Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl creates Armed Forces Merit Award presented by FWAA

The Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) has joined with the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl to initiate the Armed Forces Merit Award to honor an individual and/or a group within the realm of the sport of football that has created, developed and/or produced a program which provides care, concern and support for past or present members of the United States armed forces and/or their families.

The Armed Forces Merit Award will be awarded for the first time prior to the playing of the 2012 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. Nominations for the Armed Forces Merit Award will be accepted this summer with the selection process beginning in October. The inaugural recipient will be announced in November on Veteran’s Day.

The 10th annual Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will be played on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, featuring schools from Conference USA and the Mountain West Conference. Kickoff is set for 10:45 a.m. (CT) at the newly-renovated 45,000-seat Amon G. Carter Stadium. The game will air on ESPN and ESPN Radio.

“We are excited to become more involved with the Football Writers Association of America by jointly initiating our award to recognize the achievements of an individual or group from the realm of football that has successfully produced a program to benefit our country’s armed forces” said Brant B. Ringler, executive director of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl.

“There are numerous individuals and groups in our country that have devoted a lot of time, energy and financial backing to support programs associated with the armed forces and their families,” said Steve Richardson, executive director of the FWAA. “By teaming with the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, the FWAA will help recognize these groups or people. Within the FWAA, we also have members who have military backgrounds, either as enlisted men or with relatives who have served this country. Additionally, this will be meaningful to them."
 
The Armed Forces Merit Award will be selected by a panel of individuals from the Football Writers Association of America and the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. Nominations will be sought from various groups and associations involved with the sport of football. The nominees’ contributions will be assessed by reviewing various items, including the completion of a nomination form, supporting documents and letters of support.

In addition to their military-based programs, nominees for the Armed Forces Merit Award will also be evaluated on evidence and examples of the following attributes:

Authentic, Reliable, Motivating, Enthusiastic, Determined
Fair, Organized, Respectful, Committed, Effective, Selfless

For a fact sheet on the Armed Forces Merit Award, including a nomination form and frequently asked questions, visit www.armedforcesbowl.com. Tim Simmons (bfishinc@aol.com), media director for the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl and Ted Gangi (ted@collegepressbox.com) of the FWAA will be coordinating the collection of nominations for the Armed Forces Merit Award.

The Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) consists of the men and women across North America who cover college football for a living. Founded in 1941, the membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include game day operations, major awards and an All-America team. Through its web site, the FWAA works to improve communication among those who work within the game. The FWAA also sponsors scholarships for aspiring writers and an annual writing contest. Behind the leadership of president Lenn Robbins of the New York Post and executive director Steve Richardson and a board of veteran journalists, the FWAA continues to grow and work to help college football prosper at all levels. There are now over 1,200 members. More information can be found at www.sportswriters.net.