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Eastern Students Win Third Place PSA Prize

Written by Emily Bonoyer

Willimantic, CT - A team of five Eastern Connecticut State University students won $1,000 and took third place in the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of Connecticut, Inc. (WSWC) 2010 Public Service Announcement (PSA) Contest. The ceremony was held in Torp Theatre at Central Connecticut State University on May 3. The Eastern team "Ghost" consisted of Abmari Saez '10 of Windsor Locks; Corrine King '10 of Gaylordsville; Justine Sorel '10 of Brooklyn; Jayne Rybczyk '10 of Bristol; and Leo Gaviria '11 of Norwich.

The WSWC joined Lieutenant Governor Michael Fedele; Jill Spineti of theGovernor's Prevention Partnership, and Jack Miller, president of Central Connecticut State University, to announce the contest winners at the awards ceremony.

Entrants were asked to write, film and produce a 30-second television public service announcement (PSA) educating parents about the myths associated with underage drinking. Thirty-one teams consisting of more than 100 students from Central, Eastern, Quinnipiac University, Western Connecticut State University,the University of Hartford, the University of New Haven and Sacred Heart University submitted original PSAs for the contest.

"We commend the WSWC and its partners for their commitment to this important public service initiative. Providing Connecticut's college students with an opportunity to help debunk the myths of underage drinking allows them to use their talent and creativity to inform their peers and the public, and potentially save lives," said David G. Carter, chancellor of the Connecticut State University System. "We congratulate everyone involved in this effort, from the student video producers to the public and private agencies, for their outstanding work and steadfast dedication."

"The members of the WSWC are proud of the excellent work all of the entrants exhibited this year," said Peter Berdon, executive director of the WSWC. "Now in its third year, the high quality of the submissions shows that the contest has been successful in energizing the students and the state's universities in the fight against underage drinking. We look forward to continuing and expanding our partnerships with this contest and to do our part in combating underage drinking and drunk driving."

The first-place winner was "Team Independent" from Central, created by Josh Therriault. Team "S.W.E.E.T." of Sacred Heart University placed second. Team members included Stefanie DiGeronimo, Kali Harnad, Eric Place, Emilie Rosano, Danielle Adler, Sarah Tatlock, Linday Pucino, Tara Ilamathi and Sonia Clark. Team Independent's winning PSA will air on Fox 61 WTIC-TV, NBC Connecticut and WTNH-8.

Guests were welcomed by CCSU President Jack Miller following a reception in Founder's Hall. Jill Spineti, president of the Governor's Prevention Partnership, spoke on "The Myths of Underage Drinking." The keynote speaker, Jennifer Boyd, CPTV executive producer, Emmy Award-winning documentary producer and owner of Boyd Productions, LLC, addressed the guests on "Using the Medium to Make A Difference."

The contestants' submissions were scored by a panel of judges that included: Fedele; Commissioner of the state Department of Consumer Protection, Jerry Farrell, Jr.; Lieutenant J. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police; Spineti; Emma Asante of NBC 30; Anne Fers of Gold Star Video; Executive Producer Jennifer Boyd from Connecticut Public Television; Representative Lonnie Reed; Dianne Harnad of the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS); and UCONN Professor Dr. Carolyn Lin.

Now in its third year, the PSA Contest was created by WSWC to combat underage drinking and drunk driving. The WSWC PSA Contest is one of several programs initiated by the WSWC as part of its community relations program.

The WSWC is working in collaboration with The Governor's Prevention Partnership and other community stakeholders to achieve the common goal of reducing underage drinking. The contest is held annually and is open to any Connecticut college student.


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