SOURCE: Ascena Retail Group, Inc.

Ascena Retail Group, Inc.

Ascena Retail Group, Inc.

April 16, 2015 13:28 ET

Ascena Retail Group, Inc. Announces a Call for Nominations for the 2015 Roslyn S. Jaffe Awards to Honor Everyday Heroes Who Help Empower Women and Children

$150,000 in Grants to Be Awarded to Individuals Making an Impact on Their Communities

MAHWAH, NJ--(Marketwired - Apr 16, 2015) -  Do you know someone who's making a positive change in the lives of others? Is that someone you?  The Ascena Retail Group, Inc. launches its second annual Roslyn S. Jaffe Awards with a nationwide call for nominations through June 15, 2015. The Roslyn S. Jaffe Awards is a not-for-profit program that gives financial awards to everyday heroes who are making the world a better place for women and children, specifically in the areas of health, education, social reform and self-esteem.

The 2015 Roslyn S. Jaffe Awards will grant $100,000 to a grand prize winner, $25,000 each to two runner up awardees, and all will be celebrated at a luncheon at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City on October 27, 2015. The program is looking to award individuals/not-for-profit organizations that may not be well known, but have the potential for major impact with the recognition and financial support that comes with the Roslyn S. Jaffe Awards.

The Awards honor the lifelong contributions of Roslyn S. Jaffe who believes in the adage, "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade." It's with that spirit and trailblazing determination that Mrs. Jaffe co-founded the first dressbarn store in 1962, and helped transform that one store into what is now Ascena Retail Group, Inc., a $5 billion retailer with five brands.

"I'm humbled and amazed at how many incredible individuals are doing such wonderful things," says Roslyn S. Jaffe, Director Emeritus for Ascena Retail Group, Inc. "There were many road blocks when we first started our business, but by staying the course and maintaining my beliefs, we were always able to turn the road blocks into something that benefitted the business. Our award winners share this philosophy. Despite obstacles, there is an overarching feeling of doing what it takes to serve those who may have had a life full of challenges."

"Last year, we received about 1,000 applications, and it was a tough decision to select the winners," Mrs. Jaffe explains. "It was heartwarming to find that there are so many dedicated and compassionate people who are do-gooders. We stayed in touch with our 2014 grant recipients, and significant progress has been made in the achievements of these not-for-profit organizations. We are thrilled to see the impact made by the grants on the day-to-day lives of the beneficiaries of their services."

To submit a nomination form online, visit www.jaffeawards.com. Deadline for entry is June 15, 2015. Winners will be selected in mid-September 2015 by an esteemed Selection Committee and will be honored at a finale luncheon event on October 27, 2015 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City hosted by Soledad O'Brien.

The 2014 Roslyn S. Jaffe Award winners included a $100,000 grant to Mamatoto Village in Washington, D.C. that provides education and health services for pre- and post-natal women in need; $25,000 grant to The Coffee Connection/Project Empower in Rochester, N.Y. that helps women build and sustain healthy lives after trauma; $25,000 grant to The Sparrow's Nest in Greensboro, N.C. that prepares promising youth in need for college and careers, and five honorable mention awards.

About Roslyn S. Jaffe

Roslyn S. Jaffe co-founded the first dressbarn store in 1962; currently she is Director Emeritus for 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, 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, like herself. Roslyn and Elliot seized the opportunity and opened a small store named dressbarn in Stamford, CT and helped grow it into the successful, nearly $5 billion, five-brand retail empire it is today (Ascena Retail Group, Inc.). 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, who 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 Cares, the company's group of charitable organizations.

About Ascena Cares

Ascena is passionate about making a meaningful difference in the lives of others. Ascena brands focus their charitable giving to the long-standing mission of supporting women and children empowerment issues. And, through Ascena Cares, several funds were established to provide support directly to employees, their families and their communities, including: an emergency assistance fund to help employees in challenging times; a scholarship fund to help employees' children get a higher education; and a crisis relief fund to help the surrounding communities in times of need.

About Ascena Retail Group, Inc.

Ascena Retail Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASNA) is a leading national specialty retailer offering clothing, shoes, and accessories for missy and plus-size women under the Lane Bryant, Cacique, maurices, dressbarn and Catherines brands; and for tween girls under the Justice brand. Ascena Retail Group, Inc. operates through its subsidiaries approximately 3,900 stores throughout the United States and Canada.

For more information about Ascena Retail Group, Inc. and its brands, visit www.ascenaretail.com, www.lanebryant.com, www.cacique.com, www.maurices.com, www.dressbarn.com, www.catherines.com, and www.shopjustice.com.

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