Georgetown University Rugby Football Club Raises Funds for Dog Tag Bakery

Thursday, 27. February 2014 21:21 | Author:

Last week the Georgetown University Rugby Football Club raised $6,000 for Dog Tag Bakery, the nonprofit bakery and training program started by Father Richard Curry and supported by Connie Milstein. The money was raised through an intrasquad round-robin tournament held Friday, Feb. 25.

The idea for the fundraiser goes back much farther. Former Georgetown University Rugby Football Club President Robert Rosa took a class with Father Curry as a college sophomore. Father Curry approached Rosa and the men’s team last May and asked to plan an event.

“I wanted to do this because Father Curry has helped so many people and doesn’t ask for anything in return, so we really wanted to give back to him,” Rosa said. “It was for the veteras, but it was also for him because he’s such an incredible person who has helped so many.”

Dog Tag Bakery is a work-study program for disabled military veterans and their spouses. The program participants split their time between working at the bakery, located on Grace Street in Georgetown, and attended entrepreneurship classes in the School of Continuing Studies.

“All of the guys were really on board just because of what the cause was,” Rosa said. “It was just a very small thing we can do for these men and women who are willing to sacrifice everything, a small showing of our gratitude for these heroes who have given everything for our country.

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Connie Milstein Receives Inaugural Blue Star Families Angel Award

Friday, 8. November 2013 14:51 | Author:

Constance Milstein, business owner and philanthropist, was honored as the inaugural recipient of the Blue Star Families Angel Award during a ceremony held this week at Washington D.C.’s historic Army and Navy Club. Among those who joined to congratulation Connie at the luncheon were NASA Administrator MajGen Charles Bolden, United States Marine Corps (ret.), Blue Star Families CEO and founder Kathy Roth-Douquet, local military officials and other supporters of military families from both public and private sectors.

Since its inception in 2009, Connie has played an important role in the success of Blue Star Families, bringing together individuals who helped launch programs like Books on Bases and Blue Star Museums. She currently sits on the organizations Board of Directors.

“Connie has many important and worthwhile causes she supports. And yet she has given military families her attention. She believed in us at a critical time in Blue Star Families’ institutional life. Blue Star Families has become, in four years, the largest chapter based organization serving military families, with over 40 chapters in 5 countries and programs and resources used by nearly one million people,” Roth-Douquet said.

At the luncheon, Roth-Douquet announced that henceforth, the Angel Award will be known as the Connie – a fitting way to honor Connie Milstein’s deep commitment to bettering the life of our country’s military members, veterans and their families.

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FoodPolicy.US and NYU DC Host Food Aid Reform Panel

Wednesday, 7. August 2013 16:02 | Author:

On July 18, a diverse panel of relevant experts, hosted by FoodPolicy.US, discussed the proposed reforms to U.S. international food aid at the DC campus of New York University.  The panel was moderated by Former Secretary of Agriculture, the Honorable Dan Glickman, and featured the President of the Nationals Farmers Union, Executive Director of the Alliance for Global Food Security, and Director General of the International Food Policy Research Institute.  A video introduction to the panel imparted the wisdom of The Honorable Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme.

The subject under discussion was the President’s proposed reform to the Food for Peace Program, wherein he plans to authorize USAID to purchase up to 45% of its food aid abroad.  In addition, the reform will eliminate the monetization process, which currently facilitates the funding of development programs for many NGOs.

The panel was held at the NYU Constance Milstein and Family Global Academic Center, one of NYU’s 14 academic sites that are located in the world’s “idea capitals.”  The location was optimal for a panel regarding both public policy and social responsibility, as the nation’s capital has always had a strong commitment to philanthropy. The NYU campus in DC, which opened in the fall of 2012, was made possible thanks to a generous donation by Connie Milstein, a NYU alumna and local businesswoman and philanthropist. She donates her time to many local charities and non-profits such as the National Symphony Orchestra, Blue Star Families, the Heart’s Delight Wine Auction, among others. She also owns the prestigious Jefferson Hotel, located just blocks from the White House.

