the Delores Barr Weaver Legacy Fund:
The Delores Barr Weaver Legacy Fund at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida was created by Delores Barr Weaver in 2015 as the natural evolution of the Delores Barr Weaver Fund, which has awarded more than $86 million in grants since she created it in 2012. She also provides separate, annual support to 20 local, non-profit organizations for their annual fundraising events through the Delores Barr Weaver Forever Event Fund. Like the Delores Barr Weaver Fund, the Delores Barr Weaver Legacy Fund’s purpose is to provide grants to nonprofit organizations that do work she has supported over many years and to encourage others to do so as well. Mrs. Weaver has an extraordinary legacy of philanthropy, and she has provided transformative support to dozens of nonprofit organizations that uplift, enlighten and advance our community.

About the Florida Theatre: From ballet and opera to contemporary pop, jazz, rock, country and blues the nonprofit Florida Theatre offers 200 cultural and entertainment events annually for every taste and age. More than just an entertainment center, Florida Theatre is also home to graduations, awards ceremonies, lectures, business meetings and charity events that support the community's schools, churches, hospitals and civic groups. As an anchor to downtown development along the beautiful St. Johns River, Florida Theatre draws 250,000 people to Jacksonville's center each year. The magnificently restored Florida Theatre is recognized as one of the finest concert venues in the Southeast. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Florida Theatre holds special memories for four generations. From the Vaudeville acts and silent films of its earliest days to today's blend of performances of all kinds, the Florida Theatre has served as Jacksonville's premier entertainment center since 1927.

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood 'Sweater Drive'

WJCT, in partnership with VyStar Credit Union Suddath®,  and the Tom Bush Family of Dealerships, has launched the 18th annual Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Sweater Drive. This beloved community tradition, which runs through November 30, collects new and gently used sweaters, jackets and blankets to donate to nonprofit organizations across Duval, Clay, St. Johns and Nassau Counties.

WJCT joins Public Media stations across the United States participating in this event, which celebrates the memory and legacy of Fred Rogers, host of the groundbreaking television show “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” In 2019, the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Sweater Drive collected more than 15,000 articles of clothing and cold-weather necessities for First Coast residents.

“Fred Rogers was the epitome of a good neighbor. His trademark red cardigan has become a symbol of compassion and civility — traits that are just as important to our society today as they were when his show debuted more than 50 years ago,” said David McGowan, President and CEO of WJCT. “We invite our neighbors across our region of service, from Palm Coast to Georgia’s Golden Isles, to join us in sharing with our neighbors in need this November.”

WJCT will collect donations at its headquarters, located at 100 Festival Park Avenue in Jacksonville. Donations may also be made at area VyStar Credit Union branches, Suddath® offices and Tom Bush dealerships.

“VyStar cares deeply about the communities we serve, and among our strongest beliefs is the importance of providing additional assistance and resources to those who need them most,” said Brian Wolfburg, President/CEO of VyStar Credit Union. “With that in mind, we will once again gladly open our branches to collect gently used items and encourage anyone who is able to participate in this worthwhile initiative to consider making a donation.”

Suddath will use its moving trucks to collect donated items, then bring them back to its Jacksonville warehouse for sorting, before delivering them to participating nonprofits.

“Last year, Suddath added ‘Caring’ as one of our core values, which honors our tradition of philanthropy and giving back to the communities where we operate,” said Dick Eschbacher, president and general manager of Suddath Jacksonville. “We’re particularly grateful to participate in the Sweater Drive this year, when extraordinary circumstances have unfortunately left many of members of our community disadvantaged.”

The Tom Bush Family of Dealerships has been a sweater drive presenting partner since 2017. “We are driven to serve the community we call home,” said Megan Bush Del Pizzo, Vice President of the Tom Bush Family of Dealerships. “Our goal is to ensure every donation goes the distance to help our Northeast Florida neighbors.”

For more information, including a downloadable flier to share with your neighbors and a full list of donation locations, visit

100 Festival Park Avenue, Jacksonville, FL 32202

Suddath - 815 S. Main St, Jax, FL 32207; 8743 Western Way, Jax, FL 32256; 11001 Pritchard Rd. Jax, FL 32219; 9601 North Main St. Jax, FL 32218; 5 W Forsyth St #100, Jax, FL 32202; 9140 Golfside Dr #12s, Jax, FL 32256

VyStar Credit Union - All locations in Duval, St. Johns, Clay, Putnam, Nassau and Bradford Counties

Tom Bush Family of Dealerships - 6916 Blanding Blvd, Orange Park, FL  32244; 6914 Blanding Blvd, Orange Park, 32244; 9875 Atlantic Blvd., Jax, FL  32225; 9750 Regency Square Blvd., Jax 32225; 9876 Atlantic Blvd., Jax 32225; 9881 Atlantic Blvd., Jax 32225; 9850 Atlantic Blvd., Jax 32225; 9910 Atlantic Blvd., Jax 32225; 9850 Atlantic Blvd., Jax 32225

About WJCT: WJCT is the community-owned and operated public media organization serving Jacksonville and the First Coast since 1958, using television, radio, digital media, and live events to help community members learn, share, and grow. For more information on WJCT’s in-depth programming content, log on to WJCT Online at Like WJCT on Facebook (
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