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Military Quality of Life Programs Net $30,000 From Newman's Own

By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 17, 2000 – The Naval Services FamilyLine COMPASS program recently added $10,000 to its coffers as the overall winner of the Newman's Own Award for Excellent Military Community Service competition.

Award-winning actor and World War II Navy veteran Paul Newman started the "Newman's Own" food company and donates all its profits to charities.

The Naval Services FamilyLine is a private organization approved by the chief of naval operations. COMPASS is a free 12-hour spouse-to-spouse mentoring program with a standard curriculum that helps Navy spouses to fully understand, experience and successfully meet the challenges of Navy lifestyle. COMPASS includes free child-care for participants and mentors. For further information, contact David Tuma at nsfamline@aol.com.

Ninety-six organizations entered in the competition, which sought innovative ideas for improving military quality of life. There were 47 Army entries, 22 Air Force, 18 Navy, seven Marine Corps and two Coast Guard. All the competitors have received certificates of recognition signed by Newman.

Service-level winners received $5,000 grants. These runners-up are the Enlisted Spouses' Club Outreach Center at Fort Lewis, Wash.; "Operation Hero" sponsored by the Armed Services YMCA at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.; Families United "KIDZ PLUS" at McGuire Air Force Base, N.J.; and the Armed Services YMCA serving Coast Guard Housing in Alameda, Calif.

The award program began in November as a collaboration of Newman's Own, the Army Times Publishing Company and Fisher House Foundation, Inc. A complete list of all submissions is at the Fisher House Web site, www.fisherhouse.org.

Six judges, two from each of the sponsors, evaluated entries based on the organization's impact in their respective communities, creativity and innovation. To be eligible, entrants had to certify they were private groups operating with authority of a military installation commander.

The Fort Lewis Enlisted Spouses' Club proposed creating an outreach center and was judged the best among 47 Army entries. The club wants to expand outreach services to more than 8,000 family members living on post and some 4,000 families living off post. The proposal contained a detailed plan including organization, costs, timelines, evaluation and follow-up. For more information, contact Norma Meo, Spouses' Club president, at Jmelo10463@aol.com.

Pendleton's "Operation Hero" is an ongoing program for at-risk school-age children. The program targets elementary school youngsters who are experiencing difficulties in school stemming from a parent's deployment, family relocation or military lifestyle. The $5,000 grant will enable the program to expand and serve more military children. For further information, contact Armed Services YMCA acting executive director Mary Kriscke at marykr@sd.quik.com.

Families United representatives called the grant a godsend, noting their "KIDZ PLUS" program had to be closed due to a lack of funding. They said the $5,000 prize will revitalize their efforts to conduct recreational, social and motor skills and language programs for children ages 3 to 12 with special needs. For further information, contact Susan Crawford, Families United president, at Susancraw@aol.com.

The winning Coast Guard entry is the Armed Services YMCA that serves the 582-unit enlisted Coast Guard housing area in Alameda, Calif., with a variety of free children's programs. The housing complex, in an old warehouse area of the former naval air station, is far from mass transit and other community facilities. For further information, contact Frank Gallo at the Armed Services YMCA at fgallo@asymca.org.

In addition to the five winning entries, judges named 10 "honorable mentions." They were:

Army

  • Adopt-A-Platoon, AUSA Chapter, Fort Drum, N.Y.
  • Jr. Enlisted Family Center, Officers' Wives Club, Fort Bragg, N.C.
  • Acts of Human Kindness, Elementary School PTA, Bamberg, Germany.
  • Creativity Resource Center, Officers' Wives Club, Fort Richardson (Alaska).
  • Literacy's First Line of Defense, Spouses' Club, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
  • Total Tots, Officer and Civilian Women's Club, Redstone Arsenal, Ala.

Navy

  • Healthy Start Military Family Cluster, Social Advocates for Youth, San Diego
  • Playmorning, Armed Services YMCA of Honolulu.
  • Drop-in Day Care Center, Navy Wives Club, Naval Station Everett, Wash.

Air Force

  • Project CHEER, Osan Air Base, South Korea.
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