Serving the public interest is ingrained in a broadcaster’s DNA. It is what we do. Congratulations to the Buffalo area radio and television stations for serving their community. At a recent luncheon at the Albright Knox Art Gallery, the following stations and community groups received special recognition:
WKBW-TV ABC-7 – The Summit Center & Paddock Chevrolet
In 1973, Nancy Harris, founder of Summit, was interested in expanding the speech and language skills of her son who was born with a severe hearing loss. She strongly believed that children with communication disorders could best develop meaningful speech and language during their everyday experiences, and developed a program for four children in the kitchen of her Williamsville home.
Now, The Summit Center, formerly Summit Educational Resource, is offering proven methods, positive results and better lives for those they care for. The new name reflects the growth and expansion into areas beyond education, including programs and services for adults and insurance based clinics for individuals with developmental disabilities as well as typically developing children and young adults.
For over a decade, Duane Paddock and Paddock Chevrolet have been a proud sponsor of Summit, through generous monetary donations and an on-air co-branding campaign, Duane has become the voice of Summit in Western New York. In 2009, Summit opened the new Paddock Vocational Training Center on Creekside Drive to serve the needs of students 16-21 years of age. The purchase of the building was funded in part by grants from Paddock Chevrolet and The Buffalo Sabres Foundation.
Today, Summit has grown to a staff of nearly 600 full-time, part-time and contractual employees dedicated to serving more than 2,300 Western New York children each year with autism and other developmental disabilities.
The growth and success of the Summit Center has happened because of philanthropists like Duane and his company’s support of their mission. With on-air PSA’s on WKBW-TV, Duane has highlighted the great work at Summit and has been Chairman of the Annual Summit Autism Awareness Walk, the largest fundraiser each year to help raise awareness and funds to educate our children.
Duane and Pam Paddock of Paddock Chevrolet, along with Summit’s CEO Dr. Stephen Anderson and WKBW’s Vice-President and General Manager, Michael Nurse were present to receive the Serving New York Award.
Colonial Media and Entertainment – Olean Radio Group – MERCY FLIGHTS OF WESTERN NEW YORK
When minutes matter, Mercy Flight of Western New York provides emergency air-medical transport and supporting services. Mercy Flight has safely completed more than 23,000 patient missions over the last 34 years, delivering patients to the facility that will best suit their medical needs by working closely with the regional network of hospitals, ground EMS, law enforcement, and fire authorities. When it launched in 1981 in Buffalo, Mercy Flight was one of the first operations of its kind in the country. The Olean base was established in 1998 at the newly constructed Louis Magnano Mercy Flight Heliport on the Olean General Hospital campus. And in 2006, Mercy Flight added a base in Batavia. Mercy Flight WNY is an independent, not-for-profit provider of emergency air-medical transport and supporting services, ensuring rapid, safe and cost effective delivery of expert emergency response teams. Colonial Media and Entertainment has worked with Mercy Flight of Western New York and supports its important mission. Jeff Andrulonis President and CEO of Colonial Media and Entertainment was on hand to receive the award.
WNED/WBFO – Public Television and Radio Serving Buffalo
The Western New York Public Broadcasting Association (WNED-TV, ThinkBright and Well Television/WORLD, WNED-FM and WBFO-FM) is a community-licensed public broadcast service and serves a bi-national region across Western New York and Southern Ontario with a combination of television, radio and online services. WNED | WBFO is a trusted public media resource that enriches its audiences by providing educational, entertaining programming and services, as well as engaging the Western New York and Southern Ontario communities through cultural and civic involvement.
WNED-TV, Western New York’s PBS member station, is an established creator of television content for regional and national distribution. Many WNED-TV regional productions highlight historic and cultural treasures of Western New York and Southern Ontario. ThinkBright and Well provides a gateway to PBS LearningMedia, lesson plans, rich resources, and online professional development. PBS LearningMedia™ provides access to thousands of free classroom-ready, curriculum-targeted PBS digital resources. WORLD℠ is a 24/7, full service multicast channel featuring public television’s signature nonfiction documentary, science and news programming complemented by original content from emerging producers.
WNED-FM, is a 24 hour Classical public radio station that highlights local, regional and national classical performances and concerts from the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra and Metropolitan Opera. In conjunction with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, WNED-FM and WNED-TV produce the biennial JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition. Launched in 2004 by WNED and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra it was the world’s first concerto competition for classical guitarists with accompaniment by a full symphony orchestra.
