NEW YORK, Oct. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — GQ’s The Gentlemen’s Fund, in partnership with Movado, is proud to announce Jake Wood, president of Team Rubicon , as winner of the 4th annual Better Men Better World Search. Each year, GQ accepts hundreds of nominations from across the country in its search for men who dedicate their time and energy for the betterment of society. Wood, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, served four years in the United States Marine Corps, deploying to Iraq in 2007 and then to Afghanistan in 2008. He graduated at the top of his class from the Scout-Sniper Basic Course and was the recipient of the Jim Gulardi Award. Also, in 2007, he was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with “V” for valor in the face of the enemy.
After his tenure with the Marines came to an end, he quickly sprang into action following the devastation of the earthquake in Haiti. Within hours of posting a message on his Facebook page—”I’m going to Haiti. Who’s in?”—Team Rubicon’s first unit was formed with volunteer first responders, doctors, nurses, and combat vets. Thanks to social networking, the group accumulated $250,000 in medical supplies and donations. Wood’s military model has created a new set of standards for disaster relief, deploying rapidly to destinations in need of help. In fact, Team Rubicon most recently deployed a team to the areas devastated by the earthquake in Turkey, working with the Turkish Emergency Management System to provide their technical rescue skills.
In addition to Wood, four finalists were named in the Better Men Better World Search. Their charitable work, volunteerism, and community involvement embody what it truly means to be a gentleman:
Eric Greitens – Eric Greitens is the founder and CEO of The Mission Continues, a nonprofit organization that empowers wounded and disabled veterans to begin new lives as citizen leaders here at home. Greitens, a Navy Seal, donated his combat pay to found this organization after returning home from a deployment to Iraq in 2007. As CEO, he works to ensure that every returning veteran lives a life of purpose, regardless of what injuries they may have sustained during their time in the military.
Tim King – While attending law school at Georgetown University, Tim King taught at an inner-city school and, upon completing his degree, decided to pursue teaching as a full-time career. In 2006, he founded the nonprofit organization Urban Prep Academies, which operates a network of all-boys public high schools whose goal is to reverse the abysmal graduation and college-completion rates among boys in urban centers.
Deogratias “Deo” Niyizonkiza – This Burundian-American has spent the past several years working to improve the lives of local communities in his native Burundi, a nation recovering from a civil war. In 2007, “Deo” founded the Village Health Works community health center in Kigutu, near the borders of Congo and Tanzania—an area hit especially hard by HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria—to provide high-quality health care, most of it at no cost, to thousands of patients since its doors opened.
Laren Poole – Back in 2003, Laren Poole traveled to Uganda for a filmmaking adventure, only to return with the ambition to expose the crisis at hand and help find a peaceful resolution to the decades-long war. Poole then co-founded the advocacy group Invisible Children, which, through documentary films and other media, seeks to transform apathy into activism by helping to tell the stories of East African children affected by Africa’s longest-running war—a war it is working to end.
Mr. Wood was chosen by popular vote and a panel of GQ judges and was officially announced as the winner by Willie Geist, host of MSNBC’s Way Too Early and co-host of Morning Joe, at the GQ Gentlemen’s Ball tonight in New York City . As winner of the 2011 Better Men Better World Search, Mr. Wood will be featured in GQ, receive a $2,000 cash prize, a Movado SE® Extreme watch, and $15,000 donated by Movado to his charity of choice
The remaining finalists also attended The Gentlemen’s Ball, as guests of Movado, and received a Movado BOLD™ watch and $3,750 donated to the charities of their choice.
To meet these inspirational men and learn about their causes, go to www.TheGentlemensFund.com and visit our Facebook page
THE GENTLEMEN’S FUND:
GQ’s The Gentlemen’s Fund initiative raises awareness for issues that are essential to modern men. Founded in 2007, The Gentlemen’s Fund encourages men to become agents of change by supporting charities that champion these causes. Recent Gentlemen’s Fund ambassadors have included David Arquette, Adrian Grenier, Josh Duhamel, Jimmy Fallon, Ashton Kutcher, John Legend, Steve Nash, Mark Wahlberg, Forest Whitaker, and Timbaland.