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Newman's Own Posts Awards for Quality of Life Programs

By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 8, 2000, Feb. 8, 2000 – It takes a long time and mountains of cookies or hundreds of car washes to raise $5,000 to $10,000.

Now there may be an easier, faster way for "private organizations" on military installations to garner the money they need to support their community activities. But the March 15, 2000, deadline for applications is fast approaching in the "Newman's Own Award for Military Community Excellence" competition.

World War II Navy veteran, award-winning actor and philanthropist Paul Newman and his company, "Newman's Own," will give a $10,000 prize to the winner and $5,000 each to four runners-up.

The competition challenges "private organizations" on Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard installations to create innovative programs to improve the quality of life for military families in their communities worldwide, according to spokesman Jim Weiskopf of the Fisher House Foundation. Newman, the foundation and the Military Times newsweekly group are contest co-sponsors.

Weiskopf said the idea behind the competition is to reward ingenuity and innovation by volunteers. "Organizations supported by appropriated or nonappropriated funds can budget for projects and be eligible to receive funding from the government," he noted. "But private organizations normally rely on donations or conduct fund-raisers -- cookie sales or car washes."

Winning private organizations can use their award money on their nominated project or any other they approve or authorize, Weiskopf noted. "Private organizations" include the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, wives clubs, church groups, PTAs at DoD schools, and veterans organizations. Organizations like the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion posts located on military installations may also be eligible, he said.

He emphasized some organizations such as the USO, American Red Cross and scout groups overseas are ineligible because they do not meet the definition of "private organizations," as outlined in Department of Defense Instruction 1000.15.

Newman's Own, Inc., began in 1982 by selling Newman's oil and vinegar salad dressing commercially. His company now offers a varied line of food products including salad dressings, pasta sauces, salsas and popcorn. Newman gives away the company's after-tax profits to educational and charitable organizations. To date, donations total more than $100 million.

Application and other information are available on the Web at www.militarycity.com/communityaward [link no longer available] or by calling the Fisher House operations office at (888) 294-8560 or visiting its Web site at www.fisherhouse.org. Contest participants can submit as many entries as they wish. Weiskopf said there's no specific format for completing the application -- that's left up to the creativity of each organization.

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