Fisher House Foundation and Military Times Foundation have awarded grants to five non-profit organizations supporting military service members and their families. The Fisher Service Award for Military Community Service provides funding toward innovative programs created to improve the quality of life of veterans.
The Fisher Service Award began in 1999 as the Newman's Own Awards and have now awarded more than $3 million across 205 non-profit programs.
“Congratulations to the 2023 Fisher Service Award grant recipients,” said Chairman and CEO of Fisher House Foundation Ken Fisher. “These innovative programs have significant impacts on the military and veteran community we care so deeply for. Thank you to our partners at Military Times and our distinguished judges for their dedication to the military and veteran community.”
“Military Times is proud to support military-connected families and organizations that strive to improve the lives of those in this community. Our support of the Fisher Service Award is just one of the many ways we underscore the Military Times mission of service to the community we serve” said Kelly Facer, SVP Sightline Media Group / Military Times. “As is the case every year, our honorees exemplify the power of community, cooperation, and innovation in tackling the most important issues for our nation’s heroes and their families.”
After receiving over 450 entries for the 2023 program, 11 judges evaluated each entry based on the organization’s creativity, innovation, and impact on the respective communities. Fisher House Foundation and Military Times Foundation are proud to announce that the five winning organizations are:
Dreams for Veterans, Dream Foundation; Heal Program, Acadiana Veteran Alliance; Farm Military Agricultural Program, The Veteran’s Farm of NC, Inc.; Beyond the Streets, Vets on Track Foundation; and Vet2Vet Maine Peer Companion Program, Vet2Vet Maine (Organization information below.)
The leading 2023 Fisher Service Award-winning organization received a $90,000 grant, with the remaining top organizations receiving $40,000. All recipients will also receive an advertising package from Military Times valued at $50,000. The 2023 recipients were honored in a ceremony hosted by Fisher House Foundation and Military Times in Washington, D.C., on October 25, 2023. Photos from the ceremony can be viewed at https://www.flickr.com/photos/fisherhousefoundation/sets.
Dreams for Veterans, a program of Dream Foundation, received the highest honor and a $90,000 award. The program was formed in 2014 to tailor the Dream experience to veterans, service members, and their families. Dream recipients are terminally ill U.S. military veterans, active service members, and members of the Reserve and National Guard in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. This program acknowledges these groups and honors their service by fulfilling their final Dream, providing them, their families, and caregivers inspiration, comfort, and closure at the end of the day.
"We are truly honored that Dream Foundation’s Dreams for Veterans program is the recipient of this year’s Fisher Service Award,” said Dream Foundation CEO Kisa Heyer. “We share this honor with everyone who makes this program possible, who believes, as we do, that making the final Dream of a veteran facing the end of life is a powerful way to thank them for their service. Dreams come in many forms, and the grant will be used to help us reunite veterans with their loved ones to say goodbye, visit military memorials to pay their last respects, or provide essential items when they are most needed. We want to express our profound gratitude to Fisher House Foundation and the Military Times Foundation on behalf of all those we serve for recognizing that Dreams are a critical part of a palliative care program and for helping bring joy, comfort, and closure to those who have selflessly served as they face the end of life."
Dreams for Veterans
Dream Foundation, Santa Barbara, California
Dreams for Veterans, a nationwide program of Dream Foundation, acknowledges the service of terminally-ill service members and veterans by fulfilling their final Dream. It provides them, their families, and their caregivers joy, comfort, and closure at the end of their life. dreamsforveterans.org
Acadiana Veteran Alliance, Lafayette, Louisiana
The Heal Program from Acadiana Veteran Alliance helps veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress absolve or reduce their symptoms to increase daily functioning and improve overall quality of life through utilization of Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) and traditional therapies. Supportava.org
Farm Military Agricultural Program
The Veteran’s Farm of NC, Inc., Cameron, North Carolina
The Veteran’s Farm of NC, Inc. offers training, equipment, and networking with over 1,000 farmer veteran families in North Carolina to assist veterans in becoming farmers. The free training programs teach bedrock skills in agriculture and provide purpose after service, reducing veteran suicide. http://vfnc.org/
Beyond the Streets
Vets on Track Foundation, Chesterfield, Virginia
Beyond the Streets works to end veteran homelessness and significantly reduce the number of veteran suicides by helping rebuild self-worth, dignity, pride, and purpose in veterans transitioning out of homelessness into permanent housing. It provides critical resources, like home furnishings and follow-on care on the journey. Vettrack.org
Vet2Vet Maine Peer Companion Program
Vet2Vet Maine, Biddeford, Maine
Vet2Vet Maine matches veteran volunteers with other veterans who need a friend or mentor. The pairs visit on a regular basis, share stories, enjoy activities together, and develop a friendship that can last a lifetime. Trained volunteers help the veterans apply for needed services and benefits. Vet2vetmaine.org
Judges for the 2023 competition were:
Ms. Gina Allvin, Spouse of General David W. Allvin, Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force
Ms. Kelly Facer, Sr. Vice President, Military Times, a Sightline Media Group Company
Mrs. Tammy Fisher, Trustee, Fisher House Foundation
Ms. Linda Gilday, Spouse of Admiral Michael Gilday, 32nd Chief of Naval Operations, United States Navy
Ms. Christine Grady, Spouse of Admiral Christopher W. Grady, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Mrs. Kelly Hokanson, Spouse of General Daniel Hokanson, Chief of the National Guard Bureau
Ms. Ann Morrison, Spouse of LTG John B. Morrison, United States Army Chief of Staff G-6
Mrs. Lynne Pace, Trustee, Fisher House Foundation
Ms. Sherry Poulin, Spouse of Admiral Steven D. Poulin, Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard
Ms. Jennifer Saltzman, Spouse of General B. Chance Saltzman, Chief of Space Operations, United States Space Force
Mrs. Suzie Schwartz, Trustee, Fisher House Foundation