Ascena Retail Group, Inc. Asked Its Customers To Help Them Find Everyday Heroes In Their Communities And Received Over 1,000 Nominations - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Ascena Retail Group, Inc. Asked Its Customers To Help Them Find Everyday Heroes In Their Communities And Received Over 1,000 Nominations

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SOURCE Ascena Retail Group, Inc.

The First Roslyn S. Jaffe Awards Offers $150,000 In Grant Money To Support Individuals Who Help Empower Women And Children

MAHWAH, N.J., Aug. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Ascena Retail Group, Inc. (NASDAQ – ASNA), has launched the first-ever Roslyn S. Jaffe Awards. This new annual awards program honors the lifelong contributions of Roslyn S. Jaffe, who co-founded the first dressbarn store in 1962.

Ascena Retail Group, Inc., first-ever Roslyn S. Jaffe Awards honors the lifelong contributions of Roslyn S. Jaffe, who co-founded the first dressbarn store in 1962.

"Ascena's philanthropic vision is simple: empowering women and children to be their best," said David Jaffe, CEO of Ascena Retail Group, Inc. "Across our communities there are amazing stories about individuals working tirelessly toward this goal."

The awards will recognize 'everyday heroes' who are making the world a better place for women and/or children in the areas of education, health, social reform, and self-esteem. "Specifically we are looking for individuals/organizations who may not be well known but have the potential for major impact with the recognition and financial support that comes with the award," said Elise Jaffe, Executive Sponsor for Ascena Cares. A total of three grants will be awarded: one grand-prize winner will receive a $100,000 grant for his or her organization; and two runners up will receive grants of $25,000 each.

"With over 4,000 retail stores nationwide, we had to look no further than our own backyards," commented Elise Jaffe. The program was launched exclusively in stores and on the brands' web sites in April. Customers were able to nominate themselves or someone else. Over 1,000 nominations were received by the entry deadline.  "We are overwhelmed and inspired by the amount of worthy applicants. It will be a challenge to choose only three," said Elise Jaffe. Contending nominees developed programs that range from assisting low-income single mothers find sustainable employment to helping prepare at-risk youth for college and/or a career.

Applicants are being reviewed by a panel of Ascena executives and the final winners will be chosen by an esteemed Selection Committee with expertise in women's causes, public affairs, health, and education. The committee includes: Roslyn S. Jaffe, Elise Jaffe, Joi Gordon (CEO of Dress for Success), Paula Kerger (CEO of PBS), Helen Drinan (President of Simmons College), Dr. Lisa Satlin (Professor & Chair, Pediatric Nephrology at Mount Sinai), Designer Isabel Toledo and Aleyamma Matthew (Senior Program Officer of the Ms. Foundation).

Finalists will be announced in late August and the three grant winners will be selected in September. A luncheon event honoring the winners is planned for October 23, 2014 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City.

Associates from all five brands were given the opportunity to create the design for the physical award itself. "We value the talents of our associates and wanted this to be a true, corporate-wide, team effort", said Sue Ross, EVP of Human Resources at maurices. "In addition to helping us with the search, we felt this was a very meaningful way for them to be involved.  Over 30 associates participated and the chosen design came from a dressbarn store leader in Deptford, NJ. It is beautiful crystal featuring a simple and serene lemon tree, inspired by Ms. Jaffe's "never-give-up" attitude and one of her favorite sayings -- 'When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.'

About Roslyn S. Jaffe

Roslyn S. Jaffe co-founded the first dressbarn store in 1962; currently she is Director Emeritus for Ascena Retail Group, Inc.  She is a graduate from 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, 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, like herself. Roslyn and Elliot seized the opportunity and opened a small store named dressbarn in Stamford, CT and helped grow it into the successful, nearly $5 billion, five-brand retail empire it is today (Ascena Retail Group, Inc.). A true trailblazer and entrepreneur, Ms. 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, who were also 'working moms,' Roslyn Jaffe encouraged a close-knit community where associates could rely on each other. In addition, Ms. 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 group of charitable organizations. 

About Ascena Cares

Ascena is passionate about making a meaningful difference in the lives of others. Ascena brands focus their charitable giving to the long-standing mission of supporting women and children empowerment issues.  And, through Ascena Cares, several funds were established to provide support directly to employees, their families and their communities, including: an emergency assistance fund to help employees in challenging times; a scholarship fund to help employees' children get a higher education; and a crisis relief fund to help the surrounding communities in times of need.

About Ascena Retail Group, Inc.

Ascena Retail Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASNA) is a leading specialty retailer offering clothing, shoes, and accessories for missy and plus-size women under the Lane Bryant, Cacique, maurices, dressbarn, and Catherines brands; and for tween girls and boys, under the Justice and Brothers brands.  Ascena Retail Group, Inc. operates through its subsidiaries approximately 4,000 stores throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. 

For more information about Ascena Retail Group, Inc. and its brands, visit www.ascenaretail.com, www.lanebryant.com, www.maurices.com, www.dressbarn.com, www.catherines.com, www.cacique.com, www.shopjustice.com, and www.shopbrothers.com

Ascena Retail Group, Inc.

 

Roslyn S. Jaffe Awards

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