First Lady Maureen McDonnell Announces First Lady's Opportunity Hall of Fame Award Recipients
RICHMOND - First Lady Maureen McDonnell announced the First Lady's Opportunity Hall of Fame award recipients at the second annual awards luncheon held today in Richmond. The awards are part of The First Lady's Initiatives Team Effort (FLITE), which Mrs. McDonnell launched last year to recognize programs, activities, organizations and individuals who embody the ideal of creating a Commonwealth of Opportunity in their communities. Five individuals and groups received the First Lady's Opportunity Hall of Fame Award, 18 groups and individuals received the First Lady's Opportunity Seal of Approval, and one received the Continuing Recognition certificate.
Over the last year, Mrs. McDonnell and members of her FLITE team sought to identify people and groups in four key areas:
- A Commonwealth of Opportunity for Health and Wellness
- A Commonwealth of Opportunity for Economic Development, with a specific focus on the Virginia Wine, Film, and Tourism Industries
- A Commonwealth of Opportunity for Military Families
- A Commonwealth of Opportunity for Women
Speaking about the Opportunity Hall of Fame award recipients, Mrs. McDonnell remarked, "I launched FLITE last year to recognize the wonderful Virginians who are doing great works of charity and sacrifice every day. FLITE helps showcase programs, projects, individuals and organizations that are making significant contributions across the Commonwealth to make it a better place to live, work and raise a family. The 19 groups and individuals receiving the First Lady's Opportunity Seal of Approval and Continuing Recognition certificate, along with the five First Lady's Opportunity Hall of Fame Inductees are all doing incredible work across the Commonwealth. These 25 initiatives are providing opportunities, hope, and caring statewide, and join the 33 initiatives that were recognized at last year's awards luncheon. As FLITE continues over the next two years, I hope to use this incredible opportunity to bring attention to the life-changing work being done by the many selfless people and groups around Virginia."
For more information about FLITE, please visit: http://www.firstlady.governor.virginia.gov/Initiatives/FLITE/
First Lady's Opportunity Hall of Fame Award Recipients
Field of Dreams Farm (Henrico)
- This one-man show promotes a sustainable way of growing food in home gardens and also teaches students in 9 Virginia schools how to farm and prepare their own "Victory Gardens" in order to have a much better chance at healthy living.
- The gateway to Southwest Virginia craft, music, food and local culture, Heartwood has played a key role in creating a sustainable economy in Southwest Virginia. They feature crafts by local artisans, juried to be the best of the best, and the most complete collection of Crooked Road old time, blue grass and gospel music.
J. Thaler McCormick, For Kids, Inc (Norfolk)
- J. Thaler McCormick, CEO of For Kids, Inc., has led the fight against family homelessness in Virginia and Hampton Roads since 1996. Under her leadership the organization has become Virginia's largest service provider for homeless families.
Society of St. Andrew, End Hunger (Big Island)
- This organization provides healthy, nutritious produce to Virginia's hungry. Their Potato and Produce Program and Gleaning Network salvage nutritious food, redirecting it to food banks, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, senior feeding centers, hospice homes and many other essential feeding programs.
Virginia Horses for Heroes (Falls Church)
- Horses for Heroes provides equine therapy to wounded military and veterans through various therapeutic riding programs throughout the Commonwealth.
First Lady's Opportunity Seal of Approval Award Recipients
Angel Bus/AirCompassion (Virginia Beach)
Beyond Boobs (Williamsburg)
Blue Ridge Marathon (Roanoke)
Castleton Festival (Washington)
Hospital Hospitality House (Richmond)
Hot Meals and Homework (Norfolk)
Development of an International Market for Virginia Wine (Reston)
Jill's House (Vienna)
Learn Today Lead Tomorrow (Wytheville)
Let's Give Back (Reston)
MyNeighbors Network (Great Falls)
Navy SEAL Foundation (Virginia Beach)
Parade Rest (Charlottesville)
Quality of Life Plus (McLean)
Ramps Across America (Newport News)
Southside Playground Olympics (Richmond)
Troop Treats (McLean)
Virginia Wounded Warrior Program North (Leesburg)
HEAL Appalachia (Bristol)
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