ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – It may be offseason for the Jaguars on the field, but in the community, they are in mid-season form.
Quarterback Blake Bortles hosted his annual charity weekend this past weekend through his BB5 Foundation. The Jaguars signal caller held a concery and party Sunday night, then golf at the King and the Bear on Monday to raise money and awareness for a couple of causes close to his heart.
"When we started the foundation we were passionate about our causes," said Bortles. "We wanted to make sure we were able to do some type of fundraising event like last night and today so we could raise as much money as we could then give it all away to the causes we wanted to."
One of those causes is children with special needs, specifically a local program called The Arc which empowers people with intellectual and developmental differences. In the past, the Blake Bortles Foundation has assisted with scholarships to The Arc's summer LIFE experience program, supporting The Arc Jacksonville Village and bringing awareness to the program itself. The support from the BB5 foundation was in the works long before the foundation was even formed according to Bortles.
"Just growing up I always said that if I get the opportunity to give back and have any philanthropic influence at all, it was going to be in that area because they are very dear to my heart and care a lot about," said Bortles.
Something else that Bortles told us that he cared about was the support of his teammates that were able to attend, specifically newest free-agent addition Andrew Norwell.
"He's been incredible," said Bortles. "There is a bunch of guys that would have loved to be here but they have things going on which is totally understandable. It is kind of our last chance to get together before we come back to camp, but to have a guy like Norwell show up. I mean, he just got to Jacksonville and it really means a lot to have his support."
Last year the Blake Bortles Foundation raised more than $100,000 for charities associated with kids with special needs and first repsonders.