2013 Winners

“Newman’s Own” Awards Totaling $100,000 Presented to Eight Military Care Initiatives

WASHINGTON, DC -- Admiral James A. Winnefeld, Jr., Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, provided remarks at the 14th annual Newman’s Own Award Ceremony at the Pentagon today, as awards totaling $100,000 were presented to eight non-profit organizations for their innovative programs to improve military quality of life.

Final Salute, Inc. received the highest honor and a $25,000 award. Located in Alexandria, Virginia, the mission of Final Salute, Inc. is to provide homeless female Veterans and their children with safe and suitable housing. They are currently the only non-profit in the DC Metro area that provides housing specifically for women Veterans and their children. Since opening their first home in November 2011, they have assisted over 100 women Veterans and children and have a 100 percent employment rate for their employable residents.

Newman’s Own, Fisher House Foundation, and Military Times part of Gannett Government Media Corporation, sponsor the competition, which seeks to reward ingenuity for programs that benefit service men and women and their families.

Admiral Winnefeld was joined by Tom Indoe, President and Chief Operating Officer of Newman’s Own; Mary Jo Myers, Trustee of Fisher House Foundation; and Peter Lundquist, Vice President and Acting General Manager of Military Times, in presenting the awards.

“Each year we continue to draw inspiration from the selfless ideas of others and are proud to help the organizers take their dreams a few steps forward,” said Indoe.

Including this year’s awards, the annual competition that began in 1999 has recognized 153 programs with awards totaling $925,000, with all funding provided by Newman’s Own, Inc.

Over 300 entries were received for the 2013 program. Six judges evaluated each entry based on the organization’s impact to the respective communities, creativity and innovation.

Judges for the 2013 competition were:

  • Mrs. Deanie Dempsey, Spouse of General Martin E. Dempsey, USA
  • Mrs. Mary Winnefeld, Spouse of Admiral James A. Winnefeld, Jr., USN
  • Mrs. Mary Jo Myers, Trustee, Fisher House Foundation
  • Mrs. Tammy Fisher, Trustee, Fisher House Foundation
  • Mr. Jeff Smith, Vice President of Operations, Newman’s Own
  • Mr. Mark Tilley, Director, Sales, Newman’s Own

Overall Winning Entry

$25,000 Award

Women Vets Transitional Living Program
Final Salute, Inc., Alexandria, VA
The mission of Final Salute is to provide homeless female Veterans and their children with safe and suitable housing. Since opening their first home in November 2011, they have assisted over 100 women Veterans and children and have a 100% employment rate for their employable residents. For more information, contact Jas Boothe (finalsaluteinc@gmail.com) or visit www.finalsaluteinc.org.

$15,000 Award

The Jonas Project
The Jonas Project, Laguna Woods, CA
The Jonas Project works with Warrior Entrepreneurs in their quest to become tomorrow’s high-impact business leaders. Mentors are matched to a Veteran based upon his or her needs, providing critical guidance during the first two years of operation in an attempt to increase their chances of success. For more information, contact Teri Kelsall (teri@thejonasproject.org) or visit www.thejonasproject.org.

$10,000 Awards

Caregiver Retreats
Yellow Ribbon Fund, Bethesda, MD
The Caregiver Retreat hosted by the Yellow Ribbon Fund is designed to bring respite to caregivers of severely injured service members. The interaction that is encouraged during the retreat will carry over after everyone returns home and each caregiver will have more resources to lean on in difficult times. For more information, contact Mark Robbins (mark@yellowribbonfund.org) or visit www.yellowribbonfund.org.

Military Helpline – Texting Service
Lines for Life, Portland, OR
The Military Helpline seeks to enhance the lives of post 9/11 wounded veterans by improving their mental health and wellness, especially as it relates to substance abuse, PTSD and suicidal thoughts. Their crisis lines counselors successfully de-escalate over 98 percent of the suicide calls they receive. For more information, contact Tom Parker (TomP@LinesforLife.org) or visit www.linesforlife.org.

Veterans Aging in Place
Purple Heart Homes, Inc., Statesville, NC
For Service Connected Disabled Veterans who currently own a home that doesn’t meet his or her physical needs, Purple Heart Homes does an assessment, and determines the final scope and budget to restore both dignity and “quality of life” for the Veteran by creating an injury-specific, barrier-free living environment. Services are provided at no cost to the Veteran and best of all, our Veterans get to stay in their own homes. For more information, contact John Gallina (jgallina@purplehearthomesusa.org) or visit www.purplehearthomesusa.org.

Regional Military Survivor Seminars & Good Grief Camps
Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, Arlington, VA
The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is the national nonprofit organization providing comfort, care and resources to all those grieving the loss of a loved one who died while serving in the Armed Forces. Good Grief Camps and Camp Outs for children are among the many programs and services that TAPS provides to assist grieving military families. For more information, contact Ami Neiberger-Miller at ami@taps.org or visit www.taps.org.

Respite Care for Military Families/Children with Intellectual Disabilities
Jill’s House, Vienna, VA
Jill’s House, a full-service overnight respite center, renews military & civilian families through much-needed breaks while providing a safe, fun environment for their children with special needs. Since 2010, Jill’s House has provided more than 250,000 hours of rest and relief to more than 400 families. For more information, contact Denise Daffron (denise.daffron@jillshouse.org) or visit www.jillshouse.org.

Blue Star Jobs
Blue Star Families, Inc., Falls Church, VA
In February 2013, Blue Star Families launched Blue Star Jobs to bring economic and professional opportunity to military families through online work. The program seeks to reduce the high unemployment rate and wage gap experienced by military spouses that adversely affects the readiness, retention, and wellbeing of the military community. For more information, contact AnnaMaria White (amwhite@bluestarfam.org) or visit www.bluestarfam.org.