First Round Of “Marigold Ideas For Good” Winners Announced By Participant Media, Encore.org And Road Scholar

Grants Awarded to Community Projects Focused on Safer Birthing Practices, Teen Summer Service, Housing for Homeless Vets, Healthier Food Access and Handicap-Access Playground Facilities

Participant Media, Encore.org and Road Scholar are proud to announce the first round of winners of the “Marigold Ideas For Good” contest, awarding grants of $5,000 to individuals over 50 with innovative projects for improving their communities and the world. In conjunction with Fox Searchlight and Participant Media’s worldwide hit film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, the “Discover The Marigold Effect” campaign encourages older adults to pursue their “encores” and to give back in the second half of life. The grand prize winner also wins a program including round trip airfare with Road Scholar, valued at up to $5,000.

Chad Boettcher, Participant’s Executive Vice President of Social Action & Advocacy, said, “The response to our contest has been amazing. We were blown away by the quality and diversity of the submissions how they reflected a tremendous passion for wanting the next chapter of their lives to make a difference.  It was difficult to narrow them down to just five.“

“The caliber of the projects championed by the first and grand prize winners is impressive and inspiring,” said Jim Moses, Road Scholar’s President and CEO. “I know their Road Scholar experience will be both stimulating and fun as they engage with other participants equally dedicated to improving the world, expanding their minds, and enjoying life.”

Further information about prize winners can be found at http://www.takepart.com/thebestexoticmarigoldhotel/winners/april.

Information about upcoming “Discover the Marigold Effect” contests can be found at: http://www.takepart.com/marigold

GRAND PRIZE WINNER
Deborah Greymoon: Safer Birthing Practices
In 2007, Deborah Greymoon volunteered as a midwife at a high-risk maternity hospital in India, where post-partum hemorrhages, the leading cause of maternal mortality worldwide, is a major problem. A midwife for 30 years, she taught local doctors techniques that can save lives during childbirth. Now a certified nurse, she plans to further educate doctors and nurses in India on these simple and accessible procedures to prevent loss of life.

FIRST PRIZE WINNERS
Kathleen Braico: Summer Service For Teens
Retired pediatrician Kathleen Braico noticed a gap in summer activities for teenagers in her Queensbury, NY community. Younger children have summer camp, and older teenagers can work, but kids 13-15 are often left with little to no supervision.  Braico’s vision is for a summer service program for teenagers in this age range, teaching them life skills and the value of community service. She designed her program so that the students will choose their own community service projects and are expected to manage and direct them themselves.

Charlene Johnson: Houses For Homeless Veterans
Since the start of the housing crisis, thousands of homes in Detroit’s Highland Park community have been foreclosed on or abandoned. Meanwhile, thousands more homeless families and veterans are in temporary shelters and job-seeking programs. Charlene Turner Johnson wants to launch Come Home to Highland Park, a project to help revitalize these houses so those who are homeless can inhabit them.

Gary Oppenheimer: Fresh Food to Food Pantries
CNN Hero and Huffington Post Game Changer Gary Oppenheimer started AmpleHarvest.org, an online network to hook up home and community gardeners with food pantries that lack a steady supply of fresh produce. With 50 million Americans in food insecure homes, and 40 million Americans growing fruit, vegetables and herbs in home gardens, Oppenheimer saw a natural synergy and has thus far connected over 5,000 food pantries across all 50 states with supplies of fresh produce. In 2011, through Ample Harvest, over 20 million pounds of produce was donated by gardeners to pantries nationwide.

Stan Weston: Tree House For Everyone
Stan Weston would like to create a playground accessible to everyone including those in wheelchairs and walkers. Unlike a regular tree house, in which the house is in the tree, trees won’t be used for support, but will come up through the deck and house. With playground equipment on the deck and on the ground, Stan’s “Tree House for Everyone” will be available for birthday parties, family outings, picnics and classroom lessons.


Contest entries will continue to be accepted through September 28, with five additional winners each month receiving a $5,000 grant toward their project, and one grand prize winner each month receiving an additional educational or service-learning trip through Road Scholar.

About The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents, in association with Participant Media and ImageNation Abu Dhabi, a Blueprint Pictures Production, a film by John Madden, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, with a cast including Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton, Celia Imrie, Ronald Pickup and Dev Patel. The film is directed by John Madden (Shakespeare in Love) from a script by Ol Parker and based on the novel “These Foolish Things” by Deborah Moggach. The producers are Graham Broadbent and Peter Czernin of Blueprint Pictures. The executive producers are Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King of Participant Media, and Ricky Strauss.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel follows a group of British retirees who decide to “outsource” their retirement to less expensive and seemingly exotic India.  Enticed by advertisements for the newly restored Marigold Hotel and bolstered with visions of a life of leisure, they arrive to find the palace a shell of its former self. Though the new environment is less luxurious than imagined, they are forever transformed by their shared experiences, discovering that life and love can begin again when you let go of the past.

About Participant Media

Participant Media (participantmedia.com) is a Los Angeles-based global entertainment company specializing in socially-relevant documentary and narrative feature films, television, publishing and digital media. Participant exists to tell compelling, entertaining stories that bring to the forefront real issues that shape our lives. For each of its projects, Participant creates extensive social action and advocacy programs, which provide ideas and tools to transform the impact of the media experience into individual and community action. Participant’s online Social Action Network is TakePart (takepart.com). Participant’s films include The Kite Runner, Charlie Wilson’s War, Darfur Now, An Inconvenient Truth, Good Night, and Good Luck, Syriana, The Visitor, The Soloist, Food, Inc., The Cove, The Crazies, Countdown to Zero, Waiting for “Superman, Fair Game, PAGE ONE: Inside The New York Times, The Help, Contagion and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

About Encore.org
Encore.org (formerly Civic Ventures) aims to engage millions of people in the second half of life in encore careers – combining personal meaning, continued income and social impact – to produce a windfall of talent to solve society’s greatest problems.

About Road Scholar
Not-for-profit Road Scholar’s mission is to inspire adults to learn, discover and travel. Its learning adventures engage expert instructors, provide extraordinary access, and stimulate discourse and friendship among people for whom learning is the journey of a lifetime. Since inception, more than 5 million people have enrolled in its 6,500 iconic educational adventures offered annually in 50 states and 150 countries around the world.

Road Scholar educational adventures are created by Elderhostel, Inc., the not-for-profit world leader in lifelong learning since 1975. To learn more, please visit www.roadscholar.org/press