JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (August 31, 2022) – Randleman resident and Gold Star mom, Amanda Jacobs Ballard was recently named a recipient of the Vigiano Family Hope and Courage award at the Hope For The Warriors Summer Soiree.
Ballard was one of three Vigiano Family Hope and Courage award winners, presented by World Series Champion Doug Flynn and TV host John Daly. She was recognized for her journey as a Gold Star mom and for working as a volunteer with Hope For The Warriors and recently as a Gold Star Tribute Ambassador for Honor Brewing allowing her to share her son, U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Christopher Phoenix-Jacob Levy’s, story, her grief, while connecting with other Gold Star families.
“Amanda continues to make a difference in the lives of Gold Star families,” said Robin Kelleher, Hope For The Warriors co-founder and CEO. “This is never a title anyone wishes to have but Amanda presses on to honor Jacob’s legacy year-after-year, sharing both his story and hers as a Gold Star mom.”
Named in honor of the Vigiano family, who lost both of their sons in the September 11th attacks, the Hope and Courage Awards are presented to service members and military family members who have demonstrated both hope and courage in the face of extraordinary circumstances.
“Jacob died doing a job he was willing to die for,” Ballard said. “He was an awesome man and an awesome Marine. Levy volunteered to go on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan. Levy was an organ donor, and people will remember Jacob and live a long life because of him.”
After losing her son, while serving in Afghanistan in December 2011, Ballard invited all of Levy’s fellow Marines from his platoon to visit her North Carolina home. Eleven years later, she still welcomes the Marines and their families to her home each year to honor his memory with stories, pictures and love.
“Over the years this get together has become so much more. It is a wellness check for everyone,” shares Ballard. “Our family motto is, ‘No one gives up, always reach out, because if one of us stumble, we all stumble.’ As long as we progress, Jacob’s sacrifice wasn’t in vain.”
In addition to the annual gathering, Ballard has formed a scholarship at Levy’s high school, Eastern Randolph. The Lance Cpl. Jacob Levy Memorial Scholarship is a $1,000 scholarship for senior JROTC cadet’s and has currently gifted $17,000 worth of scholarships.
Ballard resides in Randleman with her husband Jason and has worked for the state of North Carolina for over 20 years at the Davidson County Clerk of Superior Court. In addition to Jacob, she is the mom of Dakota and Elijah. She also has three grandchildren Avah, Chance and Kadsen. Ballard is also the “bonus” mom to Jorden Ballard, Abby Hadley and at least 30 Marine sons that were Jacob’s brothers.
For more information on Hope For The Warriors, visit hopeforthewarriors.org.
About Hope For The Warriors: Founded in 2006, Hope For The Warriors is a national nonprofit dedicated to restoring a sense of self, family and hope for post-9/11 veterans, service members and military families. Since its inception, Hope For The Warriors has served over 40,000 through a variety of support programs focused on health and wellness, sports and recreation and transition. One of the nonprofit’s first programs, Military Spouse and Caregiver Scholarships, has awarded 192 scholarships to caregivers and families of the fallen. For more information, visit hopeforthewarriors.org, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.