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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
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Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: December 2014

Securian Honored With Keystone Award for Charitable Giving

Giving and volunteerism date to the company’s founding in St. Paul in 1880

St. Paul, Minnesota – Securian Financial Group is the Large Company honoree for this year’s Minnesota Keystone award.

Every year the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce recognizes companies that donate at least two percent of the their pretax earnings to the community with the Keystone award. Securian and its foundation have awarded more than $20 million in grants over the last 10 years and employees donated thousands of hours to community service.

“Securian stood out because of its long-term and deeply engrained commitment to the community,” said Todd Klingel, chamber president and CEO. “The company’s volunteer programs are expansive and heavily layered into the corporate culture.”

Securian participates in eight local mentoring programs for children and teens. The company set up a unique program at the Urban Academy Charter School in downtown St. Paul to provide mentoring and assist students with reading skills. Securian also has provided funding and volunteers to BestPrep and Junior Achievement for more than 30 years.

“Helping the next generation achieve personal and academic success is a Securian community volunteer priority,” said Bob Senkler, CEO and chairman, Securian Financial Group. “Throughout our 134-year history, sharing our good fortune has been imbedded in Securian’s culture.” Senkler accepted the award for Securian December 11 at a luncheon honoring the new Keystone members.

About Securian Financial Group

Since 1880, Securian Financial Group and its affiliates have provided financial security for individuals and businesses in the form of insurance, investments and retirement plans. Now one of the nation’s largest financial services providers, it is the holding company parent of a group of companies that offer a broad range of financial services.

About Minnesota Keystone

The Minnesota Keystone Program was founded in 1976 by 23 Minnesota companies to recognize charitable giving and set an example for other Minnesota companies. The commitment of Keystone participants promises to sustain Minnesota’s spirit of generosity and sense of community.

Philanthropic Prize Supporting High Risk, High Reward Research Addressing Modern Problems Awarded To Laurie T. Krug For Research On How Viruses Cause Disease

First-Ever Stony Brook University Discovery Prize Fellow Selected by Illustrious Panel Krug Awarded $200,000; Finalists to Receive $50,000

(left to right)  President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD, Laurie T. Krug, PhD and James H. Simons, PhD

(left to right) President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD, Laurie T. Krug, PhD and James H. Simons, PhD

New York, NY – December 11, 2014 – Laurie T. Krug, Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Stony Brook University, is the first early-career scientist to be named the Stony Brook University Discovery Prize Fellow, a new philanthropically-sponsored award established to fund high-risk, high-reward basic research projects. Krug was named today following a “Shark Tank”-meets-“TED Talk”-styled competition at the Simons Foundation headquarters in New York City. Krug was selected from one of four finalists for her project that researches herpes viruses that are associated with cancer and the idea of delivering molecular scissors to the site of virus infection using nanoparticles.

“Without reliable, significant support, America’s leadership in scientific discovery is in jeopardy, and I am proud that Stony Brook University is pioneering the movement to mobilize private philanthropy in support of basic science,” said Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD. “Laurie Krug and other talented Stony Brook researchers like her fuel the University’s commitment to scientific research. That commitment is reinforced by the remarkable work and determination of the Stony Brook Foundation.”

The Stony Brook University Discovery Prize was established when the Stony Brook Foundation created the Discovery Fund in response to a nationwide call to augment public funding of university research with philanthropic support. The Prize is part of a broader commitment by President Stanley and the Foundation to raise $25 million to invest via future awards to faculty over the next 10 years.

“It’s exciting and an honor to be the first Discovery Prize recipient,” said Krug. Krug and her collaborator Balaji Sitharaman were awarded $200,000 to support their research and in an unexpected announcement made after the judges’ deliberation, the three finalists learned that they each will receive a $50,000 Discovery Fund award for their projects.

