NYSBA Community Engagement Awards

NYSBA handed out Community Engagement Awards in recognition of the critical relationship between local stations and organizations that work to improve their communities.  NYSBA also donated $1000 to each of the community organizations.

Plattsburgh Public Library and WCFE-TV

The award recognized the collaborative program between WCFE-TV (Mountain Lake Public Broadcasting) and the Plattsburgh Public Library designed to encourage young children and their parents to become interested in science and the language of problem solving.   Through the free initiative, which featured WCFE-TV’s “Sid the Science Kid,” more than 100 parents and their children viewed an episode of the show that focused on growing things and reading an interactive story.  They then participated in numerous science- and literacy-focused activities and projects.  Children also took their projects home and received a free book to practice their literacy skills. 

 “Mountain Lake PBS and the Plattsburgh Public Library are honored to accept this award for our education outreach efforts,” added Jane Owens, director of outreach and education atMountainLakePBS.  “Both organizations are committed to bringing the highest quality educational programs and resources to our community and this award recognizes the success of our partnership.”

 “These projects do not go unnoticed in our community,” maintained Plattsburgh Public Library Director Stanley Ransom.  “Parents tell us they are great for connecting TV with ‘real life’ and learning.”

Valley Kiwanis and WAVR-FM

Following Tropical Storm Irene’s devastating floodwaters in September, the Valley Kiwanis teamed up with WAVR-FM to conduct a live flood relief broadcast.  Nicknamed the “Valley Rally,” the campaign raised $300,000 and also collected 32,000-square-feet of clothing, household items, furniture and appliances.

 “In my 35 years in radio, the Valley Rally is the most incredible broadcast I’ve ever been associated with,” recalled Chuck Carver, co-owner, president and general manager of WATS/WAVR and co-host for the Valley Rally.  “For a community of some 20,000, which had been left in total chaos by the flood, to pick itself up nine days later and come together to raise $300,000 and amass an array of household goods for those in need in a live broadcast, was the greatest display of what it’s like to be human I’ve ever seen.”

 “It is impossible to put into words what we took from that day,” added Shelly Repasky, the immediate past-president of the Athens-based Kiwanis Club of the Valley.  “Each person who came had a story.  We provided a means for sharing.”

 WAVR-FM has a long history of community service, supporting local school districts and the Salvation Army. Its enduring partnership with the Valley Kiwanis accounted for many successful community fundraisers in the past.

GreaterHarlemChamber Of Commerce and WBLS-FM 

The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce and radio partner WBLS-FM partnered to host the second annual National Urban Health Conference.  Under the theme of “Urban Ecology and its Impact on the African American Community,” the four day event featured workshops and discussions on traditional and non-traditional health issues that adversely affect those living in urban areas, including asthma, men’s health, financial health, domestic violence, youth violence and spiritual health.  

 Events took place at various locations throughout Harlem, including The City College of New York,HarlemHospitalCenterand the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building, as well as churches in Harlem, Brooklyn andQueens.

 “The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce is proud of the excellent job that WBLS-FM does on an annual basis in providing much needed community public service programming and announcements which help to inform, direct and educate those within its listening audience and beyond in improving their quality of life,” added Lloyd Williams, president & CEO, The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce.

 “We are delighted to partner annually with WBLS-FM in providing information on health services, education, jobs, career opportunities, business development, family services and cultural history,” he continued.  “WBLS-FM has by its commitment to our communities opened the doors for thousands to have a better quality of life.”

 The National Urban Health Conference is a signature event of The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce’sHarlemHEALTHY Living initiative and one of numerous initiatives conducted year-round in conjunction with WBLS.  Other partnerships include the Percy Sutton 5K Walk/Run for Health, “Harlem’s Healthy Eating” campaign and an outdoor farmers market with live healthy cooking demonstrations.

 American Cancer Society and WPIX-TV/PIX11

A highly successful partnership between the American Cancer Society (ACS) and WPIX-TV/PIX11 helped the non-profit expand its audience and raise additional funds to support critical cancer research.  “The `Relay for Life’ and `Determi-Nation’ events not only promoted health and fitness, but also raised a significant amount for American Cancer Society research.