WBFO-FM, is Buffalo’s News and Information station. In addition to extensive local and regional journalism WBFO-FM has the best of public radio from National Public Radio, American Public Media, and Public Radio International. WBFO-FM continues to produce award-winning news that makes it one of the top news stations in the area. John Chichester from WNED was presented with the Serving NY Award at the Luncheon.
WDOE and WBKX – Coverage of Chautauqua County’s Local War on Drugs
Citing a dramatic increase in drug use in Chautauqua County in 2015, News Director Dave Rowley, in cooperation with local law enforcement, greatly increased WBKX and WDOE’s coverage of local drug activity, arrests, and convictions.
The stations now provide a comprehensive daily news coverage of this major issue impacting Chautauqua County, enhanced with bi-weekly live interviews with law enforcement officials and local elected leaders addressing the problem.
News Director Dave Rowley conducts monthly live interviews with Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano and Fredonia Police Chief Brad Meyers dealing with the growing problem of illegal drugs and how they are trying to control it with the help of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force. Rowley also features regular live interviews with Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace about how Narcan is being used to save the lives of overdose victims in the county.
Also included in the coverage, live on-air long-form interviews with Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan (wherein the public can call-in to comment) to promote the availability of services dealing with the problem of substance abuse in the county. Horrigan has been holding annual summits on the issue. WBKX and WDOE continue to assist by promoting public meetings and the availability of Narcan training in Chautauqua County. Dave Rowley was on hand to receive the award for WDOE.
WIVB/WNLO – Fill the Back Pack Campaign with the Western New York Foodbank
2015 was WIVB/WNLO’s second year as a partner with The Food Bank of Western New York and Wegmans supermarkets in the “Fill the Backpack” campaign. The purpose of the project is to send home healthy food on weekends with children who receive free or subsidized meals at their schools.
During the campaign, WIVB/WNLO News 4 anchors, Teresa Weakley and Jordan Williams, along with Channel 4 reporters and producers, shared stories of Western New York children in need, and showed how viewers could help donate much-needed food to the cause. Coverage on News 4 Wake Up included live reports from Wegmans stores, where viewers could donate, and interviews with families who have been helped by the “Fill the Backpack” campaign in the past.
Since this was News 4’s second year as partner in the “Fill the Backpack” project, they believed they could increase response based on what was learned in 2014. They never dreamed of the phenomenal response by Western New Yorkers. When the project concluded on Saturday, June 27, totals were tallied, and more than 120,000 pounds of food were collected, tripling last year’s donations.
The station thanks Wegmans for making this amazing accomplishment possible. Wegmans embraced the stations ideas and improved upon them, which was key to this year’s success. But most importantly, thank you to the people of Western New York who gave so willingly to “Fill the BackPack!” Stephanie Lawson from the Western NY Foodbank and Dom Nardo, director of marketing for WIVB received the awards at the luncheon
WNYB – TV – Community Oriented Religious Programs
Public Report is a public affairs program that airs weekly on Saturdays at 2:30PM. It covers the issues their viewing audience needs to know about from education, finances, government, and housing to special needs. The station gives voice to the non-profit organizations across Western New York, as well as the various Erie and Chautauqua County government departments. Their Celebrate program airs weekly on Fridays at 5:30PM. It interviews ministries and ministers who are making a difference in the lives of Western New Yorkers. Their Ask The Pastor program airs weekly on Wednesdays at 2:00PM. ATP is a LIVE call-in program that answers viewers’ questions about life and the Bible, and how to apply Christian values into their lives and personal situations using Biblical references. We also help man the Prayer line. People from across the country and around the world call our 800 number and trained volunteers pray with these hurting individuals. Prayers range from finances to relationships and everything in-between. Station Manager, Sean Brennan was on hand to receive the award.
WUTV/WNYO Fox29 and My TV – Buffalo Neighborhood Health Center
Since 1987, Neighborhood Health Centers have been providing services to the Buffalo community. They are physicians, nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, nurses, medical assistants, registered dieticians, dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants. Together with WNY families, they hope to offer the best quality health care available, regardless of insurance coverage.
Neighborhood Health Center provides ambulatory health care, wellness and related services to anyone, regardless of ability to pay, residing in underserved and other designated communities in the Buffalo Niagara region. The Center improves community health through health education and the promotion of healthy lifestyles in order to achieve healthy equity. The Center honors relationships with the staff, providers, board members, volunteers, community partners and friends as they are the vehicle by which the mission is maintained.
