United Way Announces New “Voices for 2-1-1” Contest

Rockland, Westchester and Putnam high school students invited to enter by submitting a public service announcement

Nyack, N.Y. – (February 28, 2014) – What do you get when you combine learning and doing good? United Way’s PSA Challenge, “Voices for 2-1-1”! High school students from Rockland, Westchester and Putnam are invited to enter a contest to create a written or video 2-1-1 public service announcement (PSA) that will air on local media.
“Voices for 2-1-1” aims to increase awareness of United Way’s 2-1-1 helpline, offer teens the opportunity to further develop their writing and communication skills, and introduce teens to careers in communications and media. Additional information, rules of entry, and applications are available at www.uwwp.org/voices.
The deadline for submissions is April 11, 2014. At least one winner per category (written PSA and video PSA) will be chosen by a panel of judges representing media, government, nonprofit and communications:

 Kacey Morabito and Mike Bennett, hosts of Mike and Kacey in the Morning, 100.7 WHUD

 Sue Guzman, Westchester Bureau Chief WHUD Radio and Managing Editor for the Hudson Valley Reporter

 Joe Beckerle, President, Beckerle Productions

 Marissa Brett, Executive Director, Economic Development, Westchester County Association

 Stacey Cohen, CEO and President, Co-Communications

 Diana Costello, Communications Specialist, Office of the Westchester County Executive

 Ernie Garcia, Reporter, Journal News and LoHud.com

 John Golden, Senior Writer, Westchester County Business Journal

 Alisa Kesten, Executive Director, The Volunteer Center of United Way

 Bill Madden, Executive Vice President, Focus Media, Inc.

 Carl Pagano, Program Coordinator, Westchester County Multimedia Department

 Stephanie Perruzza, MS, RD, CDN, Cancer & Wellness Center Nutrition Coordinator, Northern Westchester Hospital

 AJ Romeo, Executive Vice President, Steiner Sports Memorabilia

 Lanning Taliaferro, Associate Regional Director, Patch
Winners will tour the WHUD studio and will have their PSA publicized by the campaign’s media sponsor, WHUD, and other media outlets. Communications professionals from across the region will serve as judges.
United Way’s 2-1-1 is a free, confidential, multilingual helpline that provides millions of people each year with health and human services information, referrals, crisis support and disaster recovery information. This Hudson Valley region 2-1-1 helpline was utilized during Hurricane Sandy to provide affected residents with a variety of disaster-related services, including financial assistance and help from the American Red Cross. More than 15,000 recovery calls to the helpline were made in the weeks following Hurricane Sandy, with an additional 750,000 visits to the 2-1-1 website.
The United Way’s 2-1-1 Call Center of the Hudson Valley Region services more than 2.2 million people each year. Governments and taxpayers in Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester reap substantial benefits from 2-1-1’s presence that reduces the number of non-emergency calls made to 9-1-1.
The field of communications is growing and changing at a rapid rate. United Way’s “Voices for 2-1-1” will give students an opportunity to learn from experts in the field today while doing a great service for this critical community helpline. Schools, teachers, parents and students can find out more at www.uwwp.org/voices or by calling 845-358-8929.

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