Historic for its dynamic approach to encourage early career faculty to compete for the prize in a live, real-time setting – a format usually reserved for reality TV competitions like “The Voice,” “Shark Tank” and “American Idol” – the Discovery Prize competition also included a component that requires finalists to explain their project in a way that is easy to understand and conveys its significance and approach to solving a problem.

The Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University was instrumental in the training of all four finalists, who were selected from a total of 22 proposal submissions that were reviewed by a panel of six SUNY Distinguished Professors.

Each of the four finalists were lauded for their ambitious, innovative and forward-thinking projects which they presented to an illustrious panel of judges that included Nobel Laureate Peter Agre, MD – Winner of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and professor at Johns Hopkins University; Robert Shelton, PhD – President of Research Corporation for Science Advancement and former president of the University of Arizona; James H. Simons, PhD – Chairman of theSimons Foundation, founder of Renaissance Technologies and former Chairman of the Mathematics Department at Stony Brook University; and, Esther Takeuchi, PhD – holder of 150 patents and Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Stony Brook University. Legendary actor Alan Alda, founder of the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University, provided opening remarks at the event. Paul Hoffman, CEO of the Liberty Science Center, served as Master of Ceremonies.

“Today was a great day for Stony Brook, and a great day for science,” said Simons. “Each of the four competitors had excellent proposals. Of course, we had to pick one, and it was a great one.”

(left to right) Laurie T. Krug, PhD, Emre Salman, PhD,  Gábor Balázsi, PhD and Eden Figueroa, PhD

(left to right) Laurie T. Krug, PhD, Emre Salman, PhD, Gábor Balázsi, PhD and Eden Figueroa, PhD

“Today’s program represented both a unique and an essential response to the diminishing federal support for basic research,” said Hoffman. “As a longtime advocate for science, it is heartening that such creative, new avenues to fund this research are being initiated. Having the four young scientists vie for a significant amount of private funding to support their research was both fun and interesting. I’m honored to have been asked by Stony Brook University to serve as master of ceremonies for such a prestigious competition.”

“From my perspective as a judge, I just want to compliment Stony Brook and the extraordinary young faculty they have presenting here,” said Shelton. “It is an affirmation of what made this country great — and that is investing in youth.”

“It was such a delight to participate in the Stony Brook Discovery Fund Prize event and really an honor to be part of the very elite judges’ panel that had the extraordinarily difficult decision of selecting the first ever inaugural winner of the Discovery Prize,” said Takeuchi. “I’m very thrilled with the outcome and wish all of the finalists the very best of success in their future scientific endeavors.”

“December 8th through December 12th is Nobel week, and I can’t think of a more outstanding way to celebrate that here in New York than with The Discovery Prize,” added Agre.

Laurie Krug’s laboratory researches herpes viruses that are associated with cancer. She is working with Dr. Balaji Sitharaman to pursue their idea of delivering molecular scissors to the site of virus infection using nanoparticles. “We need to understand how these viruses set up shop in specific cells, and what makes them wake up after years of dormancy in our bodies,” Krug says. “Our ‘nanotools’ will be a new approach to understanding how viruses cause disease.” Krug says this is purely exploratory science, with no initial hypotheses. “The preliminary data we generate through the support of the Discovery Fund will be instrumental to convince agencies such as the National Institutes of Health [NIH] and the National Science Foundation [NSF] that this technology can be applied to basic research investigations of fundamental biological questions, and may evolve towards translational applications to treat and possibly cure disease.”

The Continuing Struggle For Justice And Peace: Perspectives Of A Street Cop Who Knows There’s No Place For Race

Shreveport, LA, December 18, 2014 – “Black Lives Matter.” “No Justice, No Peace.” “Racism is Tyranny.” “I Can’t Breathe.” Slogans are everywhere, yet it’s a problem too complex to be condensed down to a few words. Veteran homicide detective Rodney Demery draws from a lifetime of experience to delve deeper than race for answers, and his voice rings true.

