published Friday, March 4th, 2011

PBS’ Ifill to speak at WTCI’s celebration of work by nonprofit organizations


What: Be More Awards luncheon, featuring Gwen Ifill.

When: 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Where: Chattanooga Convention Center, 1150 Carter St.

Admission: $45 (higher cost for additional premium events).

Phone: 702-7815.

In a city where nonprofit organizations do a lot of heavy lifting, selecting winners of WTCI’s Be More Awards is not easy, according to the station’s director of public relations, Amanda Plecas.

“There’s so much great work being done by these nonprofits,” she said.

Nonprofit organizations will be honored in six categories at WTCI’s second annual Be More Awards luncheon on Wednesday at the Chattanooga Convention Center.

Gwen Ifill, moderator and managing editor of Washington Week and senior correspondent for “The PBS Newshour,” will be the speaker for the luncheon.

She has covered six presidential campaigns but may be best known for moderating two vice presidential debates, in 2004 between sitting Vice President Dick Cheney and Sen. John Edwards and in 2008 between Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Delaware Sen. Joe Biden.

Plecas said Ifill, like last year’s speaker, PBS’ Judy Woodruff, “is really supportive of the awards ceremony” and “is a champion of the cause.”

In both cases, the speakers agreed to donate their time, she said.

Ifill, according to Plecas, will fly in early on the day of the luncheon, participate in events all day and fly home that evening. Her message will be motivational, she said, but also will cover some of her experiences.

“We’ve got her busy,” she said.

Awards will be offered in six categories, each honoring an aspect of making a positive difference in the lives of people within the WTCI viewing area.

The mission of the awards is to generate awareness for nonprofit organizations, champion those organizations’ unsung heroes and celebrate the spirit of goodwill throughout the community.

The awards, part of a national program for PBS stations, recognize it is often lack of awareness that can hinder many nonprofits’ ability to provide or expand their services to the community.

The organizations that earn the four highest scores from a panel of unaffiliated judges, based on their applications, will be honored in the Partnership, Innovation, Local Service and Educational Outreach categories.

The Top 10 organizations, which may be nominated by anyone, will be honored in the People’s Choice category. One person is nominated and named the winner in the Individual Leadership category.

Winners receive special recognition and inclusion in a presentation at the luncheon. They also will be featured on WTCI’s website and in a televised program shown throughout the next year.


Be More Collaborative (Partnership Award)

Ballet Tennessee

Medical Foundation of Chattanooga

Orange Grove Center’s John F. Germ Recycling Center

United Way of Greater Chattanooga

Be More Creative (Innovation Award)

Chattanooga Symphony & Opera


Signal Centers’ Assistive Technology Center

Tri-State Therapeutic Riding Center

Be More Impactful (Local Service Award)

La Paz Chattanooga

Northside Neighborhood House

Partnership for Families, Children and Adults

Volunteers in Medicine, Chattanooga

Be More Enriched (Educational Outreach Award)

Association for Visual Arts

Chattanooga Autism Center (Team Centers Inc.)

Chattanooga Kids on the Block

Master Gardeners of Hamilton County

Be More Engaging (People’s Choice Award)

Chattanooga Autism Center (Team Centers Inc.)

Children’s Advocacy Center of Hamilton County

Chattanooga Girls Choir

Chattanooga Kids on the Block

Junior League of Chattanooga

La Paz Chattanooga

Master Gardeners of Hamilton County

Northside Neighborhood House

Partnership for Families, Children and Adults

Tri-State Therapeutic Riding Center

about Clint Cooper...

Clint Cooper is the faith editor and a staff writer for the Times Free Press Life section. He also has been an assistant sports editor and Metro staff writer for the newspaper. Prior to the merger between the Chattanooga Free Press and Chattanooga Times in 1999, he was sports news editor for the Chattanooga Free Press, where he was in charge of the day-to-day content of the section and the section’s design. Before becoming sports ...

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