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Vie for Share of $50,000 in Newman's Own Award Competition

By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 18, 2003 – Entry deadline is April 30 to join the competition for a share of $50,000 in the 2003 Newman's Own Award for Military Community Excellence.

First prize is a $10,000 grant to the organization whose program is judged the most innovative," said Jim Weiskopf, Fisher House Foundation spokesman. The award program sponsors, the Newman's Own Co., the Fisher House Foundation and the Military Times Media Group, hope to receive at least 100 entries, he added.

He said the program focuses on the many volunteer-run groups that exist to improve quality of life for a unit, activity or installation. About half the winners last year were involved in some type of quality-of- life project for families of deployed service members, he noted.

For example, he said, one group received a grant to form a relationship between a public library and several Navy ships. The group arranged for deployed service members to be videotaped reading to their children. In turn, children could check out the same book from the library and follow along at home as they watched the videotape.

Entering the competition is easy, he said. "We give the organization a blank piece of paper and ask them to tell us about their program," Weiskopf said. "Submissions have ranged from a half a page to 30 pages. It is up to the submitting organization to put its best foot forward."

Nonprofit or "private organizations" that have approval of an installation commander to operate are eligible to enter. This includes Boy and Girl Scout troops, chapel groups, hospital auxiliaries, parent teacher organizations at DoD schools and spouses' clubs.

For contest information, visit the Fisher House Foundation Web site at www.fisherhouse.org or call (888) 294-8560.

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