On an autopsy table, we all look the same. Not black. Not white. Just human. And we all bleed red. With these blunt words, Demery launches a persuasive argument for rejecting race and racial tensions as the root of our crumbling criminal justice system. In his book No Place For Race, (The Demery Group LLC), Demery boldly asserts that worn-out sociopolitical theories generate more divisiveness than anything else; the interjection of racism camouflages what’s really going on. Black police administrators and policy makers may be more responsible for racial profiling than racists, he believes.

After having worked as an investigator for homicides, narcotics, burglaries, armed robberies and sex crimes, Demery has suggestions with the potential to move our communities far beyond academic theories. “I want to start a conversation that moves us away from the same old political and social divisions,” he says. “The book comes from the frustration I feel walking under yellow tape and stepping over pooled blood at yet another crime scene.” Too often, Demery has told mothers their children have been murdered and could only watch helplessly as they sobbed.

A decorated veteran of the United States Navy, Detective Rodney Demery has served the public as an officer of the peace for 25 years. Demery, who served in both Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Shield, attended Louisiana State University and earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. Throughout his career as a police officer, he has worked in three states.

He is also the author of Things My Daughters Need to Know: A Cop and Father’s View of Sex, Relationships and Happiness. Part advice column, part memoir, it reached Amazon’s Kindle Best Seller List in July 2011.

For more, please visit the website:

No Place For Race
The Demery Group LLC
Available on as a Kindle Book
ASIN: B00G2039SW
and at Barnes and Noble for the Nook
BN ID: 2940148552451

The Musicians Foundation, The Nation’s Oldest Independent Non-Profit for Musicians in Crisis, Celebrates Its Centennial Anniversary

Wynton Marsalis, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Bobby Lopez to Join The Advisory Council, Ushering in A New Era of Charitable Giving to Musicians of All Genres

December 18, 2014 – New York, NY – One hundred years ago, a group of musical luminaries who were members of The Bohemians — a club that included Arturo Toscanini, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Pablo Casals and Jascha Heifetz — recognized the critical need to provide emergency financial relief to musicians in distress. In doing so, these socially engaged artists helped pioneer the course of charitable giving in this country.

Encouraged by the ratification of the 16th Amendment and the Revenue Act of 1913 establishing tax exemption for certain organizations, The Bohemians immediately set about creating the Musicians Foundation. In creating the country’s first nonprofit in support of musicians, these celebrated artists not only made an indelible mark on American culture with their own music, but were prescient enough to protect the future of music created by professional musicians of any genre. Founded on May 8, 1914, the Musicians Foundation has since proven tireless in providing both short- and long-term support to legions of musicians. The organization’s beneficiaries include the legendary late singer Jimmy Scott, jazz pianist Brooks Kerr and Bruce Langhorne – the real-life inspiration for Bob Dylan’s iconic song, “Mr. Tambourine Man.” By ensuring that these artists were able to endure hardships, the Musicians Foundation has enriched all our lives exponentially.

In commemoration of this prestigious centennial milestone, the Musicians Foundation has just announced that Wynton Marsalis, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Bobby Lopez will join the organization’s Advisory Council.

Among his numerous achievements, Mr. Marsalis is the recipient of nine Grammy Awards, (he is the first artist to win for both jazz and classical recordings,) and a Pulitzer Prize for Music. He is the first jazz artist ever to have achieved this. Honored throughout the world with many more coveted distinctions, Marsalis currently serves as the Artistic Director for Jazz at Lincoln Center in NYC.

Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Bobby Lopez are the celebrated team who wrote the music for Disney’s Frozen, including “Let It Go,” for which they won an Oscar. Additionally, Mr. Lopez co-wrote the music for The Book of Mormon and Avenue Q. He is one of only twelve people who have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award, and the only person to win all four within a decade.

