The votes have been tallied, and after a close race, Carry The Load has been named CultureMap's service project for 2014 as determined by our charitable readers.
Twelve deserving local nonprofits battled it out in the first-ever CultureMap Charity Challenge presented by Briggs Freeman Sotheby's. Carry The Load snuck away with the win, capturing 32 percent of the votes. The LEAP Foundation came in close behind, with 25 percent of the votes. The Family Place rounded out the top three with 11 percent.
Other contenders included American Red Cross, A.W.A.R.E., Men of Nehemiah, SPCA of Texas, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, Birthday Party Project, Salvation Army, Trinity Trust and Wilkinson Center.
"We are excited to partner with CultureMap to raise awareness for Carry The Load and reach as many people as we can with our vision to restore the true meaning of Memorial Day," says Brian Gile of Carry The Load. "We invite the CultureMap community to join us by participating, volunteering or donating."
Former U.S. Navy SEALs Clint Bruce and Stephen Holley, co-founders of Carry The Load, are no strangers to success in the Dallas community. If you remember, they won the 2013 Good Works Under 40 Award presented by the Dallas Foundation back in November.
Carry The Load aims to restore the meaning of Memorial Day and honor fallen heroes, veterans, active duty military, firefighters, law enforcement and rescue personnel through a national rally. The organization's best-known event is a 20-hour march in Dallas over the Memorial Day weekend. But it's a brand-new year, which brings more opportunity to make a difference
"We have seen huge increases in our community of supporters over the past three years," Gile says. "We have grown from a single Dallas Memorial Day event in 2011 to a month-long 'Memorial May' National Relay and events in Austin, Tampa and Ruston in 2013.
"For 2014 and beyond, we hope to continue building Carry The Load into a national interactive experience for Americans across the country to remember, honor and celebrate Memorial Day in dedication to those who sacrifice for us every day," Gile says.
In addition receiving a $2,500 cash donation and advertising package, the CultureMap team will work with Carry The Load to better serve them in 2014. For more information about how you can do the same, visit the website.