25 Jul Two Ten Footwear Foundation Announces a New Scholarship Fund for US Veterans
Two Ten Footwear Foundation today announced The Footwear Warriors Scholarship Fund developed exclusively for military veterans working in or returning to the footwear industry. This scholarship is made possible by a new endowment fund launched by Quabaug Corporation, Vibram, and the Donahue family with an initial commitment of $125,000.
Quabaug’s commitment to the armed forces has been recognized since WWII when the company received the Navy “E” Award for excellence in production of war equipment. “We live in a great country made safe by veterans who have served us well in incredibly trying and sensitive times around the world,” said Kevin Donahue, Chairman and CEO of Quabaug Corporation. “It’s our collective responsibility to give them something in return, to prepare them for life after service. That’s why we created this fund and encourage other corporations to donate and help make a difference in the lives of our veterans.”
Since 1969, Two Ten has administered scholarships for the footwear community and has awarded over $18 million. “Quabaug has a strong commitment to support our veterans and we are grateful for their pledge to launch this new endowment fund,” said Neal Newman, President of Two Ten Footwear Foundation. “This scholarship is designed to help our veterans get the additional training and/or education needed after their service to bridge the gap between military and civilian life.”
The first scholarship recipient is Joe Fleury, a 39 year old veteran working at Adidas as the Operations Manager in the Mt. Comfort Facility in Indiana. Currently a business management major at Indiana Wesleyan University, Joe reflected on his time in the military by saying, “The most significant experience in my life, aside from the birth of my child, would be my service to our country.”
When asked about the support he received from the footwear industry and what it means to be the first recipient of the Footwear Warriors scholarship, Joe said, “I am honored to be working for Adidas and to be a part of this great industry. They have given me the tools necessary to grow and develop as a leader. Adidas has gone above and beyond in helping me reach my professional as well as personal goals. I was first made aware of the Two Ten Foundation by our Human Resources department. I was very impressed with the organization. ‘Shoepeople Helping Shoepeople,’ as its slogan states, is a testament to our industry’s devotion to our people. I found the scholarship section online and applied. I am extremely humbled and proud to be receiving the first Footwear Warriors Scholarship made possible by Quabaug. I served my country to do my part in preserving our freedom and way of life. This scholarship, providing assistance to those who have served and are striving to reach the American dream, is a great example of why we serve.”
The Footwear Warriors Scholarship Fund is donation driven with a fund goal of $250,000, which will yield approximately $12,500 in scholarships on a yearly basis. To make an online donation in support of our veterans, please visit http://www.twoten.org.
About Quabaug Corporation
Located in North Brookfield, MA, Quabaug Corporation has been manufacturing rubber products for nearly 100 years. In 1965, Quabaug teamed up with Vibram®, the legendary Italian shoe sole manufacturer and is the largest supplier of rugged, high-performance shoe soles to all branches of the armed forces. From its humble beginnings as a small shop with a work force of just 23, Quabaug has grown its team to over 300 members and is still proudly manufacturing in the United States. Approximately 15% of Quabaug’s workforce is made up of veterans.
About Two Ten Footwear Foundation
Founded in 1939, Two Ten Footwear Foundation is the footwear industry’s national charitable foundation — the only foundation of its kind in the United States. Two Ten is committed to strengthening America’s footwear community by providing emergency financial assistance at times of crisis; college scholarships for footwear employees and their families; community building opportunities; career affinity group networking; and other social and career services. In 2012, Two Ten provided $2.5 million in financial assistance and scholarships to footwear families in times of pressing need.