Says Musicians Foundation President, Hans Tausig:

“We are immensely honored to have the invaluable advice and support of such renowned artists who have all made groundbreaking contributions to music. Their extraordinary creative abilities will undoubtedly add new depth to our work. And their commitment to helping people in need will provide a game-changing boost to the ways in which the Musicians Foundation impacts the lives of musicians in crisis.”

Adds B.C. Vermeersch, Executive Director of the Musicians Foundation:

“In anticipation of the holiday season, when charitable giving is more top-of-mind, it is worth remembering how little support is offered to musicians in general, let alone in times of crisis. Lack of viable employment, illness, natural disasters, crime victimization…these can happen to anyone at any time. But there is no such thing as automatic workman’s comp, sick leave or pension plans for most musicians. We’re there to help them and their families in emergencies, so they can maintain a sense of dignity and get back to the important work of making music.”

For further information please go to:

New Director Named at Center for Politics and Governance

AUSTIN, Texas — Ryan Streeter, a long-serving government official at the state and federal levels, has been named director of the Center for Politics and Governance at The University of Texas at Austin.

Streeter served most recently as deputy chief of staff to Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and previously worked as a special assistant to President George W. Bush and in various roles in the private sector and with think tanks. He holds a doctorate from Emory University and has published multiple books and articles related to politics and policy.

“Ryan’s skills and experiences will allow the Center for Politics and Governance to continue to excel in promoting student engagement and fostering public discussion,” said UT Austin President Bill Powers, whose office oversees the center. “Ryan will further enhance UT’s role in tackling the key policy issues that face our state and nation.”

The center seeks to foster public sector innovation and creative solutions to today’s challenges through teaching, research and real-world engagement. It organizes student internships and courses, conducts research, provides expertise to a wide range of policymakers, and hosts discussion and forums on campus.

“I am honored to join The University of Texas community and help the Center for Politics and Governance enter a new phase of public policy leadership,” Streeter said. “The center’s focus on translating the best ideas from the political process into a governing agenda is needed now more than ever.”

He will begin as director Jan. 2.

OPIC Achieves $3 Billion In Commitments For 2014, Catalyzing Billions More, While Supporting American Business Growth In Developing Countries

Generates $358 million for U.S. Taxpayers, Marking 37th Consecutive Year of Helping to Reduce Federal Deficit

New Record Achieved for Renewable Energy Commitments

WASHINGTON – The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s Development Finance Institution, today announced $3 billion in financing and insurance commitments made during fiscal year 2014. Consistent with its mission to catalyze private capital flows, OPIC anticipates that these commitments will also mobilize an additional $3.2 billion in private-sector investment into emerging markets.

“OPIC’s trajectory is a testament to the powerful and growing role of the private sector in international development. Because OPIC’s model is fully self-sustaining, the Agency can achieve our development mission at no cost to the taxpayer, while enabling U.S. companies, small and large, to tap into dynamic markets abroad,” said Elizabeth Littlefield, OPIC’s President and CEO.

OPIC’s commitment to economic development and growth has led to a focus on investments in the world’s lowest income countries, especially in Africa, which accounted for over a quarter of the Agency’s overall 2014 commitments. Projects in Africa ranged from support for a healthcare facility in Angola to increased lending access for Zambian small and medium-sized businesses.

Highlights for the year included a new record of more than $1.2 billion in renewable energy commitments, supporting both large and small-scale projects across four continents, including what will be the largest solar project in Latin America once complete. This represents a nearly 10-fold increase in support to the sector over the last five years and a resounding confirmation of the economic opportunities that U.S. companies and investors are realizing in these fast-growing regions and sectors.

OPIC-supported projects were diverse in size, sector, and region. Examples include a small agricultural expansion project in Senegal, large partnerships to expand small and medium enterprise lending in Asian and Middle Eastern markets, and a major telecommunications modernization project in Colombia.

