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The Land Rover Defender Service Awards returned this year to give even more to charitable organizations in need! There are more winners, bigger prizes, and larger vehicles. Each winner received a custom Land Rover Defender 130 with more room for passengers and equipment! Every single aspect of this even grew. 

What are the Land Rover Defender Service Awards? 

2022 Land Rover Defender Service Awards
2022 Land Rover Defender Service Awards | Land Rover

The Land Rover Defender Service Awards is an event that celebrates charitable organizations such as search and rescue groups, disaster relief programs, conservation organizations, humane society groups, and more by providing the tools and equipment necessary to help them expand operations. 

Basically, Land Rover provides those who are giving back with incredibly capable vehicles and the tools necessary to continue saving people, animals, and the planet. 

The winning charitable organizations are recognized for their outstanding service and unwavering loyalty to their local communities. This year five winners were selected from Canada and America. 

There was one winner from five categories for Environmental and Conservation, Search and Rescue, Veterans Outreach, Animal Welfare, and Community Service. 

The top five winners received a custom Land Rover Defender 130 model and $25,000 from category sponsors, including KONG, ei3, Pelican, OUTSIDE Interactive Inc., and dentsu x. 

Each second-place winner in the top five categories with 10,000, and Chase awarded the top five finalists in each category with $5,000. There was $125,000 in prize money overall to further recognize each organization’s service. 

Category winners for chosen by public votes. About 220,000 votes were cast for the top 25 finalists. 

Who are the Land Rover Defender Service Award winners? 

1. Pelican Search and Rescue Award: Savuetage Benevole Outauais: Ottawa Volunteer Search and Rescue (Ottawa, ON) 

Since 1996 Savuetage Benevole Outauais – Ottawa Volunteer Search and Rescue have been there to help. It’s a federally incorporated, charitable, volunteer-based search and rescue group in western Quebec and eastern Ontario. 

Their mission is to provide search and rescue services, provide assistance during emergencies, and deliver public education programs to help people enjoy the great outdoors safely. 

Custom Land Rover Defender 130 off-roading
Custom Land Rover Defender 130 | Land Rover

2. dentsu x Veterans Outreach Award: Patriot Service Dogs (Marion County, Fl)

Patriot service dogs provide veterans with service-trained dogs at no charge. Each dog is trained to assist the PTSD, mobility issues, traumatic brain injuries, and military sexual trauma. 

The dogs are also trained by female prisoners to give them hope and something to be proud of. The group supports all honorably discharged veterans who would benefit from a service dog. 

Land Rover Defender service awards winner
2023 Land Rover Defender 130 | Land Rover

3. KONG Animal Welfare Award: Appalachian Bear Rescue (Townsend, TN) 

Appalachian Bear Rescue (ABR) rescues and cares for orphaned and injured black bear cubs until they can be returned to their natural habitat. They also increase public awareness about coexisting with black bears and study aspects of returning them to the wild. 

During the past 26 years, they’ve helped 360 black bears across nine different states and the National Park Service. 

Custom Land Rover Defender 130 award winner
Custom Land Rover Defender 130 | Land Rover

4. Ei3 Community Service Award: Mercy Chefs (Portsmouth, VA) 

Mercy Chefs is a faith-based nonprofit disaster relief organization that provides professionally prepared, restaurant-quality meals and clean water to victims, volunteers, and first responders in natural disasters and national emergencies. 

They partner with existing like-minded groups to further their mission of providing food service to underserved communities all over the country. So far, Mercy Chefs have served over 20 million meals in 150 disasters, 29 states, and 12 countries with the help of over 10,000 volunteers. 

2023 Land Rover Defender 130
2023 Land Rover Defender 130 | Land Rover

5. Outside Interactive, Inc., Environmental and Conservation Award: Green Lake Association (Green Lake, WI)

The Green Lake Association realizes that our lakes are in trouble. Human impacts and climate change jeopardize land and resources, so they are taking steps to safeguard the deepest natural lake in Wisconsin and model its approach for cleaner lakes within the Lake Michigan basin and across the globe. 

Recently, they restored a missing brook trout species that was gone for 70 years and minimized the blooming time of harmful algae from a few weeks to a couple of minutes. 

2023 Land Rover Defender
2023 Land Rover Defender | Land Rover

But the Defender Awards didn’t stop there 

2023 Land Rover Defender 130 off-roading
2023 Land Rover Defender 130 | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

Each organization received a 2023 Land Rover Defender 130, the largest Defender ever, and it comes with a learning curve. The controls and settings are a bit different from traditional American vehicles. 

So, Land Rover took each winner to the Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina, to teach them how to use their vehicle properly. Each winner spent hours in the woods learning about how to use the correct off-road settings. 

The Land Rover school involves crawling over logs, correctly winching, navigating through mud and ruts, what to do if the SUV slides, using the hill descent control feature, and axle hopping. 

Each winner also attended a class about how to maintain their vehicle properly. This way, they can make quick fixes in the wild or disaster areas instead of having to figure out how to call a tow truck. 

Learning how to work on the Defender 130 may also reduce repair costs and shop delays. Useful information includes how to change the tires correctly, how to replace the battery, where the spark plugs are, and how to change the oil. 

Land Rover equipped these organizations with an incredibly capable tool to make their efforts in serving diverse communities easier. They also provided them with crucial knowledge for success in the wild.