Students raise funds for the American Widow Project

San Marcos, TX

Four teams of public relations campaigns students will present a check of about $6,000 to the American Widow Project.
The students in Chuck Kaufman’s class produced four strategic events from San Marcos to Killeen to reach this total.
Taryn Davis, founding CEO of the nonprofit organization, said, “I’m absolutely floored by the results of these incredible events. No matter how much they raised, it was an honor for the class just to think of doing this for the widows.”
Davis, who attended Texas State University, was a 2009 CNN Heroes award winner and has received national attention for helping more than 1,200 widows throughout the country to cope with their loss and reintegrate into society.

The American Widow Project is based in Buda. Davis’s husband, Cpl. Michael Davis, died in Iraq during combat seven years ago and inspired the founding of the organization. At the time, Davis was 21. The organization supports widows of military service members killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
“Obviously, I’m very proud of all of the students on so many fronts,” said Kaufman, a Texas State University senior lecturer. “We have a fabulous client. They showed great resourcefulness, enterprise and learned a lot about planning, executing and evaluating during the course of a campaign.”

The students presented a wide variety of events, all with patriotic themes.
• In Killeen on March 21, “The Remembrance Fashion Show” featured fashions from Dillard’s and widows as models and attracted about 200 patrons.
• At the Marc in San Marcos on March 29, “The Red, White and Badass” country music concert featured The Hill Country Gentlemen, Landon Bullard, Dry River Religion, JJ Garrett Band, and Jake Kellen and attracted another 200 or so.
• One team organized a talent show called “Mr. and Mrs. Stars and Stripes.” Students with a variety of “talents” showed their stuff for a raucous student audience.
• “Combat Chaos” challenged teams of four on a crossfit obstacle course.
Davis said she loved the patriotic themes, logos, creative and strategic thinking, and the opportunities the events created for the widows.

“I think the fact that the models for the ‘Remembrance’ event were military spouses and widows is what makes the event special,” Davis said. “These women and what they give and sacrifice on a daily basis is incredible.”

Samantha Woods of Nolanville, Texas, wrote online after the fashion show, “What an honor to be in the same room with such caring supportive, phenomenal people.” Vanessa Joseph, a “Remembrance” team member noted that her father served the military overseas, so the event was personal to her and her brother, Michael, also a team member. “We feel lucky our father was able to come home,” she said. “These widows weren’t so fortunate and their situations and Taryn’s work were inspirational to all of us.”

Sequoia Owens said the AWP and the fundraising event celebrated the fact that “after tragic events the widows can come together and still support each other.” Their event actually has connected numerous events to AWP. There are more than 180 widows from the conflict in the Middle East who are living at Fort Hood, the nation’s largest military installation.
Joshua Quinn said the “Combat Chaos” campaign event also raised awareness of a growing population of a generation of young widows for everyone involved in the effort between San Antonio and Austin. “The mission of AWP aligns so closely with Texas States University’s 2012 – 2017 Diversity Plan that administration and staff will begin looking for ways to also support the underrepresented group of family, spouses and widows of service members,” Quinn said.
Morgan Goodson, who worked on the talent show, said the campaigns class taught her about the process of planning a campaign and generating positive outcomes for clients. “I know I will be able to use these skills once I graduate and get a job.”

American Widow Project competes for Funds raised by Rudy’s “Country Store” and Bar-B-Q

Rudy’s “Country Store” and Bar-B-Q launched its first Facebook contest for three military-focused charity partners, which are competing for the most number of votes beginning April 1st through May 31st.

The American Widow Project, in addition to two other military related non-profits are competing to win funds raised by Rudy’s Bar-B-Q in May as part of its annual Cup for a Cause Fundraising campaign. Facebook users can vote for the charity of their choice by visiting Rudy’s Facebook page and clicking the “Poll” tab. Facebook users can vote once a day throughout the competition. The charity with the most number of votes at midnight (CDT) on May 31stwill receive 50% of the total funds raised during the month long fundraiser while the 1st and 2ndrunners-up will receive 35% and 15% respectively.

Funds are raised from dollar donations made by Rudy’s guests who purchase a large drink served in the special Rudy’s camouflage designed cups that will feature the logos of its three charity partners.

