ARLINGTON, Va., May 31 /PRNewswire/ -- The Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) announced today the three national winners of its first-ever "Lights, Camera, Action" public service announcement (PSA) contest. The winners come from universities across the U.S. and each winning PSA demonstrates the student's ability to create an effective and unique 30-second message for television that will help raise awareness for international disaster relief and emphasize the importance of cash donations over in-kind gifts. The winners are: - First place: Evan McNary of Florida State University - entry "Cans;" - Second place: Jared Radtke, Jake Noveck, Jessica Childress, Julie Nelson, and Matt Dixon of Oakland University - entry "Monetary Donations;" - Third place: Corey Collins of State University of New York/ Plattsburgh - entry "Relief;" - Honorable mention: Walter Talens of San Jose State University - entry "Anna and the World." As Americans respond to the earthquake in Indonesia and prepare for the start of hurricane season, the winning PSAs will serve as valuable and compelling tools in educating the public about international disaster relief response and about appropriate donations. It is widely recognized that cash donations are the most efficient and effective means of response, a policy supported by CIDI's funding partner, the United States Agency for International Development, and the Center's many allies in the international disaster response community. "I am very excited to announce the three winners who came from a pool of truly impressive entries. After reviewing the PSAs, it is clear that the students put forward their best ideas to convey that cash is the best form of donation to help international disaster victims," said Suzanne H. Brooks, director of CIDI. "It is impressive that the students understand the challenge of appropriate relief, particularly as we face yet another devastating disaster in Indonesia." The first place entry, "Cans," visually illustrates an original approach to communicating the need for appropriate disaster response. The PSA depicts what the world would be like if cans were the main source of currency and thus demonstrates how difficult it is to transport and use cans in a variety of situations, from paying for groceries to helping disaster victims. It also depicts that canned foods may not be what disaster victims actually need or want. This creative piece impressed both the judges and public voters who praised the entry for its unique depiction of the disaster relief challenge. As the first place winner, "Cans" will be promoted through CIDI's Web site (http://www.cidi.org) and in promotional materials. In early June, the PSA will premiere on mtvU -- MTV's 24-hour college network, broadcast to more than 730 campuses and nearly 7 million college students nationwide -- as well as broadband channel mtvU Uber at mtvU.com. Additionally, all winners are awarded cash prizes in the following denominations: $7,500 for first place, $2,500 for second place, $500 for third place, and $250 for honorable mention. Any or all of the PSAs may be broadcast on local and/or cable television across the country. Chris Palmer, an award-winning environmental filmmaker and professor at American University in Washington, DC, spearheaded a team of four judges, including Brooks, and Tony Stitt and Nazik Salih from USAID. The judges selected the five finalist PSAs based on overall impact, originality, memorable content and delivery and clear message. The five finalists were posted on CIDI's Web site for public voting from May 19 to 26, where voters chose their favorites based on public appeal and overall impact. The national winners were selected based on the highest combined votes they received from the judges and the general public. About CIDI CIDI is based in Arlington, VA, and was created in 1988. The Center is funded by the United States Agency for International Development's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance. CIDI provides individuals, groups, embassies and corporations with information and guidance in support of appropriate international disaster relief efforts. The organization works with a variety of partners to channel the public's energy and desire to help to achieve maximum impact. By reaching out to the American public and the private sector, CIDI helps to promote activities and donations that will do the most good for disaster victims around the world. To find more information about the contest winners and view their winning PSAs, log on to CIDI's Web site at http://www.cidi.org.
SOURCE Center for International Disaster Information