WALTHAM, Mass.—Rubber products manufacturer Quabaug Corp. is among three entities whose contributions have funded the inaugural Footwear Warriors Scholarship Fund, designed to help military veterans working in or returning to the footwear industry.
According to the Two Ten Footwear Foundation, the endowment fund was launched from contributions totaling $125,000 from Quabaug Corp., Vibram S.p.A. and the Donahue family.
Two Ten said that Quabaug's support of armed forces has been recognized since World War II when the company received the Navy "E" Award for excellence in production of war equipment. Quabaug said that about 15 percent of its work force of 300 are veterans. Vibram—an Italian shoe sole manufacturer with which Quabaug is affiliated—is the largest supplier of rugged, high-performance shoe soles to all branches of the armed forces.
Since 1969, Two Ten, the footwear industry's national charitable foundation and only foundation of its kind in the U.S., has awarded more than $18 million in scholarships.
"This scholarship is designed to help our veterans get the additional training and/or education needed after their service to bridge the gap between military and civilian life," said Neal Newman, President of Two Ten Footwear Foundation.
Joe Fleury, a 39-year old veteran who works at Adidas as operations manager in the Mount Comfort Facility in Indiana, is the first scholarship recipient. Fleury currently is a business management major at Indiana Wesleyan University.
The Footwear Warriors Scholarship Fund has a goal of reaching $250,000, which will yield approximately $12,500 in scholarships yearly. To make an online donation in support of veterans, visit www.twoten.org.