WASHINGTON -- The NAB Education Foundation announced the winners of the annual Service to America Awards today. Winners will be honored at the Celebration of Service to America Awards dinner on Monday, June 3, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The celebration recognizes outstanding community service by local broadcasters.
“The important role that broadcasters play in the lives of people in their communities every day is undeniable,” said NABEF President Marcellus Alexander. “Whether providing lifesaving information as first informers in an emergency or meeting basic needs through food and clothing drives, the winners this year exemplify the true meaning of community service.”
This year’s Service to America Awards will honor the following broadcasters:
SERVICE TO AMERICA TELEVISION AWARD
This award recognizes a television station for the totality of its efforts and its commitment to excellence in serving its community.
KTUL -TV, Tulsa, Okla.
Owner: Allbritton Communications Company
KTUL in 2012 produced nearly 50 projects touching all aspects of life in the community. Among these projects, the station helped launch a Spread the Warmth blanket drive during which 5,000 blankets were collected in just four weeks. They also partnered with local organizations in the Stamp Out Hunger campaign bringing in more than 267,000 pounds of food. KTUL also focuses on prevention and health awareness, participating in such projects as the American Heart Association’s year-long Go Red campaign. Children are at the forefront of KTUL’s agenda. The station’s staff donated time and talent to a variety of initiatives with the local Park Elementary School and the Tulsa County Library Summer Reading Program. 2012 saw record growth for all of KTUL’s annual initiatives and set an example of service at the heart of a community.
SERVICE TO CHILDREN AWARDS
These awards spotlight television and radio stations for outstanding programs, campaigns and public service announcements produced for the benefit of children.
WGY-AM, Latham, N.Y.
Owner: Clear Channel Media & Entertainment
Each year, WGY organizes The WGY Christmas Wish Campaign benefiting children in the Northeast, with a particular attention to critical care services and recreational programs for ill, underprivileged and homeless youth. Though taking place over the winter months, this multi-faceted fundraising effort helps support local nonprofits in their year-round efforts to improve the lives of children aged 19 and under. In 2012, the campaign raised over $94,000, directly benefiting more than 100 nonprofit children’s organizations that applied for grants from WGY.
KSL-TV, Salt Lake City
Owner: Bonneville International Corp.
In a state ranked last for per-student spending, KSL-TV recognized the great need for public awareness and action around literacy. With the creation of the Read Today grassroots movement, KSL has made great strides in ensuring elementary students read at grade level. KSL-TV’s mission has already made a tremendous impact in the state. Of the 2,601 students who started the year in Read Today tutoring, 2,043 finished at grade level. In addition, $960,000 worth of books were donated to schools and four of the state’s worst 10 scoring schools were moved off of the “worst” list. All were Read Today schools.
SERVICE TO COMMUNITY AWARDS
This category honors radio and television broadcasters for individual campaigns, projects or programs that serve the public good or otherwise provide exemplary service to their local communities.
WQHT-FM, New York
Owner: Emmis Communications Corp.
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, WQHT Hot 97’s Hip Hop Has Heart Foundation was in place to respond to the overwhelming needs of the community. During the storm, the Hot 97 broadcast stayed on through multiple power outages, providing for some the only connection to news and information. In the days following, Hot 97 ran continuous announcements providing critical information about disaster-relief locations and assistance. In addition, the station’s team reached out to influential artists and public figures to provide relief to the community through fundraising and by traveling the tri-state to give out coffee, soup, blankets, clothing and other much needed items.
WFTS-TV, Tampa, Fla.
Owner: The E.W. Scripps Co.
WFTS launched a six week Taking Action Against Domestic Violence campaign aimed at heightening awareness, educating viewers and inspiring victims of abuse through the stories of survivors. The campaign featured weekly news stories, PSAs, in-studio interviews and a one hour commercial-free primetime special that helped raise approximately $230,000. The statewide Domestic Violence Hotline saw a 77 percent increase in calls during the six weeks alone. Amid numerous public appearances for domestic violence community events, the collection of supplies for shelters, a dedicated year-round website page and a Facebook page, WFTS has created a lifeline for many suffering in the shadow of domestic abuse.
PRESIDENT’S SPECIAL AWARD
The Service to America President’s Special Award recognizes historic and extraordinary achievement by a broadcaster or group of broadcasters.
North Carolina Association of Broadcasters and North Carolina’s Radio and Television Broadcasters
By hosting the Vietnam Veterans Homecoming Celebration, the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters, along with the USO of North Carolina and the Charlotte Motor Speedway, gave over 210,000 North Carolinian Vietnam Veterans the rightful welcome home they never received. With involvement from Senator Richard Burr, ranking member of the US Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, NCAB drew broadcasters from all over the state to create and promote a memorable one-day event for Vietnam Veterans and their families, complete with a motorcycle parade, the Vietnam War Memory Wall and entertainers. Through its member stations, NCAB donated over $1,000,000 in public service announcements and produced a live one-hour broadcast of the celebration which included taped interviews of Vietnam Veterans. Over 65,000 people attended the welcome home, which was aired by over 30 television and radio stations. The celebration not only honored the Vietnam Veterans, it educated the public and provided vital assistance by Veteran Service Organizations.