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NABEF Celebrates Broadcasters’ Community Focus

Service to America Awards recognize radio, TV stations across America

NABEF celebrated its 20-year history with a slideshow chronicling notable events.

Tuesday evening marked the 2014 edition of the NAB Education Foundation’s Celebration of Service to America Awards. The ceremony, which honors broadcasters and leaders for their dedication to supporting communities and causes, was held at the National Building Museum in Washington.

The event also coincided with NABEF’s 20th birthday, adding to the already festive atmosphere. The emcee was Rachel Smith, entertainment correspondent for “Good Morning America.” Vicci Martinez, a runner up on “The Voice” in 2010, opened the ceremony with a rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner.”

Attendees included legislators from the home states of the broadcast honorees, as well as FCC Commissioners Ajit Pai, Jessica Rosenworcel and Michael O’Rielly.

The night’s first award, Service to Children Award for Radio, was presented to WLEN(FM) in Adrian, Mich., a Lenawee Broadcasting Co. station. The station works to promote future success for local children through job shadowing/internships, scholarships and PSAs, as well as a homeless education program and more.

The Service to Children Award for Television was presented to KOBI(TV) of Medford, Ore., for its Youth Education Success program.

Next, Hubbard Radio’s KSTP(FM) of St. Paul, Minn., was recognized with the Service to Community Award for Radio for its work with the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund in conjunction with the KS95 for Kids Radiothon. After the award was presented and Sobiech’s parents were recognized, Martinez then reappeared to perform Zach Sobiech’s “Clouds,” inviting attendees to sing along.

Following, Boston’s Hearst Television station WCVB(TV) was honored with the Service to Community Award for its coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing and its subsequent efforts to help the community heal emotionally and economically. By partnering with Boylston Street Businesses and its involvement in the “Boston Strong” campaign, the station demonstrated leadership and commitment.

The 10 Crystal Radio award winners were also acknowledged; honorees were originally announced at April’s NAB Show in Las Vegas.

Colorado’s 9 News GM Mark Cornetta then accepted the Service to America Television Award on behalf of KUSA(TV). The station was recognized for sponsoring the largest food drive in Colorado, as well as its 2013 efforts to respond the devastating flooding throughout the state. Speaking on behalf of the broadcasting community, he said, “It’s not just our purpose to serve our community, but also a true privilege.”

General Motors was recognized with the Service to America Corporate Leadership Award. Vivian Pickard accepted the award on behalf of the company and its foundation, which aims to improve education, health and human services, community develop and the environment.

The third song of the night came from Service to America Leadership Award winner Paul Simon, who sang the “Sound of Silence” to close out the night. Simon was recognized for his efforts to provide health care to underserved communities via the Children’s Health Fund, a charity he co-founded in 1987.