Top Volunteer Initiatives from Across the Country Honored at the Make a Difference Day 2016 National Awards

TEGNA, Gannett, Newman’s Own® and Points of Light also honored Bravo’s Andy Cohen for his support for The American Foundation for AIDS Research; Lester Holt, anchor of “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt”, served as master of ceremonies

MCLEAN, VA| May 12, 2016

Grassroot volunteer efforts from across the country were recognized today during the Make A Difference Day 2016 National Awards in Washington, DC. The annual luncheon was hosted by TEGNA Inc. (NYSE: TGNA) and Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) in partnership with Newman’s Own, Inc. and Points of Light. Make A Difference Day is the largest day of community service, bringing together millions of Americans to volunteer in their local communities.

The Make A Difference Day Awards celebrated top volunteer efforts from across the country for service projects completed on Make A Difference Day on October 24, 2015. The event recognized ten national award winners, three city award winners and one All-Star award winner. Newman’s Own donated a total of $130,000 to national and city award winners to give to an organization of their choice. The TEGNA Foundation and Gannett Foundation contributed $10,000 to the All-Star Winner. These donations will ensure that honorees are able to continue their community projects in the years to come.

“At TEGNA, our goal is to make a meaningful impact in the communities we serve. The volunteers recognized today have done just that. Their efforts in their local communities are truly remarkable and they inspire all of us to continue to make a difference every day,” said Gracia Martore, president and CEO, TEGNA.

“We are honored to recognize those who have taken the time and effort to make a positive impact in their community,” said Bob Dickey, president and CEO, GANNETT. “At GANNETT, our purpose is to empower our communities to connect, act and thrive, and we are humbled by these volunteers, who remind us how much one person can make a difference on an entire community.”

In addition to recognizing the national award winners, Bravo’s Andy Cohen was recognized for serving as an advocate for amfAR, The American Foundation for AIDS Research. The Emmy Award-winning host, producer and acclaimed author has been a tireless amfAR advocate for more than 10 years, helping raise money and bring awareness to finding a cure for HIV.

Lester Holt, award-winning journalist and anchor of “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” and “Dateline” served as the master of ceremonies.

“Volunteerism was always important to Paul Newman and Newman’s Own is proud to support Make A Difference Day. By providing these awards, we not only recognize those who help make a difference in others’ lives, but we also hope to underscore the need for volunteerism in this country and inspire others to join in,” said David Best, president and COO of Newman’s Own, Inc.

“In celebrating these Make A Difference Day honorees, we can find inspiration to take action in our own lives,” said Tracy Hoover, CEO, Points of Light. “They remind us that we can use our special skills, our talents, our dollars or our tweets to create positive change every day. In return, the best part of service is that it awakens our passions and connects us to one another.”

This year’s Make A Difference Day award winners were selected from thousands of nationwide volunteer initiatives after millions of volunteers came together on October 24, 2015, with a common mission: to improve the lives of others. Award winners made an impact in their communities by rebuilding neighborhood parks, raising money for local food banks, planting trees and several other projects that made a positive impact in local communities.

The ten 2015 national Make A Difference Day Award honorees include:

  • Return of the Natives, Salinas, CA
  • Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, Muncie, IN
  • Scrap Hunger, Lincroft, NJ
  • Animal Friends, Pittsburgh and Wexford, PA
  • The Pediatric Connection, Richmond, VA
  • Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, PA
  • GFWC Beverly hills Junior Women’s Club, Chicago, IL
  • Volunteer Center of Story County, Ames, IA
  • Stanwood High School, Stanwood, WA
  • Taking Root, Cincinnati, OH

The three 2015 City Award honorees are:

  • Richmond, CA
  • Moonachie, NJ
  • Aberdeen, SD

The All-Star Award is:

  •  Operation Access, Sonoma County, CA

Make A Difference Day started after a call for a national day of service one Leap Year (February 29, 1992). It has evolved into the largest single day of volunteering in the country. It is a initiative of TEGNA and Gannett, in collaboration with Points of Light and Newman’s Own. Make A Difference Day 2016 will be held on Saturday, October 22. For more information and to read more about this year’s honorees, please go to


TEGNA Inc. (NYSE: TGNA) is comprised of a dynamic portfolio of media and digital businesses that provide content that matters and brands that deliver. TEGNA reaches more than 90 million Americans and delivers highly relevant, useful and smart content, when and how people need it, to make the best decisions possible. TEGNA Media includes 46 television stations and is the largest independent station group of major network affiliates in the top 25 markets, reaching approximately one-third of all television households nationwide. TEGNA Digital is comprised of, the leading online destination for automotive consumers, CareerBuilder, a global leader in human capital solutions, and other powerful brands such as G/O Digital and Cofactor. For more information, visit

About Gannett

Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) is a next-generation media company committed to strengthening communities across our network. Through trusted, compelling content and unmatched local-to-national reach, Gannett touches the lives of more than 100 million people monthly. With more than 120 markets internationally, it is known for Pulitzer Prize-winning newsrooms, powerhouse brands such as USA TODAY and specialized media properties. To connect with us, visit

About Newman’s Own, Inc.

Newman’s Own, Inc., founded by Paul Newman in 1982, offers more than 200 varieties of great tasting food and beverage products including salad dressings, pasta sauces, coffee, salsa, cookies, candy, snacks, frozen pizza, frozen skillet meals, and refrigerated lemonades, as well as a line of premium pet food products. Newman’s Own Foundation continues Paul Newman’s commitment to donate all of its royalties and after tax profits from the sale of Newman’s Own products for charitable purposes. More than $460 million has been given to thousands of charities since 1982.  Learn more at and

About Points of Light

Points of Light – the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service – inspires, equips and mobilizes millions of people to take action that is changing the world. Through affiliates in 250 cities across more than 30 countries and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages 4 million volunteers in 30 million hours of service each year. For more information, go to

For more information:

Steve Kidera, TEGNA Inc.

(703) 854-6077 or [email protected]

Chrissy Terrell, Gannett Co., Inc.

(703) 854-5292, [email protected]

Sinead Conlon, Coyne PR (for Newman’s Own, Inc.)
(212) 938-0166 or [email protected]

Jennifer Geckler, Points of Light
(404) 979-2941 or [email protected]

For All Points of Light Media Inquiries