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Blue Star Families Kicks Off 2013 Museum Program

Monday, 13. May 2013 18:39 | Author:

The 2013 Blue Star Museums program will kick off on May 21, just one week from today. Now in its fourth year, the Blue Star Museums program offers free admission to more than 1,800 museums around the country to active duty military members and their families. Participating museums can be found in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and American Samoa. It began with 600 museums in 2010, and added 627 museums in 2012 alone. The summer program will begin with a kickoff party to be held at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.

Blue Star Families has partnered with a number of national service organizations including the American Association of Museums, the Association of Art Museum Directors, the Association of Children’s Museums, the American Association of State and Local History and the Association of Science-Technology Centers to grow and bring publicity to the program.

Connie Milstein serves as a member of the Blue Star Families Board of Directors. She is also a resident of Washington, D.C., home to four museums participating in the Blue Star Museums program and 18 Smithsonian museums that are always free to the public. Visit the National Endowment for the Arts website to see participating museums near you.

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Blue Star Families Grants Free Museum Admission to Military Families

Thursday, 24. May 2012 16:32 | Author:

Starting with Memorial Day on Monday, select museums across the country are offering free admission to active duty military personnel and their families through Labor Day as part of a partnership with Blue Star Families, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Department of Defense.

Three hundred museums will participate in the event for the first time this summer, bringing the nationwide total to 1,600 museums. It is the third year that Blue Star Families has organized the event.  Last summer, more than 300,000 service members and their families took advantage of the program. To obtain free admission, visitors are required to present a valid piece of identification proving active duty in one of the military branches or National Guard and Reserves. One piece of identification will grant up to five family members free admission. Spouses of deployed personnel are also eligible, but must present a piece of valid identification for active duty family members.

According to the Blue Star Museums website, there are 27 participating museums in the Washington, D.C. area, including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the National Building Museum and the National Museum of the United States Navy. D.C. resident and well-known philanthropist Connie Milstein serves as a member of the Blue Star Families Board of Directors. She is a supporter of this program and has a long-standing interest in veterans and concern for the well-being of military families.

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Holiday Party Thrown for Walter Reed Soldiers and Families

Thursday, 22. December 2011 17:27 | Author:

This past Sunday was a joyful day for the wounded soldiers and their families at the Walter Reed Medical Center. Connie’s Bakery and General Store, a bakery founded by local philanthropist Connie Milstein that donates 100 percent of its profits to charity, partnered with Blue Star Families for the holiday event. Wounded warriors, their families and volunteers from the Washington, D.C. area joined Blue Star Families in the Tranquility Hall at Walter Reed for an afternoon of crafts, games, raffles, presents and a special visit from Santa. The event allowed soldiers to take a break from the stress of healing to focus on family and the holiday spirit.

“For the wounded warriors and their families at Walter Reed, Connie’s Bakery made the holidays a reality,” said Mark Smith, Executive Director of Blue Star Families. “Connie’s sets the bar for businesses who deliver on the promise to support both our military community and the community at large.”

Connie’s Bakery, which was started in Mt. Kisco, N.Y., is dedicated to using the finest, most wholesome ingredients to create delicious cookies, cakes, pies and tarts. Not only does the bakery support small farmers and craftsmen, but it pays employees a living wage and provides help to neighbors in need. The bakery also runs an apprenticeship program to train participants in the art of pastry cooking, entrepreneurship and business management. All of the bakery’s net profits are donated to charities selected by the bakery.

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Blue Star Families Recognized at White House

Wednesday, 21. September 2011 15:58 | Author:

Connie Milstein’s long-standing interest in veterans and concern for military families prompted her to join Blue Star Families, her dedication to the organization’s causes persuaded her to join the Board of Directors. Passion like this from its members is one of the reasons Blue Star Families was recently honored as a Champion of Change by the White House as part of President Obama’s Winning the Future initiative.

Each week, the White House chooses and individual or group that is working to transform their communities, in innovative and educational ways, into more positive places to live. Blue Star Families, a national non-profit organization, was chosen for its recent work with Creative Coalition to create a series of suicide prevention public service announcements aimed at military families and veterans.