OPIC continued its strong financial performance in fiscal year 2014. Through its financing and insurance products, OPIC generated $358 million for the U.S. Treasury and produced its 37th consecutive year of reducing the Federal budget deficit. In addition, the Agency’s credit portfolio once again performed with lower than 1% write-offs (net of recoveries), an extraordinary accomplishment for a development finance institution taking risks in some of the world’s most challenging markets.

Utah Ranked First in the Nation for Volunteering for Ninth Year Running

Salt Lake City – For the ninth consecutive year, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has ranked Utah first in the U.S. for voluntarism because of Utahns’ generosity and commitment to improve their communities.

On Wednesday, Gov. Gary R. Herbert and the Utah Commission on Service and Volunteerism announced the 2014 Volunteering and Civic Life in America (VCLA) report ranked Utah as the No. 1 volunteering state in the nation for the ninth year running. The announcement was held in conjunction with release of the CNCS report.

“The VCLA report reaffirms that we have wonderful people who call Utah home and that care about their neighbors,” said Gov. Herbert. “Utahns proactively looking for opportunities to serve their community and help others save cost to government and to taxpayers. Their volunteer efforts pay significant dividends on many levels.”

Research from the VCLA 2014 report ranks Utah as the No. 1 volunteering state in the nation with 45.3 percent of adults volunteering. The report is part of the most comprehensive study of volunteering and civic engagement across the country. The data is gathered annually through the Current Population Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data was collected on the volunteering and civic activities of Americans age 16 and older.

The total economic value of volunteer service in Utah was $3.5 billion based on the independent sector annual estimate of the average value of a volunteer hour, which was $22.65 in 2013. More than 900,000 volunteers served approximately 154.9 million total hours.

The spirit of Utah’s volunteerism is exemplified in individual cities. The report also ranks the nation’s largest cities and metropolitan areas for their volunteering and civic engagement rates. Salt Lake City increased its ranking, moving from number five to second in the metropolitan cities category nationally. For mid-sized cities Provo ranked No. 1 again at 53.2 percent with Ogden coming in a close second at 52.2 percent of adults volunteering.

2014 Ripple of Hope Gala Honored Hillary Rodham Clinton, Tony Bennett, Robert De Niro & Donato Tramuto for Their Longstanding Commitment to Social Change

New York—Dec. 17, 2014 — Last evening, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights (formerly the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights) honored four leaders whose demonstrated commitment to social change exemplify Robert F. Kennedy’s passion for equality, justice, and basic human rights—Former Secretary of State and U.S. Senator from New York, Hillary Rodham Clinton; singer and philanthropist, Tony Bennett; actor and philanthropist, Robert De Niro; and Physicians Interactive Chairman and CEO, Donato Tramuto at the 2014 Ripple of Hope Awards Dinner. The event took place at the New York Hilton in New York City and hosted nearly 1,300 guests.

Past recipients of the Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award, which lauds leaders of the international business, entertainment, and activist communities who demonstrate commitment to social change, include: President Bill Clinton, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, John Boyer, Bono, George Clooney, Niclas Matseke, and Vice President Al Gore. Each honoree reflects Robert Kennedy’s belief that we all must strive to “make gentle the life of this world.”

Upon accepting her award, Clinton stated, “Robert Kennedy was the privileged heir to a famous name. Yet that never stopped him from finding the humanity in everyone. From a single mom in Bed-Sty, to a steel worker in Buffalo, to a student in South Africa – he had the great gift of seeing the word through their eyes. Imagining what it was like to walk in their shoes. I was so honored to follow in Robert Kennedy’s footsteps to the United States Senate, and his example was often on my mind. Robert Kennedy was a man of action, and he would urge us to take hold of these challenges, to organize, to legislate, and yes, to vote. For those of us who admire his legacy, that seems to me a big part, to narrow the gap between our ideals and our reality.” She continued, “There is no doubt that, at home and abroad, America is at our best when our actions match our values. Yes, the threat of terrorism is real and urgent. Scores of children were just murdered in Pakistan, beheadings in the Middle East, a siege in Sydney. These tragedies not only break hearts but should steel our resolve and underscore that our values are what set us apart from our adversaries. At this moment in our country and indeed, in the world, let us again turn to the wisdom and the example of Robert Kennedy. It is only in this spirit that we will be able to meet the perils and seize the possibilities of the 21st century.”

