- For Immediate Release -
For more information, contact:
Mike Smith, (415) 613-8517
Like the stars of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, the first five winners of the Marigold Ideas for Good Contest are starting new chapters by finding purpose in the second half of life.
Participant Media, Encore.org and Road Scholar announced the first round of winners of the contest today, awarding each one a grant of $5,000. These five were chosen from among hundreds of individuals over 50 who submitted innovative projects for improving their communities and the world. The grand prize winner also won a trip with Road Scholar, valued at up to $5,000.
Here are the winners and their ideas:
Grand Prize winner Deborah Greymoon: Safer Birthing Practices
In 2007, Deborah Greymoon volunteered as a midwife at a high-risk maternity hospital in India, where postpartum hemorrhages, the leading cause of maternal mortality worldwide, is a major problem. A midwife for 30 years, she taught local doctors techniques that can save lives during childbirth. Now a certified nurse, she plans to further educate doctors and nurses in India on these simple and accessible procedures to prevent loss of life.
Kathleen Braico: Summer Service for Teens
Retired pediatrician Kathleen Braico noticed a gap in summer activities for teenagers in her Queensbury, N.Y., community. Younger children have summer camp, and older teenagers can work. But kids ages 13 to 15 are often left with little to no supervision. Braico envisions a summer service program for teenagers in this age range, teaching them life skills and the value of community service. She designed her program so the students will choose their own community service projects; the students will be expected to manage and direct the projects themselves.
Charlene Turner Johnson: Houses for Homeless Veterans and Families
Since the start of the housing crisis, thousands of homes in Detroit’s Highland Park community have been foreclosed on or abandoned. Meanwhile, thousands more homeless families and veterans are in temporary shelters and job seeking programs. Charlene Turner Johnson wants to launch Come Home to Highland Park, a project to help revitalize these houses so those who are homeless can live in them.
Gary Oppenheimer: Fresh Food to Food Pantries
CNN Hero and Huffington Post Game Changer Gary Oppenheimer started AmpleHarvest.org, an online network to connect home and community gardeners with food pantries that lack steady supplies of fresh produce. With 50 million Americans in homes without enough food for healthy living, and 40 million Americans growing fruit, vegetables and herbs in home gardens, Oppenheimer saw a natural synergy and has so far connected more than 5,000 food pantries across all 50 states with supplies of fresh produce. In 2011, through AmpleHarvest.org, more than 20 million pounds of produce was donated by gardeners to pantries nationwide.
Stan Weston: Tree House for Everyone
St. Joseph, Mo.
Stan Weston would like to create a playground accessible to everyone, including those in wheelchairs and walkers. Trees won’t be used for support, but will come up through the deck and house. With playground equipment on the deck and on the ground, Weston’s “Tree House for Everyone” will be available for birthday parties, family outings, picnics and classroom lessons.
Chad Boettcher, Participant’s Executive Vice President of Social Action & Advocacy, said, “The response to our contest has been amazing. We were blown away by the quality and diversity of the submissions. So many of them were outstanding that it wasn’t easy to narrow them down to just five.”
Founder and CEO of Encore.org Marc Freedman said, “The winners of this contest are old enough to recognize injustice and experienced enough to do something about it. There are millions more like them, eager to devote their encore years to the greater good.”
Contest entries will continue to be accepted through September 28, with five additional winners each month receiving a $5,000 grant toward their projects, and one grand prize winner each month receiving an educational or service-learning trip through Road Scholar, in addition to the grant.
You can find out more about the first round’s winners here:
For information about entering the Marigold Ideas for Good Contest, check out:
About Participant Media
Participant Media (participantmedia.com) is a Los Angeles-based global entertainment company specializing in socially-relevant documentary and narrative feature films, television, publishing and digital media. Participant exists to tell compelling, entertaining stories that bring to the forefront real issues that shape our lives. For each of its projects, Participant creates extensive social action and advocacy programs, which provide ideas and tools to transform the impact of the media experience into individual and community action. Participant’s online Social Action Network is TakePart (takepart.com). Participant’s films include The Kite Runner, Charlie Wilson's War, Darfur Now, An Inconvenient Truth, Good Night, and Good Luck, Syriana, The Visitor, The Soloist, Food, Inc., The Cove, The Crazies, Countdown to Zero, Waiting for Superman, Fair Game, PAGE ONE: Inside The New York Times, The Help, Contagion and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
Encore.org (formerly Civic Ventures) is making it easier for millions of people to pursue encore careers – second acts for the greater good. The group’s ultimate goal: to produce a windfall of talent to solve society’s greatest problems.
About Road Scholar
Road Scholar (www.roadscholar.org), a project of Elder Hostel, is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to inspire adults to learn, discover and travel. Since its inception, more than five million people have enrolled in its 6,500 iconic educational adventures offered annually in 50 states and 150 countries around the world.