And the winners are WFMY-TV Greensboro, NC; WLEN-FM Adrian, MI; WCIU-TV Chicago; WSTV-FM Wilmington, DE; and KOBI/KOTI-TV Medford, OR. They’ll be honored at the Celebration of Service to America Awards dinner on Monday, June 8 at the Renaissance Washington, DC Hotel. The celebration recognizes outstanding community service by local broadcasters.
“This year’s group of winners has done an outstanding job at developing programs and initiatives designed to improve their respective communities,” said NAB President and CEO David Rehr. The Celebration of Service to America Awards are sponsored and produced by the NAB Education Foundation with major support from Bonneville International Corporation and the NAB.
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.
WFMY-TV Greensboro, NC
Owner: Gannett Broadcasting
WFMY has a history of reaching out to the local community and providing answers to tough questions such as how to feed the hungry or how to improve the education system. The station’s outreach keeps viewers informed about those in need and gets them involved in being part of the solution. Efforts include Operation Greensboro Cares, the annual Food 2 Families campaign (now in its 17th year), Tools for School (which helped more than 19,000 students in 15 school systems in 2008), free swimming classes for needy children and Go Healthy Month to educate children about healthy lifestyles.
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.
WLEN-FM Adrian, MI
Owner: Lenawee Broadcasting Co.
Every day WLEN serves children of all ages in their community. The station sponsors a number of events and initiatives for children, including public service campaigns produced by youth groups and student interns, and broadcasts highlighting the “Student of the Day” and the “Athlete of the Week.” WLEN also involves the youth of their community in helping others. With Mission Possible, youth groups helped raise money to provide shelter for homeless men in the community.
Owner: Weigel Broadcasting Co.
WCIU TV’s “Green Screen Adventures” translates stories and drawings submitted by Chicago Public School students from grades 2 through 8 into television productions. The show’s goal is to encourage children to be enthusiastic about reading and writing and to promote character development. In addition to a cast of professional writers and performers, “Green Screen Adventures” invites the student authors to be on the set and participate in the production of their stories. Since the program premiered in 2007, they have completed more than 125 episodes featuring the work of more than 675 students from 120 Chicago Public 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.
WSTV-FM Wilmington, DE
Owner: Delmarva Broadcasting Co.
SmartDrive is a driver improvement program conceived by Delmarva Broadcasting Company in response to a rash of preventable teen vehicle deaths. The program has been developed in partnership with a variety of public and private organizations concerned with traffic safety. Now in its fourth year of operation, SmartDrive operates in 76 schools in Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania, reaching over 35,000 students and yielding approximately 6,100 active participants. SmartDrive is credited with the steady decline in teen vehicle deaths that has occurred since the program was launched in 2004.
KOBI/KOTI-TV Medford, OR
Owner: California Oregon Broadcasting, Inc.
The Emmy award winning Southern Oregon Meth Project was established in 2006. The project is a unique partnership between KOBI/KOTI and a group of businesses, non-profit organizations and government agencies determined to spread the message about the dangers of meth. The project focuses on educating children between the ages of 11 and 18 to not use methamphetamine – “Not Now… Not Ever.” In the first year alone, 70 percent of viewers in the television market were aware of the Southern Oregon Meth Project. By 2008, the recognition factor had increase to 80 percent.