Delores Weaver works to raise money for Duval school name changes

Delores and Wayne Weaver remember the events before, during and after the Jaguars were born.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville philanthropist Delores Barr Weaver has issued a fundraising challenge to help raise money to rename several Duval County schools.

Weaver, the wife of former Jacksonville Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver who has donated to a number of causes across the city, has pledged to contribute $50,000 through a 2-1 match, challenging the community to step forward with $100,000 to unlock her gift, according to the Jacksonville Public Education Fund.

The money would go towards the controversial push to change the names of nine Jacksonville schools, including six that honor Confederate Civil War leaders.

“I’m extremely grateful to Delores Barr Weaver for her generosity and leadership on this issue,” said JPEF President Rachael Tutwiler Fortune in a media release. “She is a faithful champion for children.”

The estimated total cost for renaming nine schools with controversial namesakes in the district could top $2 million, the district has said. The largest estimated costs associated with renaming a school are the price tags for new athletics and band uniforms, expected to cost a combined $195,000 per secondary school.

The gift will be made through the Delores Barr Weaver Legacy Fund at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida.

The Jacksonville Public Education Fund created a school renaming fund in July 2020, following the School Board’s unanimous vote to begin the renaming process. So far, more than 150 individuals have given to the School Renaming Fund, with a total of about $24,000 raised.

The Duval County School Board is expected to vote on the school renaming issue in June.