The finalists of the 2023 Defender Service Awards have been announced, with the five finalists in each of five categories announced, and a sixth category of past nominees who are eligible now for a second chance. After a public vote, six organizations in the USA and Canada will get a custom-equipped Defender 130 to further their cause. Voting is open from September 15 to October 4, with the finalists to be announced at a banquet at Destination Defender in Texas on November 11.
The nominees are:
Animal, Wildlife and Marine Mammal Welfare Award
- Appalachian Wildlife Refuge (Candler, NC), which rescues injured birds, mammals, and reptiles in Western North Carolina.
- Lowcountry Marine Mammal Network (North Charleston, SC), which protects marine mammals and does dolphin monitoring near Charleston.
- Manitoba Underdogs Rescue (Winnipeg, MB), which runs a robust dog foster and adoption program in Manitoba, without a formal shelter of its own.
- Midwest Animal ResQ (Raytown, MO), which saves animals from inhumane large-scale breeding facilities in the Kansas City, MO area.
- Sea Turtle Inc (South Padre Island, TX), which saves sea turtles on the beaches on South Padre Island.
Veterans and Civil Servant Outreach Award
- Big Red Barn Retreat (Blythewood, SC), which helps veterans and first responders develop integrated practices, training, and programs to thrive.
- Calgary Veterans Services Society (Calgary, AB), which serves food security and other resource needs of veterans from Alberta.
- Heroes Homestead (Clayton, WA), which provides family integration services to returning veterans.
- Honour House Society (New Westminster, BC), a refuge for veterans and military families receiving medical care in Metro Vancouver.
- Warriors Choice Foundation (Jupiter, FL), which serves the needs of transitioning Combat Veterans suffering from PTSD, mental illness, and catastrophic injuries.
Community Service Award
- Connecting Kids to Meals (Toledo, Ohio), which provides meals to kids under 18 in Toledo.
- Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (Symrna, GA), which works to keep the Chattahoochee River clean.
- Enjoy Detroit (Detroit, MI), which creates positive change in Detroit.
- Kairos Adventures Inc (Orlando, FL), which offers studio art, music, and performing arts classes for adults of all abilities.
- LiveOnNY (New York, NY), which works to connect organ donors and recipients.
Search, Rescue and Emergency Services Award
- Allegheny Mountain Rescue Group (Pittsburgh, PA), which provides search and rescue services in Western Pennsylvania.
- Resources in Search & Rescue, Inc. (Monroe, CT), which reunites lost or missing people with their families and assists in the location of deceased individuals.
- Squamish Search & Rescue Society (Squamish, BC), providing search and rescue around Squamish, BC.
- Taos Search & Rescue (Taos, NM), providing search and rescue around Taos, NM.
- Texsar (Wimberley, TX), providing search and rescue across Texas.
Outdoor Accessibility and Education Award
- Camp Rainbow Gold (Boise, ID), which serves Idaho children diagnosed with cancer and their families.
- Idaho Trails Association (Boise, ID), which keeps Idaho’s hiking trails open for all.
- The Bethlehem Center (Chattanooga, TN), which builds lasting relationships with Chattanooga’s youth and families.
- Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports (Killington, VT), providing adaptive sports opportunities for disabled youth and adults.
- Youth Sports Alliance (Park City, UT), creating sports opportunities for youth in Park City.
2021 and 2022 Defender Service Awards Honorees
A sixth category will award a Defender to one organization that was a finalist in 2021 or 2022 and did not win a vehicle.
To vote for your choices, visit Land Rover's American or Canadian website and make your selections!
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