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Beck PRIDE Center selected as one of 11 recipients of 2009 "Newman's Own" award

Sept. 10, 2009 -- The Beck PRIDE Center for America’s Wounded Veterans at Arkansas State University-Jonesboro has been selected as a recipient of the prestigious 10th annual Newman’s Own Award. Chancellor Robert L. Potts accepted the $5,000 award at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., today as awards totaling $75,000 were presented to 11 volunteer organizations for their innovative programs to improve military quality of life.

The competition, which rewards programs that benefit service men and women and their families, was sponsored by Newman’s Own, Fisher House Foundation, and Military Times Media Group.

Admiral Mike Mullen, U.S. Navy, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, who gave remarks, was joined by the president of Newman’s Own, Tom Indoe, Fisher House Foundation trustee Tammy Fisher, and president of Army Times Publishing Co. Elaine Howard to present the awards.

"At the Beck PRIDE Center for America's Wounded Veterans, we feel honored to be a recipient organization,” said Susan Tonymon, director of the Beck PRIDE Center.  “We will utilize the generous support from the Fisher House Foundation to make a significant impact for the military service members in our program.  

“It is particularly meaningful that ‘Newman’s Own Award’ founder, the extraordinary actor Paul Newman, was also a decorated Navy World War II veteran. Therefore, we pledge to do our very best to use these resources to provide innovative solutions to improve the quality of life for active duty, reserve or National Guard injured combat veterans and their families,” concluded Tonymon.

Six judges evaluated the 112 total entries which were based on each organization’s impact to the respective communities, creativity and innovation.

“We feel privileged to be recognized by the Fisher House Foundation for the Newman’s Own Award,” Dr. Susan Hanrahan, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions.  “Paul Newman has touched the lives of thousands of service men, women and their families through his generous donation to the Fisher House.  What an honor to be a recipient!”

The Beck PRIDE Center is named in honor of donors Buddy G. and Charlotte Beck of Fairfax Station, Va., who were present for the awards ceremony. While in the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes, where the ceremony was conducted, Beck showed Chancellor Potts the name of George Kenton Sisler, who died in combat in Viet Nam and later was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions. While they were students at what was then Arkansas State College, Beck and Sisler were in ROTC together and fraternity brothers in Sigma Pi.

“PRIDE” is an acronym for Personal Rehabilitation, Individual Development and Education. The center opened in 2007 and has served more than 135 active duty or discharged service members and their families of all branches of military service from across the United States.

Arkansas State University is a military-friendly institution which offers comprehensive higher education programs and degrees that directly support veterans. The school also has an active ROTC program and houses the 875th Arkansas National Guard Armory.

The mission of the Beck PRIDE Center is: ‘
To provide combat wounded veterans with first class educational programs and services at Arkansas State University. These include, but are not limited to: resources to access to the higher education experience, resources for counseling, personal rehabilitation, advocacy, and financial assistance. We are dedicated to helping these individuals to achieve their post military service goals.’

TOP PHOTO: (From left) Newman's Own President Tom Indoe, Chancellor Robert L. Potts, Fisher House Foundation trustee Tammy Fisher.

BOTTOM PHOTO: (From left) Newman's Own President Tom Indoe, Admiral Mike Mullen, Emily Nolan (granddaughter of Buddy G. and Charlotte Beck).

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