MCLEAN, Va., April 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Thirteen volunteer initiatives will be recognized with the 2013 Make A Difference Day Awards at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on April 25. Make A Difference Day, the nation's largest day of service, was created in 1992 by Gannett Co., Inc.'s USA WEEKEND Magazine along with partners, Newman's Own and Points of Light. Newman's Own will donate a total of $130,000, awarding 10 volunteer initiatives $10,000 each and presenting three cities $10,000 each for their local projects.
The winners were chosen from thousands of grassroots volunteer efforts that took place during last October's Make A Difference Day. Millions of Americans served their communities and made positive change as a result of the volunteer action encouraged by the nationwide annual event.
"The overwhelming response from millions to take up the invitation to help others within their communities is not only uplifting, but inspirational," said Larry Kramer, president and publisher of USA WEEKEND. "Make A Difference Day — the largest day of community service each year — touches the lives of so many people. It is a collective effort and we are grateful to the volunteers and our partners for helping to make it all happen."
"Make A Difference Day was always important to Paul Newman and Newman's Own is proud to continue its dedication to this initiative. We hope that by providing the awards each year they will serve as inspiration for others to join in, answer a need, and keep a great thing going," said Tom Indoe, president and COO of Newman's Own, Inc."The 2013 Make A Difference Day honorees provide moving examples of the power of people to use their time and talents to create change," said Michelle Nunn, CEO, Points of Light. "From the men aiming to sponsor the largest food drive ever held in a retirement community to the preschool teacher who collected 2,100 toys for children who would otherwise have had to do without, we continue to be inspired by the many ways people reach out to make life better for their neighbors. Each small act contributes to stronger communities and a stronger America." In addition, one past national honoree will be recognized for continuing excellence with the All-Star Award of $10,000 from the Gannett Foundation, a corporate foundation sponsored by Gannett Co., Inc. that supports nonprofits in communities which Gannett serves. The All-Star Award goes to a charity of the winner's choice. Tony Danza, actor, author and education advocate, will serve as the event's keynote speaker and CBS News' Nancy Cordes will be master of ceremonies. The ten 2013 Make A Difference Day Award honorees are:
- Alabama Rural Ministry, Opelika, Ala.
- The Sundial Men's Club, Sun City, Ariz.
- National Assistance League, Burbank, Calif.
- Wen Marcec and Project SANTA, Geneva, Ill.
- Lions Club – District 22 W, Thurmont, Md.
- C&S Wholesale Grocers, Keene, N.H.
- FIRST Robotics Competition, Teams 340 & 511, Rochester, N.Y.
- Nicholas Lowinger, Cranston, R.I.
- Shaquawana Wester, Cookeville, Tenn.
- The Red Cross, Ellensburg, Wash.
- The City of Fremont, Calif.
- The City of Albuquerque, N.M.
- The City of Kettering, Ohio
- Melbourne Central Catholic High, St. Joseph Catholic School, West Shore Junior/Senior High, Lake Washington Fellowship, Melbourne and Palm Bay, Fla.