“I’ve been very lucky in my career, and I like having my name associated with the movies, and the Film Festival, and so on,” noted De Niro, “but what I’m most proud of is tonight being associated with RFK Human Rights. It should be the most uncontroversial thing . . . human rights. You don’t have to earn them, you’re born with human rights. They can’t be taken away.”

“While this award was given to me as an individual, I accept it on behalf of all the people at the business and philanthropic organizations I have had the privilege of leading, without whose contributions I wouldn’t be standing here today,” said Tramuto. “I am humbled by their dedication and commitment to helping me make the world a little better for so many. As Senator Kennedy said, ‘Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events.’ Those words inspired me as a child attempting to overcome my own disabilities, and they continue to inspire me today. I am honored to be recognized for trying to live up to Senator Kennedy’s ideals.”

Guests in attendance at last night’s gala included: Ethel Kennedy, Kerry Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Jonathan Alter, Michael Bolton, Tony Lo Bianco, Trevor Donovan, America Ferrera, Melanie Griffith, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Rachael Harris, Dennis Haysbert, Cheryl Hines, Catherine Keener, Harvey Keitel, Chad Lowe, Matt McCoy, Dikembe Mutumbo, Lena Olin, Bill O’Reilly, Mandy Patinkin, Thomas Roberts, Ed Shultz and Debra Winger, among others.

The Eighth Annual Ripple of Hope Holiday Auction, which benefits Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights’ work of advancing human rights efforts around the world, featured many celebrities in attendance at last night’s event. The online auction includes rare memorabilia, art, and one-in-a-lifetime experiences with notable figures in entertainment, politics, music and sports—ranging from intimate meals with Robert De Niro, Phylicia Rashad, or journalistic titans Dan Rather and Bill Moyers, a round of golf and lunch with comedian George Lopez, or VIP tickets and after-party passes to the American Music Awards or Academy of Country Music Awards to a day of falconing with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., exotic Greek and Italian vacations, and much more. The auction is open to bidders internationally through Thursday, December 18, 2014. For a full list of auction items and additional information, please visit:

Hershey-Funded Operation Now Producing Life-Saving Therapeutic Food

Hershey invests more than $1 million and food expertise to help severely malnourished Ghanaian children using peanut-based food

ACCRA, Ghana–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dec. 17, 2014— The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY), in partnership with Project Peanut Butter, today announced that the project’s newest manufacturing facility – located in Kumasi, Ghana — is now beginning full operation. The new plant will produce Project Peanut Butter’s peanut-based Ready to Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTFs) endorsed by leading NGOs1 as the world’s most effective treatment for severe childhood malnutrition.

At full capacity, the plant will be able to produce approximately 20,000 peanut-based RUTFs each day, enough to treat approximately 48,000 children each year. It takes nearly 150 packets to treat one child, and the product has a 95 percent success rate.

Starting in January 2015, Project Peanut Butter will mobilize a traveling clinic in the central region of Ghana to distribute RUTFs to local children. The clinic will be funded through an additional $50,000 contribution from Hershey and its employees through a matching gifts program. Although Ghana is one of the strongest emerging economies in Africa, about 30,000 children suffer from severe malnutrition at any time.

“Hershey’s donation to Project Peanut Butter was the single largest donation we’ve received. While it gave us the freedom to think about ‘what’s possible’ instead of worrying about dollars, the truly invaluable piece has been their employees’ immense passion and willingness to share their food manufacturing expertise with us,” said Dr. Mark Manary, founder of Project Peanut Butter, a pediatrician and a professor of pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo. “In just one year we turned an empty, unconditioned warehouse into a U.S.-quality food manufacturing plant. Hershey’s input saved us months if not a year and we are now ready to begin treating children in Ghana,” added Dr. Manary.

