Presentation Held in Pentagon on June 20, 2005
The Honorable Charles S. Abell, Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness), assisted in the presentation of $50,000 in grants to ten volunteer organizations for their innovative programs to improve military quality of life.
Mr. Abell joined Fisher House Foundation Executive Vice-Chairman Winston Fisher; Tom Indoe, Chief Operating Officer of Newman’s Own; and Tobias Naegele, Military Times Media Group Editor-in-Chief, in a June 20, 2005 ceremony at the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes where recipients of the 2005 “Newman’s Own Awards” were announced.
“Operating Helping Hand,” a program of the Tampa Chapter, Military Officers Association of America, was judged as the best entry and will receive a $10,000 grant. “Operation Helping Hand” provides assistance to the families of the very seriously wounded and injured who were deployed in either Iraq or Afghanistan and are now receiving treatment at the James A. Haley VA Medical Center in Tampa, Florida. Nine other organizations shared $40,000 in grants.
This is the sixth year that Newman’s Own, Fisher House Foundation, and Military Times Media Group have jointly sponsored the program which seeks to reward ingenuity and innovation for volunteer organizations working to improve military quality of life. The challenge was straightforward: “Present an innovative plan to improve the quality of life for your military community and receive funding to carry out the plans.” The emphasis of the competition was for organizations involved in supporting deployed service members or the families of deployed service members.
In six years, the annual competition has recognized a total of 76 organizations with grants totaling $282,000. A total of 177 entries were received. Six judges evaluated each entry based on the organization’s impact to the respective communities, creativity and innovation. To be eligible, each organization was required to certify that it was a private or non-profit organization operating with authority of a military installation commander. Every organization submitting an entry will receive a certificate of recognition from Paul Newman.
OVERALL WINNING ENTRY: $10,000 GRANT
“Operation Helping Hand”
Tampa Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America, Tampa, Florida
“Operation Helping Hand” provides assistance to the families of the very seriously wounded and injured who were deployed in either Iraq or Afghanistan and are now receiving treatment at the James A. Haley VA Medical Center in Tampa, Florida. For more information contact: Captain Robert J. Silah, US Navy, Retired (firstname.lastname@example.org)
“Homes for Our Troops”
Homes for Our Troops, Inc., Taunton, Massachusetts
“Homes for Our Troops” builds specially adapted homes or adapts existing homes to meet the unique needs of disabled veterans returning home from the global war on terror. Donations of money, land, labor, and materials allow this to be done at no cost to the veteran. For more information contact: Victoria Mosier (email@example.com)
“Family Readiness Group”
3-320 Field Artillery Battalion Family Readiness Group, Fort Campbell, Kentucky
The 3-320 FA Battalion Family Readiness Group is an all volunteer force, providing support for service-members and families during pre-deployment, deployment, and redeployment in the form of deployment handbooks, care packages, and “trauma teams” to provide emergency family support. For more information contact: Kathleen M. Sullivan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reading Family Literacy Foundation, San Diego, California
The “Uniting Through Reading” program allows deployed military parents to stay connected with their children during long separations through the medium of reading aloud via videotape/DVD. For more information contact: Britta Justesen (email@example.com)
“Video Postcards from Home”
B Company Family Readiness Group, 1-115 Maryland Army National Guard, Gaithersburg, Maryland
The B Company Family Readiness Group will create video “postcards” to send messages of support between deployed soldiers and home. For more information contact: M. Elaine Nugent-Borakove (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Black Sheep Volunteers, Clever, Missouri
The Black Sheep Volunteers collect used law enforcement equipment, including body armor, shoes, helmets, faces shields, etc., to send to the United States Military in Iraq to directly aid in the mission of training and equipping the Iraq security forces. For more information contact: Steve Newton (email@example.com)
The Pinnacle Foundation, New Orleans, Louisiana
The Pinnacle Foundation will provide educational assistance to the spouses of United States Armed Service members by providing grants for out-of-pocket expenses incurred in the pursuit of post-secondary education. For more information visit www.msccn.org
“Key Spouse Program”
Dyess Air Forces Base Family Support Center, Abilene, Texas
Team Dyess’ Key Spouse Program provides support for military families by creating a conduit of information and referral between the military chain of command and spouses and families. Outreach programs include training in financial management, parenting, and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) to aid families in emergency situations. For more information contact: Major Anne Marie Fenton (Annemarie.firstname.lastname@example.org)
“Kids Serve Too”
Salute Our Services, Reston, Virginia
“Kids Serve Too” fosters awareness of the challenges that military children face, including programs to help children of deployed soldiers to remain active in extracurricular activities by providing grants to keep them involved. For more information contact: Courtney Reddington (email@example.com)
“Angels of Mercy”
American Legion Auxiliary Unit 270, McLean, VA
The “Angels of Mercy” program supports the wounded and injured OIF/OEF military and their families” at Walter Reed Army Medical Center; and the “No Soldier Left in Need” project focuses on the long-term/post hospital needs of the wounded. Auxiliary members visit patients at Walter Reed Army Medical Center at least once a week, bringing them clothing and comfort items, providing home cooked meals to OIF/OEF families, and hosting special events. For further information contact: Marian T. Chirichella (auxiliary270VAR@aol.com).
375th Airlift Wing, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois
“Operation Homefront” provides assistance with the day to day issues militaries families face. More than 3,000 requests for aid in car repair, food assistance, vision care, and many other needs have been met by this grassroots volunteer effort of local business and individuals to ease the burden of deployment. For more information contact: Mr. Robert Davison (firstname.lastname@example.org)