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NABEF Honors “Service to America”

Members of the NAB Education Foundation board joined radio and television broadcasters from across the U.S. in Washington, this week. The Celebration of Service to America Awards reception and dinner were held Tuesday evening at the National Building Museum.

Inside Edition’s Deborah Norville served as master of ceremonies for the evening.

Radio highlights from the evening included:

● KEX(AM) of Tigard, Ore., was recognized with the Service to Children Award for Radio
● WCCO(AM) of Minneapolis, was given the Service to Community Award for Radio
● A special tribute to the 2015 winners of the NAB’s Crystal Radio Awards

The NABEF President’s Special Award was given to iHeartMedia for its campaign. President of Entertainment Enterprises John Sykes, who came up with the idea to use its various platforms to boost veterans’ employment, accepted the award on behalf of the company.

The Corporate Leadership Award was presented to Unilever, in appreciation of its promotional efforts for sustainable living and the social impacts of the Unilever Foundation.

Gary Sinise, of “Forrest Gump” fame, accepted the Service to America Leadership Award for his work with servicemen and–women, as well as veterans. Gordon Smith presented the award and noted that “As we’ve seen here tonight, broadcasters have a unique opportunity to shine a light on important issues.”

The awards ceremony also included a last-minute surprise addition: singer-songwriter Michael Bolton, who sang “Lean on Me” in Sinise’s honor.

The judges for the 2015 edition of the awards were: Michele Anthony of the National Kidney Foundation, Dale Bannon of the Salvation Army of the National Capital Area, Marie Gallo Dyak of the Entertainment Industries Council, John Madigan of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Lisa McGovern of the Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program, Mary Merritt of the American Diabetes Association and Ilir Zherka of the National Conference on Citizenship.

The event, which honors broadcasters and others who make a difference in their communities through service, also acts as a fundraiser to provide money to support the NABEF and its educational initiatives.