The funds raised from this event will significantly aid the American Widow Project in continuing to expand their vital programs and support to military widows.

AWP Contact
Tabbatha Lancaster

Regional Acts to perform a patriotic concert to benefit the American Widow Project

San Marcos, Texas

Local and regional country artists Jake Kellen, JJ Garrett Band, Dry River Religion, Landon Bullard, and Hill Country Gentlemen are performing in San Marcos at the Marc on Saturday, March 29 in order to raise money and awareness for the American Widow Project.

The concert evening, titled ” Red, White and Badass” ( has the goal of drawing attention to the needs of the courageous military widows in the area that are grieving the loss of a spouse who was in the armed forces.

Doors for the event will open at 4:30pm and the prices are $10 for anyone 21 and over and $15 for under 21. There will be a $5 military discount for anyone who shows their ID at the door.

Several sponsors have signed up to participate in the event, including Bobcat Nation, Wildwood Apartments, and Dos Equis. Popular local vendors such as, Mochas & Javas, Grin’s Restaurant, The Tap Room, and the Root Cellar as well as other regional musicians have provided gift packages and items to be given away as door prizes throughout the evening.

For more information, please contact Justen Andres (


Charity Fashion Show benefits local military widows

Killeen, TX– Students at Texas State University are organizing a Remembrance Fashion Show benefitting the American Widow Project. The Fashion Show will be at the Killeen Civic & Conference Center on Friday, March 21. The doors will open at 6:30pm and the show starts at 7:30pm.

Texas State Alumna, Taryn Davis, was 21 when she created the project after her husband was killed in Afghanistan. Davis’s vision, efforts and inspiration have earned her recognition as one of CNN’s Heroes and international news coverage.

“This event not only brings people together, but it celebrates, recognizes and salutes the military men that have been left behind,” Davis said.

Military wives and widows will be saluted as the runway models for the event. They will wear the latest fashions from Dillard’s.

General admission tickets are $10 and VIP tickets are $15. A VIP ticket includes reserved seating in the first two rows and an exclusive goodie bag. Each ticket provides an evening of dinner, a silent auction and a live music performance. Doug Currin, KCEN nightly news anchor, will be the MC for the event. Alcoholic beverages and food are available for purchase.

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Survivor Outreach Services department of Fort Hood. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit our Facebook Event Page
“The Remembrance Fashion Show benefitting the American Widow Project.” If interested in donating, sponsoring or participating in the event please contact Kaylee Nelson,

Bronko Box teams up with the American Widow Project

Bronko Box is now a proud partner of American Widow Project, an Austin-based nonprofit that provides aid to military widows

AUSTIN, TX– Bronko Box is proud to announce their partnership with Austin-based nonprofit American Widow Project, just in time for the holidays. Inspired by AWP’s efforts to provide aid for women who have lost their husbands in the line of duty, Bronko Box was moved to explore ways that they could get involved. Through AWP, Bronko Box will now donate their box rental services to military widows with moving needs.

AWP recognizes the sacrifices made by the families of our fallen and believes that no military widow should feel alone in her grief. Because of that, the AWP provides the vital peer-to-peer, emotional and educational support necessary to maximize success, healing and hope for a brighter future.

Bronko Box co-owner, Brooke Cox, explains, “I think American Widow Project is a great organization, and we would be honored to help Austin-area military widows in any way that we can. I can only imagine the number of life changes that these women will go through, and we want to be able to help alleviate any financial and logistical stresses for the many women that will have to relocate their homes.”

Through American Widow Project, Austin- area military widows will now have access to Bronko Box’s box rental service free of charge. Delivered fully assembled, Bronko Boxes are durable, stackable containers built with self-locking lids. The company provides box delivery and pick up services spanning Austin and the surrounding areas. Bronko Boxes are designed sturdy and spacious – reducing the number of boxes needed to move and eliminating the hassle of box-building, taping, breaking down and bundling traditional cardboard boxes. Bronko Box is elated to have the opportunity to donate their helpful and convenient services to women in need.

Bronko Box is continuing to collaborate with the AWP team to explore additional opportunities to assist the organization. Additional efforts will be announced after the New Year.