 Through the special partnership, PIX11 aggressively promoted “Relay For Life” both on-air and online.  Relay for Life is designed to celebrate survivorship and raise money for research and programs. During the 24-hour event, teams gather at schools, fairgrounds or parks and take turns walking or running laps. Each team tries to keep at least one team member on the track at all times.

 PIX11, New York’s home of the CW Network, also tapped into the same tools to publicize the “DetermiNation” program (formerly known as Charity Runner), which gives runners the resources they need to strategically train for and complete marathons, triathlons, cycling races, and other endurance events.

 “PIX11’s support of our Relay For Life and DetermiNation initiatives across New York Metro is exceptional. This exposure has allowed us to reach a significantly larger audience and helped us raise funds for lifesaving cancer research,” said American Cancer Society Executive Vice President New York Metro Jennifer Podoll. “We are truly honored that our wonderful partnership has been recognized with a ‘Community Engagement Award.’”

Anti-Defamation League of Albany and WRGB-TV

The Anti-Defamation League of Albany (ADL), Price Chopper Supermarkets’ Neil and Jane Golub and WRGB-TV partnered to create the groundbreaking K-12 anti-bullying initiative titled, “Be an Ally.”

Utilizing the broadcasting power and credibility of WRGB-TV, the commitment and impetus of Neil and Jane Golub and Price Chopper, and the rich informational resources of the ADL, the program aims to inform students, families, educators and the public about what can be done to combat bullying and cyber bullying.  The Be an Ally Project is vitally important to help put an end to bullying and cyber bullying.

Conceived in 2011, the multi-media initiative features educational materials for students, teachers and community members designed to ensure that our schools and communities are safe, respectful places for everyone.  The program also includes full- and half-day interactive training sessions, along with a comprehensive website.

 “All of us at WRGB-TV are grateful to NYSBA for their recognition of this campaign,” said Vince Nelson, WRGB-TV vice president and general manager.  “Without the efforts of community-minded partners in educating children, parents and teachers about the ravages of bullying on our community and what each of us can do to effect change, Be An Ally would not exist.”

 “A World of Difference/Be An Ally,” is a national educational effort that got its roots in the Capital Region 26 years ago,” continued Jane Golub, who became personally involved with the ADL in the mid 1980s. “It continues to be as important today as it was then.”

 Central NY Regional Economic Development  Council & WSYR-AM

A collaboration between the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council (CNYREDC) and Clear Channel’s WSYR-AM helped the area receive  $103 million dollars in economic development investment acrossCentral New Yorkthat is projected to generate more than 4,000 jobs.  

Using the brand, “Be Heard CNY,” the CNYREDC and WSYR-AM helped the region overcome some of these challenges by bringing the community together to attract critical funding fromNew Yorkstate’s economic development initiative.

 CNYREDC designed a plan to obtain the grant and outlined how the funds would be used. WSYR-AM mobilized its resources to engage the public and developed the brand to rally the region’s efforts. The news/talk station broadcast more than 275 spots featuring leaders fromCentral New Yorkurging the public to become involved in the project. WSYR-AM also created and promoted a website devoted to the campaign.  More than 13,000 listeners tuned into a WSYR-AM-hosted virtual town hall.

 “To make the CNYREDC truly representative of the people who live and work in the region, it was important to maximize participation,” said Joel Delmonico, vice president and market manager for Clear Channel and a member of the CNYREDC Public Participation Work Group.  “Toward that end, we created a Be Heard website and Facebook page.  We also used the power of our news/talk station to inform and engage the community.  The results speak for themselves.”

 “Thanks to Clear Channel Syracuse’s efforts, residents across the region were kept informed of opportunities to gather together, invited to participate in live radio sessions, and given opportunities to use social media to become involved,” said Dr. Fred Pestello, president of Le Moyne College and co-chair of the CNYREDC Public Participation Work Group.  “We would not have achieved this success without their creative and dedicated work.”

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