I think this contest is a wonderful example of a company giving back by continuing the pioneering legacy of its founder. Martha turned her dreams into a reality and she knows as well as anyone who worked their way to the top that it didn't happen without a lot of help. The fact that MSO is helping these great women further develop their entrepreneurial ventures is inspiring and exciting.
Visitors to marthastewart.com also had their say and could vote on their favourites. I've chosen mine:
*Patricia Fragen of Naperville, IL: Normal Moments Inc.
After watching her 16 year-old daughter fight against and eventually lose her life to cancer, Patricia wanted to help parents going through the same ordeal. Patricia's organization provides supportive services like housecleaning, lawn care and more to parents with critically ill children, giving them the time to spend more 'normal moments' together.
*Tabitha Geary of Richmond, VA: Tabitha Geary LLC
Tabitha was thrilled when her mother took on the overwhelming task of organizing her photographs and momentoes into charming memory books for each of Tabitha's five children. Each one was custom made to suit the child it was given to. Thinking she might not be the only one who needed "memory organization" assistance, Tabitha started her company to help families organize and preserve their most treasured memories in professionally-designed memory books.
*Amy Jaffebarzach of West Hartfort, CT: Boundless Playgrounds
To honor the memory of her son who died of spinal muscular atrophy, Amy started Boundless Playgrounds as the first national nonprofit dedicated to helping communities create playgrounds where children with and without disabilities can play and learn together. There are now more than 130 Boundless Playgrounds in more than 20 states.
Good luck to all 11 finalists. They're all worthy.
UPDATE: CONGRATULATIONS TO AMY JAFFEBARZACH FOR HER BOUNDLESS PLAYGROUNDS PROJECT. AMY WAS NAMED THE GRAND PRIZE WINNER!