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ascena Foundation announces the 2017 winners of the Roslyn S. Jaffe Awards

  • Three Diverse Social Impact Organizations Awarded a Combined $150,000 in Grants to Help Make a Positive Influence on Women and Children in Communities Across the Country
  • Chosen by an esteemed selection committee including Mrs. Roslyn S. Jaffe and Media industry leaders Adam Glassman and Meredith Rollins

MAHWAH, N.J., 2017-Oct-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — ascena Foundation is proud to announce the 2017 winners of the Roslyn S. Jaffe Awards. The annual program, now in its fourth year, aims to empower and provide financial support to grassroots organizations who are making a meaningful difference in the lives of women and/or children in communities across the United States, specifically in the areas of health, education, social reform and esteem. This year’s winners include: Appetite for Change, Home Works! and Found in Translation. A luncheon to honor them will take place on October 26th at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. Acclaimed journalist and philanthropist, Soledad O’Brien will emcee the event.

ascena Foundation, a charitable organization established by ascena retail group inc., is built on making a meaningful difference in the lives of others. The Foundation created the awards program to honor the lifelong contributions of Roslyn S. Jaffe. “Reaching, supporting and honoring working women has always been our goal, from the day we started dressbarn over 50 years ago,” states Mrs. Roslyn S. Jaffe, Co-Founder of dressbarn and Secretary & Director Emeritus for Life of ascena retail group inc. She continues, “Through the awards program, we are able to identify and thank the wonderful people who dedicate their lives to helping others through their organizations. I am thrilled to announce this year’s winners, as I feel they each truly embody what it means to be an everyday hero.”

A trailblazing female entrepreneur, Mrs. Jaffe began her career in 1962. As a working mother, she recognized the need for a convenient one-stop-shop that offered value-based and fashion-forward wardrobe solutions for busy women like herself. It was then that Mrs. Jaffe opened the first dressbarn store in Stamford, CT, eventually growing it into ascena retail group inc., a multibillion dollar family of brands, including Ann Taylor, LOFT, Lou & Grey, maurices, dressbarn, Lane Bryant, Catherines and Justice. The Roslyn S. Jaffe Awards honor Mrs. Jaffe’s entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to giving back, while also celebrating the female entrepreneurs who give back to their local communities.

Media industry leaders including Adam Glassman, Creative Director of O, The Oprah Magazine, and Meredith Rollins, Editor in Chief of Redbook Magazine, alongside an esteemed selection committee with expertise in women’s causes, public affairs, health and education selected the three winning organizations based on five criteria: their impact on women and/or children in the U.S., service of lower-to-middle class beneficiaries, use of innovative approaches, scalability, and overall need and use for funding.

In addition to receiving financial grants that can be used to further impact the winners’ causes, these grassroots organizations will join the Roslyn S. Jaffe Alumni Summit where they will become part of a network of winners who benefit from an annual two-day conference that offers collaborations with other peer organizations. This Summit is one example of the ways in which the ascena Foundation continues its relationships with the winners of the Jaffe Awards program year to year in an effort to help them succeed and expand.

The 2017 Roslyn S. Jaffe Awards winners all positively impact women and/or children in low income circumstances, both in their local communities and nationwide. The 2017 winning organizations include:

  • Michelle Horovitz, Tasha Powell and Princess Titus of Appetite for Change ($100,000 Grand Prize Grant Recipient)
    Appetite for Change uses food as a tool to build health, wealth and social change in North Minneapolis. Their programs include community cooking workshops, urban agriculture and organized food policy efforts. They train North Minneapolis youth in urban farming, food preparation and leadership, with a focus on providing direct career pathways to the food service industry.
  • Maria Vertkin of Found in Translation ($25,000 Grant Recipient)
    Found in Translation is a Boston-based organization that helps bilingual women to overcome homelessness and poverty by capitalizing on their language skills and becoming professional medical interpreters. Through Found in Translation’s workforce development program, women earn a Medical Interpreting Certificate, develop job skills and financial literacy, and receive job placement assistance upon completing the training.
  • Karen Kalish of HOME WORKS! ($25,000 Grant Recipient)
    St. Louis-based HOME WORKS! aims to increase academic achievement, attendance, parental engagement, homework completion and attitudes about school, and decrease discipline issues. They train and help pay teachers and other school personnel to make home visits to forge a relationship with the parents/families/guardians and get them engaged in their child’s education. Teachers get to know them, share information about the student, and give them the tools to help children do better in school and succeed academically and socially.

“Winning the Roslyn S. Jaffe Award is the greatest honor we’ve had as a team so far,” says Michelle Horovitz, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Appetite for Change. She continues, “The three of us have been making lemonade since we started, and the award is recognition of our passion and hard work despite the bumps along the way. This funding is extremely meaningful for AFC and will help us grow more food, leaders and communities.”

To celebrate the winning organizations, a luncheon will be held at Cipriani in NYC on October 26th. Soledad O’Brien, emcee of the event says, “This will mark my fourth year being a part of this unbelievable program.  I am always amazed to learn about the wonderful causes and organizations that are further empowering and helping women and children across the country. This year is even more relevant for women and I look forward to honoring the winners.”

For additional information about the Roslyn S. Jaffe Awards and this year’s winners, please visit

About Roslyn S. Jaffe
Roslyn S. Jaffe co-founded the first dressbarn store in 1962; currently she is Co-Founder, Secretary & Director Emeritus for Life of ascena retail group inc. She is a graduate of 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 Elliott, 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. Roslyn and Elliot seized the opportunity and opened a small store named dressbarn in Stamford, CT and helped transform it into what is now ascena retail group inc., a multibillion dollar family of brands including Ann Taylor, LOFT, Lou & Grey, maurices, dressbarn, Lane Bryant, Catherines and Justice.  A true trailblazer and entrepreneur, Mrs. 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, many of whom were also “working moms,” Roslyn Jaffe encouraged a close-knit community where associates could rely on each other. In addition, Mrs. 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 Foundation, the philanthropic organization.

About ascena Foundation
ascena Foundation, established by ascena retail group inc., is passionate about making a meaningful difference in the lives of others. ascena Foundation supports ascena’s family of purpose-driven brands that focus their charitable giving for the benefit of women and children, and the causes most important to them.

About ascena retail group inc.
ascena retail group inc. (NASDAQ: ASNA) is a leading national specialty retailer offering apparel, shoes, and accessories for women under the Premium Fashion segment (Ann Taylor, LOFT, and Lou & Grey), Value Fashion segment (maurices and dressbarn), Plus Fashion segment (Lane Bryant and Catherines), and for tween girls under the Kids Fashion segment (Justice).  ascena retail group inc. operates ecommerce websites and approximately 4,800 stores throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

For more information about ascena retail group inc. visit:,,,,,,,, and

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SOURCE: ascena retail group, inc.

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