Throughout 2014, Hershey sourcing experts have been on the ground working with Ghanaian peanut farmers on better planting and harvesting techniques that will increase productivity and expand Ghana’s peanut crop for the long term.

“Sustained food security is a key element in helping foster long-term economic growth in Africa,” said The Hershey Company’s CEO John P. Bilbrey. “One of our goals for this project is to help Ghana build its peanut farming industry to ensure strong, reliable sources of locally grown peanuts. This will not only provide a steady source of peanuts for the Project Peanut Butter plant, but will also pave the way for the future production of additional peanut-based foods and nutritional supplements for Ghana.”

Project Peanut Butter will seek to source its ingredients in country as well as hire and train local Ghanaians to work in the factory, supporting the local economy and providing good job opportunities.

Hershey’s support of Project Peanut Butter emanates from Hershey’s vision of encouraging the private sector to use its distinct expertise and financial resources to invest in the continued development of Africa, a region with untapped potential that is important to the entire world.

During the past year, 15 Hershey employees have worked more than 6,200 hours on the Project Peanut Butter plant. With more than 30 years of food manufacturing experience, the team advised on raw material sourcing, plant design and quality controls, including recommending changes to the peanut-grinding process to reach a finer peanut blend for a higher-quality RUTF. With Hershey’s input, the plant was designed to give Project Peanut Butter room to grow in the future.

“Watching the first nutritional packet come off the line was special. I’ve worked in food product development for 36 years, but visiting a mobile clinic and meeting mothers who had walked for days to get the peanut-based RUTF packets for their children was life-changing,” said Judy Cooley, Principal Scientist, The Hershey Company. “With the Ghanaian plant, Project Peanut Butter is giving mothers hope and children a chance for a brighter future.”

More than a decade ago, Dr. Manary developed a peanut-based RUTF, designed for home-based treatment. Manary’s therapeutic food doesn’t spoil, doesn’t need to be cooked, is portable, is easy for mothers to give in small amounts to their children at home and is energy dense. Ninety-five percent of children recover compared to 25 to 40 percent from traditional hospital therapies. Children recover in four to six weeks and will never require another treatment for severe malnourishment. The project focuses on treating children six months to five years of age, a very important developmental time both physically and cognitively that impacts the rest of a child’s life. Project Peanut Butter is now operating in Ghana, Malawi, and Sierra Leone.

About Project Peanut Butter

Project Peanut Butter is a revolutionary therapeutic program founded by Dr. Mark Manary, a medical doctor and a professor of pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo. It has been called the most effective method to treat malnourished children around the world. From 2000 to 2004, Dr. Manary and his teams tested various formulas with thousands of malnourished children in Malawi, Africa. Today, Project Peanut Butter serves thousands of malnourished children. The program distributes peanut-based, vitamin enriched nutritional packets called Ready to Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTFs) through 21 clinics, approximately 50 supported sites that receive RUTFs and training at no cost, and at affiliated clinics that receive RUTFs through approximately 90 governments and charities around the world that buy the packets at cost of manufacture.

About The Hershey Company

The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY), headquartered in Hershey, Pa., is a global confectionery leader known for bringing goodness to the world through its chocolate, sweets, mints and other great-tasting snacks. Hershey has approximately 13,000 employees around the world who work every day to deliver delicious, quality products. The company, which has more than 80 brands around the world that drive over $7.1 billion in annual revenues, includes such iconic brand names as Hershey’s, Reese’s, Hershey’s Kisses, Jolly Rancher and Ice Breakers. Hershey is focused on growing its presence in key international markets while continuing to build its competitive advantage in North America. Additionally, Hershey is poised to expand its portfolio into categories beyond confectionery, finding new ways to bring goodness to people everywhere.