FOX29 and MyTV Buffalo work with Neighborhood Health Center to make the Buffalo community aware of their valuable services. FOX 29 and MyTV Buffalo are also annual sponsors of the “We’ve Got You Covered” Fundraiser, which raises funds to cover the cost of co-pays for those who cannot afford them. Joanne Haefner, Executive Director of the Neighborhood Health Center as well as VP and General Manager of WUTV Nick Magninni were on hand to receive the award.
WGRZ-TV – Willie Hutch Jones Educational and Sport Programs
On Make A Difference Day of October 2014, WGRZ partnered with Willie Hutch Jones Educational and Sports Programs to collect new and gently used sports equipment that would then be distributed to those in need. By the end of the day, the donations filled THREE moving vans! This was still not sufficient enough to contain WNY’s generosity! So a friend of Willie’s organization made arrangements… and in addition to the three moving vans, they filled a full sized Greyhound bus!
What did they collect? You name it and they received it… hockey, football, baseball and basketball equipment, tennis rackets, weights, Nordic tracks, treadmills, fishing poles, scuba gear, bowling balls, heavy bags, skis, sleds and even backyard games.
After 8 hours of collecting the equipment in the parking lot of the Eastern Hills Mall, Willie and his team unloaded all of it at a storage facility that day. And throughout the year, they have distributed the equipment to schools, community organizations and individuals that put the goods to good use! Jim Toellner, VP and General Manager of WRGZ, Willie Hutch Jones and Leroi Johnson of the Willie Hutch Sports clinic were on hand to receive the award.
WBBZ-TV, Your Hometown Station -The Buffalo History Museum
The Buffalo History Museum that collects and respects the history of our region, and works closely with the station known for classic television. In addition to the traditional public service advertising relationship, the History Museum has benefited from a multi-platform approach with WBBZ-TV, promoting and participating the “Giants of Buffalo” series.
Station talent host these unique events, featuring icons of the community in broadcasting, law, and business. These audience driven forums are recorded for broadcast at later dates on the station. In addition, WBBZ-TV supports the summer “Party on the Portico” fundraising parties. Staff from the History Museum has appeared as teams, with other guest appearances on the station’s unique prime time game show, “Bragging Rights!” Now, the station will showcase the photographic archive, using unique Western New York historic images as station ID’s. All of this has helped position the History Museum in a personal way with hometown audiences, while raising awareness and dollars for their mission. Phil Arno, Owner/Executive Producer for WBBZ and Connie Caldwell, Marketing Manager Buffalo History Museum were on hand to receive the award.
WBEN/WLKK & WKSE – Women’s and Children’s Hospital and Veterans One Stop of Western New York
Throughout the year the Entercom stations of Buffalo sponsor a number of public service campaigns. The stations act to promote and provide support for a number of events. The Women’s and Children’s Hospital is extremely important to Buffalo. In addition Veteran’s One Stop provides much needed support for Buffalo’s Veterans. The stations hosted a celebrity roast of hockey legend Mike Robitaille at the Seneca Niagara Casino. Sports and media personalities in attendance, raised $7500 for each of Women & Children’s Hospital AND Veteran’s One Stop of Western New York. Laura Kenney was on hand to receive the award for the stations.
WYRK – Town Square – Helping Charitable Organizations with “What’s Happening” and “Country Calendar”
Since the inception of the radio station in 1981, WYRK has invited charitable groups and organizations to promote events on the air free of charge. And with the introduction of its website more than 15 years ago, those public service announcements are also promoted on wyrk.com. Organizations have access to the Events section and can add the specifics of their upcoming events themselves. It’s a feature they call “What’s Happening”.
Additionally, the morning show personalities Clay Moden, Dale Mussen and Liz Mantel record a 90-second video Country Calendar feature that airs weekly on WKBW-TV Channel 7. David Crumb and Amanda Tunis were on hand to receive the award for WYRK.
Buffalo Broadcasters Association – “BBA Cares”
The BBA launched a brand new “BBA Cares” community initiative this past year, which is specifically designed to give back- as an organization, to the communities we serve. “BBA” actually created several television/audio spots for the Family Help Center, which provides services for families with children at high risk across Erie County. They also created another television spot for Mercy Flight, which provides helicopter transport services from accidents to hospitals across several counties in Western New York.
Both are non-profits. The BBA worked with their board members and the non-profit organizations to make it happen and provided them at absolutely no cost- everyone involved from our board donated their time and expertise. Heidi Raphael, President of the Buffalo Broadcasters Association, was present to receive the award.