PRESS

UNITED WAY USES STAR POWER TO REACH YOUNGER CROWD (METRO & NEW MEXICO)

Albuquerque Journal
May 1, 1997
Byline: Paul Logan Journal Staff Writer

One Great Deed

An advertising campaign featuring a pop music star is part of United Way of Central New Mexico's effort to broaden its appeal to younger people.

Nashville recording artist Tony Vincent's video, "One Deed," will be the focal point of the United Way's 1997 fund-raising drive.

Vincent, an Albuquerque native, gave a surprise concert Wednesday at the agency's Media Power '97 kickoff at the Albuquerque Hyatt Hotel. About 200 people, including media executives and agency officials, attended the annual affair.

Ed O'Leary, the 1997 campaign chairman, said the agency hopes "to engage a whole new generation of people in the needs of United Way and the needs of the community."

O'Leary, president and chief executive officer of First Security Bank, said he hopes the campaign will reinvigorate United Way.

"There is a tremendous gap between the identified needs and the ability of the community to satisfy that," he said. "It screams to be closed for the good of the community."

Joanne Fine, United Way's marketing director, said she wanted to use the song for the campaign as soon as she heard it. The chorus of "One Deed" begins, "One deed, one great deed can make up for the pain, one heart, one loving heart can end the suffering."

"It's just a perfect song for United Way," Fine said. "A lot of people who are involved (with the song) had to say yes, and Tony got them all to say yes."

The campaign will have unlimited use of the song. And Vincent will be the spokesman for the campaign through January 1998.

Vincent said he is "excited and proud" to be associated with United Way.

"Good deeds make our community stronger," he said. "I believe that if people do just one great deed this year, it should be a gift through United Way because United Way is the best way to help the most people."

Vincent, a former La Cueva High School student body president, is the son of Peter Strascina, United Way's marketing committee chairman.

The event honored about 30 media people in the Albuquerque area who gave an unprecedented $516,000 in free publicity last year for United Way, Strascina said.

As an example, he said, television and radio aired more than 6,000 advertising spots between September and early this year.

"Interestingly, most of these guys and women have never been in the same room together," he said. "They really are the stars of this program."

Last year's campaign helped generate $7.6 million in donations from more than 40,000 people and 350 local businesses.

Strascina said he hopes for a sizable increase in donated space and time slots from newspapers, television, radio and billboards.

"Obviously, we'd like to hit the magic million (dollar) mark," he said. "I don't know if we'll do it this year, but we'll try."

Sherman McCorkle, United Way's board chairman, said he feels good about this year's campaign.

"The focus always has been on the workplace and will continue to be," McCorkle said. "But we're broadening our focus and appealing to younger people. This is something we've not done very well in the past."

United Way of Central New Mexico serves Bernalillo, Sandoval, Valencia and Torrance counties. The agency raises and distributes the resources necessary to solve and prevent human problems.

CAPTION(S): PHOTO BY: JIM THOMPSON/JOURNAL
PHOTO: Color 'ONE DEED' THEME: Albuquerquean Tony Vincent helps kick off the United Way campaign for Central New Mexico on Wednesday night. Vincent's video, "One Deed," will be the focal point of the 1997 fund-raising drive.