About Bronko Box
Bronko Box is a box rental company that currently services the Central Texas area with a box delivery and pick up system. Designed to ease the moving process, Bronko Box provides an affordable and eco-friendly alternative to the traditional cardboard box. For more information, please visit:

Media Contacts
Maryam Brown / / 512-382-9017
Kristen Gehring / / 512-382-9017
Vivian Lee / / 512-382-9017

AWP’s 2013 School Drive Provides Supplies to over 100 Military Families!

We’d like to extend a HUGE thank you to Entergy Texas (and all their amazing employees) for once again donating school supplies and backpacks to assist over 100 military families for the 2013 school year! As you can see from Breanna, daughter of fallen Marine CPL Bryan Wilson, the children were more than excited to receive their new supplies.

From our entire staff, the military widows we serve and their families, we salute you!


AWP To Be Featured on The Queen Latifah Show

Tune in September 17th to the Queen Latifah Show!

It’s premiere week on The Queen Latifah Show! International superstar Will Smith opens up about family, fame, and his 20-year friendship with Queen Latifah. Will sets the record straight on his marriage with Jada. Then, Alex Trebek joins Queen and Will for a rap battle – Jeopardy-style! Next, a very special performance from Queen Latifah. Plus, Queen meets Taryn (AWP Founder), one extraordinary military widow who’s made it her life’s mission to help other military widows. Watch as Queen takes Taryn on a thrill-seeking, heart-pounding adventure – sky-high.



Crown Royal Honors Work of the AWP

Recently, AWP’s Founder was nominated for the “Your Hero’s Name HERE” NASCAR Brickyard 400!

Check out the Brickyard 400 and send some AWP love to founder, Taryn ( along with some other amazing widows)!! A big thanks for all of your votes for the AWP ! Look for the purple polos!!

SPEED Channel 10am est for pre-race coverage

ESPN at 12pm for Countdown to NASCAR

ESPN at 1pm for the Brickyard 400!!!


AWP Founder Up to Have Nascar Race Named in Honor

After being married for only a short time, Taryn Davis’s husband Michael was killed in Iraq in May of 2007.

“People disregarded my grief or wrote it off because of my young age of 21 at that time. Or they wrote off Michael’s sacrifice due to their political stances and you know, not being able to see him past the uniform,” Davis said.

Davis says in the following months, she hit rock bottom and one night she had a revelation.

“That night I kind of said ‘Okay, I can just kind of go through life as a zombie, a shell of a being. Or I can try to live for my husband until I can find a reason to live for myself. And I knew the first step in doing that would be in embracing the title that I’ve been given unwillingly…of a widow,” Davis said.

So she began what eventually became a non-profit that’s gained national attention, the American Widow Project.

“I wanted to meet these women. I wanted to ask them the questions that people had stopped asking me…how I fell in love, how I was notified. Most importantly ask them the question that I was still looking for the answer to which was ‘What makes them get up every day and decide to live?'” Davis said.

The American Widow Project launched in July of 2008. Since then they’ve helped more than 1500 military widows and non-combat widows move on with their lives.

Recently, one of the many women the organization has helped nominated Davis to receive naming rights for the Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis courtesy of Crown Royal.

“I got on the phone and they called me and they’re like ‘Do you know what’s going on?’ and I’m like ‘I don’t know but my dad really does drink you every night so if I’ve won a bottle, man this is amazing!’ And they’re like ‘Well it’s a little bit bigger than that Taryn, but we’ll send your dad a bottle.’ And they did, they sent me 2,” Davis said.

The Crown Royal “Your Hero’s Name Here 400” is one of the summer’s biggest NASCAR races. She and 4 other heroes are nominated.

After online voting, the winner will be announced at the end of June. And on July 28th, the race will be re-named in the winner’s honor.

So it may very well end up being the “Taryn Davis 400.”

“It’s a little uncomfortable for me because I would love to call it the American Widow Project 400. I don’t like my name being on it because I’m just one of thousands of military widows and widowers that are just trying to carry on our husbands legacy and I think in the midst of that, create our own,” Davis said.

If you would like to vote you can do so at

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