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Over $100,000 Awarded in Innovative Student-Engagement Initiative

Westport, Connecticut ─ Yesterday, during the America East Conference Basketball Championship, Newman's Own Foundation unveiled the top grant recipients of its third-annual Campus Community Service Challenge. 

Engineers Without Borders, in partnership with University at Maine, received the top grant of $25,000.  Earth Day Southern Tier working with Binghamton University's SUNY VINES (Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments) received $15,000.  Two student group/non-profit partnerships tied for the third-place grant.  Both Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region, who partnered with University of Albany's Reclassifying All Children Equally (R.A.C.E.), and Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports who partnered with University of Vermont's Adaptive Sports, will receive a $10,000 grant from Newman's Own Foundation.  In total, over $100,000 was awarded to nonprofits throughout the tournament.

The Newman's Own Foundation Campus Community Service Challenge was developed to encourage the practice of philanthropy among younger generations, specifically on college campuses.  One student group, chosen from each of the America East's nine member universities, nominated and partnered with a local nonprofit for a Newman's Own Foundation grant.

"A priority of the Foundation is to encourage the practice of philanthropy among as broad a population as possible," said Bob Forrester, president of Newman's Own Foundation.  "These student volunteers represent the next generation of leadership. We are inspired by their work and proud to support them through the Campus Community Service Challenge."

Grant recommendations were based on the student groups' involvement with their chosen nonprofit, and the impact of the partnership on those served by the nonprofit as well as on the students themselves.

Newman's Own Foundation provided Honorable Mention grants of $5,000 each to five grantees, all of whom submitted impressive proposals.  Receiving these grants were:

o   Boston University's Joining Hands, partnering with Newton Area Corporation for the Benefit of Special Athletes, Inc. to host events for Newton Special Athletes and to provide cheer and support to athletes in their training and competitions.

o   University of Hartford's Society of Women Engineers, partnering with University of Hartford, to expand outreach to area high school girls, to foster an interest in engineering.

  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County's Relay for Life, partnering with the American Cancer Society, to increase student participation in the Relay and to educate the UMBC community about cancer, prevention, and intervention.
  • University of New Hampshire's Aspiring Hands, partnering with Somersworth Youth Safe Haven, to provide at-risk youth with homework assistance, healthy living classes, a community garden, and educational field trips.
  • Stony Brook University's Alternative Spring Break Outreach, partnering with Community Collaborations International, to provide funds for a greater number of students to travel and volunteer with nonprofit organizations around the country.

"Congratulations to all the winners of this year's challenge, especially University of Maine's Engineers Without Borders which took home the top grant. I'm very proud of all the unselfish work the students at America East institutions put into a wide array of non-profit endeavors," said America East Commissioner Amy Huchthausen. "I'd also like to thank Newman's Own Foundation for their generosity. Their work to promote volunteerism is simply remarkable."

The Newman's Own Foundation also presented "charity stripe shootouts" throughout the tournament.  University students, selected from the crowd, played to win $1,000 for a local charity of choice.  In total, $7,000 was awarded to nonprofits per the recommendations of these students.

To learn more about the challenge and the nine student group/non-profit partnerships, please visit http://newmansownfoundation.org/competition/.


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