Statement by Bruce & Avis Richards:

November 11th, 2015 marks 96 years of celebrating our Veterans. As Americans, we owe everything to these fine men and women who risk their lives to protect our freedom and safety. While Veterans’ Day is an important day to pay tribute to those who have served our nation, the Richards family believes that all of us should consider what more we can do to honor our troops. The Veterans Education Challenge creates a valuable new avenue that Americans can use to pay-it-forward, allowing our Veterans the wonderful opportunity and encouragement to gain a college degree.

The Veterans Education Challenge is dedicated to sending United States Military veterans to college by providing them with needed scholarships that the GI Bill does not cover.  For every dollar up to $1 million raised by the general public, the Richards family will match it, with a guarantee that 100% goes toward veteran scholarships.

We know how valuable our veterans are, both in combat and in the classroom. However, these dedicated and loyal men and women must make big adjustments to enter college in hopes of developing their post-military career. Veterans make up only 4% of the undergraduate college population and the unemployment rate for Veterans is 7.2% compared to the national average of 5.2%. A majority of veterans have a spouse and/or children, so education is an added financial burden that many are hesitant to take. With America’s help, the Veterans Education Challenge will raise college enrollment and the graduation rate, which will undeniably lower unemployment, one Veteran collegiate scholar at a time.

The goal of the fund is to reinforce our veterans’ right to education and their ability to succeed in both higher education and life in general. The fund will support tuition, room and board, and other related and allowable living expenses. All veteran scholarship awards will be based on financial need with a priority and preference to Pell-eligible undergraduate and graduate students. Veterans will be eligible to renew awards based on financial need and standing with the universities.

Help us help them; because it’s not just an education, it’s their career, their future!

Visit us on online:

Twitter: @VetEdChallenge


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Amanda Russell TV Hits YouTube

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Amanda Russell TV Hits YouTube


Avis Richards and Amanda Russell develop a web series for healthy Hamptonites

Fitness, philanthropy, and fabulous food—that’s the tantalizing recipe for a new four-part online series about the Hamptons hosted by Avis Richards and Amanda Russell, called What’s Hot and Healthy in the Hamptons This Summer. Hailing from very different worlds—Richards is a New York mother of two whose Birds Nest Foundation provides high-quality media for non-profits, while Russell is a former professional runner turned fitness expert with her own fast-growing YouTube channel called Amanda Russell TV. These passionate health crusaders are on a mission to change the world, one enlightening episode at a time.

Their first meeting was not so much serendipitous as inevitable. With a host of mutual friends, the two women finally tracked each other down last summer at a party in Southampton. “Avis was hosting a gala. I went in, she was surrounded by people, and I just said, ‘Excuse me! Do you mind if I meet you?’” Russell says with a laugh. They have recently joined forces on “Dylan’s Lunchbox,” a spin-off of Richards’ Emmy Award–nominated series on nutrition, Lunch NYC. Dylan, a wise-beyond-his-years teenage restaurant critic and Richards’ son, will exercise with the telegenic Russell each episode this fall.

Combining their talents, they decided to develop a web series. “We both saw the power of online content,” says Richards. “More and more people are watching content online, so we both felt it is important to highlight our work with this medium.”

Setting a show in the Hamptons seemed the perfect fit. “It’s an area that is so magical to so many people, so legendary, and yet kind of unknown,” says Russell. “There’s that element of mystique.”

Adds Richards, “I thought, if we can do something out in the Hamptons and make it fun, then maybe we can engage more people to be involved.”

The four-episode series—which starts airing this weekend on Maker Studios’ website and Amanda Russell TV—will follow a travel show-style format, with glamorous hosts Richards and Russell introducing viewers to Hamptons living. Each will include a workout component, hand-picked, under-the-radar healthy food stops like farm stands and locavore-friendly restaurants, and an element of philanthropy. The fitness portion will include riding bikes out to places like Montauk Point Lighthouse. They also will visit local charities that work with Richards’ Birds Nest Foundation.

“In the Hamptons, I get up early in the morning, take a great class down near the beach, go to the farmer’s markets, and buy fresh fruits and vegetables,” says Richards. “Most people who are here all summer, that’s their routine. It’s really a healthy lifestyle.”

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