Every year, the NAB Education Foundation (NABEF), the philanthropic arm of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), hosts the Celebration of Service to America Awards honoring the outstanding public service commitment of local television and radio broadcasters.
This annual black-tie gala fundraiser, attended by broadcast industry leaders, philanthropists, government officials and members of the press, has been listed in BizBash’s Washington Top 100 Events for several years in a row.
The creation of the Service to America Awards stems from NABEF wanting to recognize local stations for more than their role as news and entertainment providers for their communities. NABEF President Marcellus Alexander explains, “It began as a conversation among the foundation’s leadership more than 20 years ago. They decided to produce an event in Washington, D.C. that highlights the outstanding community service that radio and television stations provide across the country every day.” Says Alexander, “By having it in Washington, members of Congress can see firsthand the great work being done for and by their constituents. What’s even more special is that we often have the members of Congress, who represent the districts and states of the station winners, co-present the awards. This recognition is well deserved! The winning stations are further honored by their Congressional members and FCC Commissioner participation.”
In addition to honoring broadcasters, NABEF presents its highest honor, the Service to America Leadership Award, to a high-profile individual who has performed extraordinary service in bettering the lives of others. Past recipients include President Bill Clinton, Muhammad Ali, Sir Elton John, Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder and Sharon Stone, among others. Additionally, the Corporate Leadership Award is given to a non-broadcast business that exemplifies an extraordinary focus on community service.
For stations thinking of applying for an award or for someone interested in purchasing a ticket or table, NABEF President Marcellus Alexander encourages them to do so. “People who attend can expect to see great community service that happens throughout the year at television and radio stations and they can also expect to see another stellar Leadership Award recipient. It’s an extraordinary evening.”