The PSAs, titled “I don’t know what it’s like…” recently premiered during a reception held at the American Red Cross Great Hall of Service in D.C. and was attended by senior military officials, business and government leaders, members of the entertainment community and military family representatives. In the coming months, the spots will air on network and cable television stations, movie theater screens, radio stations and taxi cabs.

“We are honored to receive this recognition from the White House,” said Mark Smith, executive director of Blue Star Families, Inc. “The suicide rate among our soldiers and their families is at a record high. We hope this public service campaign will help military families realize they have somewhere to turn for confidential help.”

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Milstein Gives Selflessly, Brings Smiles To Those Around Her

Monday, 15. August 2011 21:09 | Author:

Connie Milstein’s small bakery in New York has raised nearly $100,000 dollars in the past six and a half years. Mrs. Milstein will never see a dime of it, and that’s just fine by her. Every single profit that Connie’s Bakery and General Store has made since it opened its doors has been spent helping others – neighbors, local charities and the homeless.

In addition to the delicious baked goods sold in the Mt. Kisco bakery, the store also sells artwork by local artists. The executive pastry chef, Simeon Manber, strives to stock the bakery by buying ingredients and products from local shops and farmers. In short, it’s a community affair.

One of the Connie’s Bakery beneficiaries is the Family Resource Center of Peekskill, which has received nearly $3,000 from the bakery since the partnership began. Through its Foundation Sweet Success program, the Family Resource Center has been able to repair and upgrade its cottages for the homeless and victims of domestic abuse.

“Connie is an angel,” said Elizabeth McCorvey, the executive director of the Family Resource Center. “We weren’t expecting her to give to us so generously.” Giving, though, is just one of the ways that Connie shows her commitment to philanthropy and using her resources to aid and improve the lives of those around her.

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Constance Milstein, Woman of Many Charities

Wednesday, 15. June 2011 9:33 | Author:

Why does Constance Milstein care?

“Because I have a very fortunate life, including economically, and my feeling is that we’re put on this earth to give back,” she writes on her website. “Those of us who are lucky enough to have should give some of it to those who don’t. I feel very strongly about that and that’s where I’ve put my energy.”

And energy isn’t something Connie Milstein seems to have a shortage of—the woman is involved with several charities, many for which she serves as a board member, such as Blue Star Families and Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE).

“What I have tried to do is what my father always told me—find a niche where people are not doing what needs to be done and try to fill it,” she told Newsday. “I have always believed in public-private partnership—working with the government if you can—so it’s time for private citizens to do what they can do. Humpty Dumpty, for example, has both a domestic and international arm. Internationally, the mission is the removal of land mines all over the world… right now [work is under way] in Angola and we’re applying for grants… [for] Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. Here at home we try to strengthen the ties between the United Nations and the Congress. It’s a bi-partisan effort where we bring ambassadors to Washington, D.C., and congressmen and –women to the U.N.”

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Parents of CURE Reach Out to Epileptic Children

Thursday, 2. June 2011 21:35 | Author:

You might know her as one of the leading women in the real estate game, but there’s more to Connie Milstein that meets the eye. As an active philanthropist, she is involved in several local charities; among them is Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE), a volunteer-based nonprofit organization that was founded by the parents of children with epilepsy. Faced with the debilitating effects of the brain disorder, the parents were frustrated with their inability to help their children—so they set out to find a solution. CURE is what the group came up with, and its goal is to raise money that helps fuel the search for a cure for epilepsy.

Connie Milstein serves on the board of directors for CURE, solidifying her stance that she is committed to finding a cure for the disease and also to erasing the stigma of epilepsy. For years, Milstein has been an avid proponent of medical research, encouraging the creation of the Vivian and Seymour Milstein Family Heart Center, which is now a world-renowned facility at New York Presbyterian Hospital, in 2000, and continuing to support the American Heart Association.

Through research and conferences, CURE continues to spread the word about epilepsy research in hopes of one day finding a cure. The organization’s most recent event was The 4th International Conference on Epilepsy, held May 19-21 in Chicago.

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