Ascena retail group, inc.,
through their ascena Foundation, announced the 2016 winners of the
S. Jaffe Awards.
Awards Program, now in its third year, aims to empower and
provide financial support to everyday heroes who are making
a meaningful impact in communities across the United States,
specifically in the areas of health, education, social
reform and esteem.
The Roslyn S. Jaffe Awards honor the lifelong
contributions of Roslyn S. Jaffe, co-founder of dressbarn
and Director Emeritus of ascena retail group, inc. "I'm
thrilled to announce this year's Award winners and recognize
these exceptional leaders who are making the world a better
place for women and children," says Mrs. Jaffe. "This
year, we received a record number of applications for
nominations, showcasing the overwhelming number of
organizations that are positively contributing to their
local communities. It is truly an honor to welcome these
women into the Jaffe Awards family and to support and
celebrate organizations who are essential to the strength,
and betterment of our communities."
As a trailblazing entrepreneur, Mrs. Jaffe
began her career in 1962. Mrs. Jaffe was a working mother
who saw a need for a convenient one-stop-shop that offered
value-based and fashion-forward wardrobe solutions for busy
women like herself. It was then that Mrs. Jaffe opened the
first dressbarn store in Stamford, CT, eventually growing
into ascena retail group, inc., a $7.4 billion family of
retail brands, including Ann Taylor, LOFT, Lou & Grey, Lane
Bryant, Cacique, maurices, dressbarn, and Catherines brands.
The Jaffe Awards honors
Mrs. Jaffe?s entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to give
back, while also encouraging social entrepreneurs to be
heroes in their local communities.
The 2016 Roslyn S. Jaffe Awards winners all
positively impact low-income women and children, both in
their local communities and nationwide. The 2016 winners
Garrison & Morgan Dixon, founders of GirlTrek
($100,000 Grand Prize Recipient)
GirlTrek is a national nonprofit that
mobilizes African-American women to live their healthiest,
most fulfilled lives through the habit of daily walking. "As
an organization that helps improve the health of tens of
thousands of black women and their families, this Award will
help bring critical resources and attention to GirlTrek's
mission while advancing our goal to inspire 1 million black
women and girls across the country to walk every day by
2018," said co-founder Vanessa Garrison.
Mendel, executive director of The Mosaic Project ($25,000
The Mosaic Project aims to create a peaceful
future by uniting children of diverse backgrounds, providing
them with essential community-building skills, and
empowering them to become peacemakers in their communities.
Greenberg, founder and artistic director of Keshet Dance
($25,000 Grant Recipient)
Keshet Dance's mission
is to inspire and unite communities by fostering unlimited
possibilities through dance, mentorship and a creative space
for the arts.
An esteemed Selection Committee with
expertise in women's causes, public affairs, health and
education selected three Awards winners based on five
criteria: Their impact on women and children in the U.S.,
service of lower-to-middle class beneficiaries, use of
innovative approaches, scalability, and overall need and use
for funding. In addition to receiving financial grants that
can be used to further impact the winners? causes, these
grassroots organizations will benefit from increased
exposure, funding opportunities, and often the potential for
expanded programming, collaborations and partnerships with
other peer organizations.
A luncheon honored the winners on
October 27, 2016 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City.
Acclaimed journalist and philanthropist, Soledad O'Brien
attended the event.
"I'm so honored to be a part of this
fantastic initiative," said Soledad O'Brien,
award-winning journalist and proud supporter of the Roslyn
S. Jaffe Awards. "This is my third year participating in the
luncheon, and every year I?m impressed to learn about the
wonderful causes and organizations that are further
empowering and helping women and children across the
Leading up to the luncheon, ascena retail
group, inc. hosted the inaugural Alumni Summit that will
convene all previous grant recipients, further encouraging
collaborations and partnerships amongst peers.
For additional information about the Roslyn
S. Jaffe Awards and this years winners, please visit www.jaffeawards.com.
Roslyn S. Jaffe co-founded the first
dressbarn store in 1962; currently she is Director Emeritus
of ascena retail group, inc. She is a graduate of Simmons
College, and was awarded an honorary Doctorate degree in
management from Simmons College in 2011.
In 1962, Roslyn S. Jaffe was a working mother
who, with her husband Elliott, saw a need and had a
brilliant business idea - a one-stop-shop that offered the
convenience of a value-based, yet fashion forward "work"
wardrobe solution for busy women.. Roslyn and Elliot seized
the opportunity and opened a small store named dressbarn in
Stamford, CT and helped transform it into what is now ascena
retail group, inc., a $7 billion plus family of brands. A
true trailblazer and entrepreneur, Mrs. Jaffe credits her
success to strength, determination, and a can-do attitude.
But, most of all, she credits the company's success to a
strong team of family, friends, and associates.
Understanding the needs of her co-workers,
many of whom were also "working moms," Roslyn Jaffe
encouraged a close-knit community where associates could
rely on each other. In addition, Mrs. Jaffe supported
like-minded organizations in the community and was an early
advocate for Dress for Success?, an organization that
promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by
providing professional attire, a network of support and the
career development tools to help women thrive in work and in
life. This "take care of your own" camaraderie is what
inspired the company years later to establish ascena Cares,
the company's philanthropic organization.
Within ascena and its family
of brands there is a rich history of giving. This is
demonstrated through ascena Cares, which embodies the
extraordinary philanthropic efforts within the
organization. ascena and its brands have contributed over
$100 million towards causes that benefit women and children,
and the communities where they live. Whether through
collective partnerships or individual brand outreach
efforts, ascena is a family of brands that respects and
serves women and girls and is dedicated to making a positive
impact on their lives. And, through ascena Cares, several
funds were established to provide support directly to
associates, their families and their communities,
including: an emergency assistance fund to help associates
in challenging times; a scholarship fund to help associates'
children get a higher education; and a crisis relief fund to
help associates and their surrounding communities in times