At Hershey, goodness has always been about more than delicious products. For 120 years, Hershey has been committed to good business by operating fairly, ethically and sustainably to make a positive impact on society. This means contributing to a better life for its employees, consumers, communities, and, ultimately, creating a bright future for children in need. This commitment is exemplified by Milton Hershey School, established in 1909 by the company’s founder and administered by Hershey Trust Company. The children who attend the school receive education, housing, and medical care — thriving as direct beneficiaries of The Hershey Company’s success.

Purchase College-SUNY Receives $5 Million Gift from Long-Time Supporters Emily and Eugene Grant

Latest Gift Helps Purchase College Recruit and Retain High-Quality Faculty, Fund the Opera Program and Advance the Conservatory of Music

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New York, NY (December 17, 2014): Emily and Eugene Grant, devoted supporters of higher education and renowned arts patrons, have provided a $5 million gift to Purchase College-SUNY to establish three new funds that will support the Provost’s Office for Faculty and the Conservatory of Music. With this latest gift, the Grants have cumulatively donated more than $10 million to Purchase College.

The Grants, long-time residents of Mamaroneck, NY, have previously funded hundreds of deserving students at Purchase College through the Eugene and Emily Grant Merit Scholarship and the Eugene and Emily Grant Music Scholarship programs. Their most recent donation – the Grant’s largest gift ever to the college – will offer incentive awards for faculty; cover production expenses for the Opera Program, such as royalties, costumes and guest artists; and provide unrestricted funds for the Conservatory of Music’s greatest needs.

“My husband and I believe in the positive impact of quality public higher education, and we are proud to continue our support of Purchase College,” said Mrs. Grant, who joined the board of the Purchase College Foundation in 1969, serving as Chairwoman for 18 years. “Through our latest gift, including both endowed and non-endowed funds, we hope to enable the College to see immediate impact and help the institution meet and sustain its long-term needs.”

“The Grants have been one of our most steadfast supporters for more than 40 years, and their tremendous influence can be seen throughout Purchase College,” said Purchase College President Thomas J. Schwarz. “Their latest gift will enhance Purchase College’s ability to attract and retain the highest caliber faculty and provide more students access to high quality education in the arts and liberal arts. I am exceedingly grateful to the Grants for their continued generosity.”

The new $5 million gift by Emily and Eugene will establish three funds:

  • Eugene Grant Faculty Incentive Fund ($2 million non-endowed) will help recruit and retain faculty who advance the academic quality of the institution and support College priorities in teaching, learning and student success. This Fund will also establish the Eugene Grant Distinguished Scholar for the Liberal Arts.
  • Emily Grant Opera Performance and Production Fund ($1.25 million endowed; $250,000 non-endowed) will provide support for productions of the Opera Program within the Conservatory of Music and the School of the Arts.
  • Emily Grant Director’s Excellence Fund ($1.25 million endowed; $250,000 non-endowed) will help meet the Conservatory of Music’s greatest needs and support undergraduate and graduate student scholarships, faculty and staff awards, as well as facility enhancements.

“This latest generous gift by the Grants is a model for the kind of support that is essential to maintaining Purchase College’s nationwide standard of excellence,” said Jeannine Starr, Purchase College’s Vice President of Institutional Advancement. “We will continue to work closely with Emily and Eugene to ensure this gift reflects their spirit and goals, and I look forward to seeing its immediate and lasting impact on the entire Purchase College community.

About Purchase College

Purchase College, part of the State University of New York (SUNY) network of 64 universities and colleges, was founded in 1967 by Governor Nelson Rockefeller. His aspirations for Purchase were to combine on one campus conservatory training in the visual and performing arts with programs in the liberal arts and sciences. Today, Purchase College-SUNY is a community of students, faculty and friends where open-minded engagement with the creative process leads to a lifetime of intellectual growth and professional opportunity. For more information about the College, visit

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