Vice Chairman Lauds ‘Newman’s Own Award’ Winners
By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sep. 10, 2013 The vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff today recognized eight organizations whose sense of community, creativity and innovation has improved the quality of life for military families.
In the Pentagon Hall of Heroes, Navy Adm. James A. “Sandy” Winnefeld Jr. joined sponsor representatives from Newman’s Own Inc., Fisher House Foundation and Military Times to present a total of $100,000 in grant money to the organizations and to personally commend the Newman’s Own Award recipients.
Actor Paul Newman formed Newman’s Own Foundation in 2005 as an independent, private foundation to sustain the legacy of his philanthropic work. He died in 2008.
“[The award recipients] embody Paul Newman’s belief that each of us has the potential to make a difference in this world,” Winnefeld said. “He would be very proud to know where his legacy has extended.”
While many are familiar with the late Hollywood icon’s prolific acting career and spectrum of signature foods, spices and sauces, Newman also established a revolutionary philanthropic goal to give away 100 percent of after-tax product profits to educational and charitable organizations.
By the end of next year, the Newman’s Own Foundation will have given away more than $400 million with more than 100 military-servicing organizations receiving about $10 million.
This year’s grants, Winnefeld explained, provide not only the funding for immediate assistance such as respite care, but also enable the organizations to offer tools of empowerment to help service members and their families excel beyond their current situations.
“Whether it’s the child of a fallen service member who finds solace at weekend camp with other surviving children or a female veteran trying to transition back to civilian life after a tour in a war zone, the Newman’s Own Foundation is there behind the scenes … to provide support,” the admiral said. “Long after today’s wars have faded into the distant memory, we will still have many service members and their families who [will] need our support – the support of the entire country.”
Women Vets and Transitional Living Program, a project originating from Virginia-based Final Salute Inc., earned the largest grant award of $25,000.
Final Salute founder and president Jaspen Boothe is a 13-year Army veteran who deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Facing her own challenges stemming from health issues and the loss of nearly everything she owned due to the Hurricane Katrina disaster in 2005, Boothe became a stalwart advocate for soldiers and their families.
She recounted her experience undergoing transit treatment at Brooke Army Medical Center on Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
“We remember the ones who have fallen on the battlefield, but often forget those that have fallen on hard times,” Boothe said of the estimated 55,000 homeless women veterans in the United States. As a former soldier, she noted, she took an oath never to leave a fallen comrade. “No veteran should be homeless,” she said, “but women are now the fastest growing homeless population and most are single mothers.”
Since 2000, the Newman’s Own Award program has awarded a cumulative grant total of $925,000 to 153 organizations.
The following organization also received grants at today’s ceremony:
-- The Jonas Project, Laguna Woods, Calif.;
-- Caregiver Retreats, Yellow Ribbon Fund, Bethesda, Md.;
-- Military Helpline Texting Service, Lines for Life, Portland, Ore.;
-- Veterans Aging in Place, Purple Heart Homes Inc., Statesville, N.C.;
-- Regional Military Survivor Seminars and Good Grief Camps, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, Arlington, Va.;
-- Respite Care for Military Families/Children with Intellectual Disabilities, Jill’s House, Vienna, Va.; and
-- Blue Star Jobs, Blue Star Families Inc., Falls Church, Va.