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MAZDA FOUNDATION (USA), INC. AWARDS GRANTS TO A DOZEN COMMUNITY PROGRAMS

Over $350,000 awarded to serve children, education and environment

Oct 22, 2012

WASHINGTON, Oct. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Board of Trustees of the Mazda Foundation (USA), Inc., have announced the grant recipients for the 2013 fiscal year (ending September 30, 2013).  As the corporate foundation of Mazda North American Operations (MNAO), the Mazda Foundation has donated more than $8 million to children's organizations, educational scholarships, food banks, environmental programs and disaster relief efforts since 1992.

In FY 2013, over $300,000 in grants will be awarded to 11 organizations that work to enrich the lives of the members of their respective communities. Grants were awarded to:

  • Challenged Athletes Foundation, San Diego, CA
  • Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research, Greenville, SC
  • Dillard University, New Orleans, LA
  • Gleaner's Community Food Bank, Detroit, MI
  • Hispanic Scholarship Fund, San Francisco, CA
  • Mission Hospital, Mission Viejo, CA
  • Project Access, Newport Beach, CA
  • Second Harvest Food Bank, Irvine, CA
  • Shoes That Fit, Claremont, CA
  • Student Conservation Association, Charlestown, NH
  • Youth For Understanding, Bethesda, MD

Additionally, $50,000.00 will be awarded to organizations selected by each of the five regional offices of MNAO.

"We're proud that the Foundation is able to give back to the many communities in which we work and live," said Jim O'Sullivan, president and CEO of MNAO and chairman of the Mazda Foundation (USA), Inc. "Mazda and its employees are active participants in their communities and by supporting these outstanding organizations we are helping build a better and brighter future for many under privileged and challenged individuals."

The Operation Rebound Program of the Challenged Athletes Foundation program assists injured military personnel in pursuing active lifestyles of physical fitness and competitive athletics. Operation Rebound provides adaptive equipment, coaching, training and competition expenses to troops sustaining injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan and to first responders, helping them pursue an active lifestyle despite their injuries.

The Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) is a state-of-the-art education program in the Southeast that focuses on automotive research and other transportation and advanced manufacturing issues. As part of the partnership, the Mazda Foundation supports the CU-ICAR / Mazda Annual Graduate Fellowship Program, from which three fellowships are provided to graduate students majoring in automotive engineering at the university. The fellowships are performance-based and renewable for up to three years.

Dillard University, a private, liberal arts, Historically Black College or University, located in the heart of New Orleans, Louisiana, has partnered with the Mazda Foundation since 1998 to fund the Mazda Scholars Program which provides scholarships to students who are majoring in Business and International Business.

In light of Mazda's operations near Detroit and the area's high unemployment rate, the Mazda Foundation has partnered with Gleaners Community Food Bank since 2010. The Mazda Foundation grant supports Gleaners School-based Mobile Pantry Program. This program is an emergency food pantry on wheels; a trailer filled with food for school children and their families, which arrives at the school. Each family receives 50 pounds of food, including fresh produce, grains and high protein items.

The Hispanic Scholarship Fund and the Mazda Foundation award tuition scholarships to Latino students attending the University of California at Irvine and California State University at Fullerton as well as four local community colleges. Mazda has provided college scholarships to over 188 Latino college students and has provided over $670,000 in support to HSF.

Located in Mission Viejo, California, the Mission Hospital provides patients with high quality, accessible and affordable medical and surgical care along a continuum, as well as wellness and health promotion programs for the entire community.  Contributions from the Mazda Foundation will be used to fund the addition of two new operating rooms to meet the surgical demand at the hospital.

The Project Access After-School Tutoring and Enrichment Program in Orange County targets school-age youth by providing after-school tutoring / homework help, computer and Internet instruction / access, educational games, reading groups as well as productive enrichment activities, e.g. arts and crafts, physical activities, healthy snacks, character education, teen activities, service projects and field trips. Contributions from Mazda go toward after-school homework help supplies, youth enrichment activities, field trip expenses, and upgrades of the computer labs.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County, CA, collects food and distributes it to more than 385 local member charities. These non-profit agencies include senior centers, rehabilitation centers, shelters, church pantries, homes for abused children and many other emergency assistance organizations. The Mazda Foundation's funding specifically helps initiatives designed to alleviate hunger and malnutrition among the elderly, a program designed to curb the effects of malnutrition experienced by children living in poverty, and a holiday project created to provide traditional holiday meals for those who would otherwise go without.

Shoes That Fit, operating out of Claremont, CA, helps build the self-esteem of schoolchildren in need by providing them with new shoes and clothing so that they can attend school in comfort and with dignity. In Southern California where Mazda's headquarters is located, more than 103,000 schoolchildren in need received new shoes and clothing.

In order to demonstrate the Mazda Foundation's commitment to environmental preservation, a partnership was forged with the Student Conservation Association in 1998 to create the Mazda "Save Our American Resources" (SOAR) program. Through SOAR, Mazda sponsors a natural or cultural resource assistant at a national park, forest or monument in each of the 50 states. Resource assistants provide services ranging from trail maintenance and protection of endangered species to guided historical monument tours.

For 28 years, Mazda has been promoting cross-cultural relations between the U.S. and Japan through its contributions to Youth For Understanding. In 2013, Mazda scholarship funding will provide an opportunity for six high-school aged students to spend six-weeks in Japan during the summer. Each year, approximately half of the scholarships are given to children of MNAO employees or Mazda dealer employees. The remaining scholarships are awarded based on a nationwide competition open to all high school students. Students live for six weeks with a Japanese host family, learn to speak and write Japanese, and immerse themselves in daily life.

To learn more about the Mazda Foundation, please visit www.mazdafoundation.org

SOURCE Mazda Foundation (USA), Inc.

For further information: Tamara Mlynarczyk, Mazda Foundation, +1-202-467-5092

Mazda Foundation Awards Grants
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