Albuquerque Journal
May 30, 1998
Byline: Paul Logan Journal Staff Writer

'One Great Deed' Sweeps N.M. Awards

"One Great Deed," the local United Way's most successful campaign ever, on Friday completed the "triple crown" of state promotion awards.

The campaign won the New Mexico Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America's El Conquistador statue as the "best of show" winner. The awards luncheon was held at the Sheraton Uptown.

The 1997 campaign's video featured Nashville recording artist Tony Vincent singing "One Deed" -- the focal point for a funding drive that set a record with $8.2 million.

Peter Strascina of Strascina Johnson Public Relations accepted the award. Strascina, who is Vincent's father, was chairman of the marketing committee that put together the advertising campaign.

"This is a very special honor for all the people involved," Strascina said. "Many dozens and dozens of hands crafted this program very lovingly."

Earlier, "One Great Deed" was the biggest Addy winner, taking six of eight categories at the 1997 New Mexico Advertising Federation banquet. The campaign also won the New Mexico Chapter of the American Marketing Association's "Marketer of the Year" award.

And in February, the campaign captured a national first-place award from United Way of America, a trade association representing 2,000 United Ways.

In that national contest, Albuquerque, whose population places it as a Metro II sized city, competed against campaigns of much larger Metro I cities like Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. Previously, Albuquerque's best finish was third place last year in the annual report category, according to United Way.

United Way executive director Jack Holmes said the awards recognize the campaign's quality and effectiveness.

"Television played the advertisement at prime time because it's of such high quality instead of at midnight and that makes a difference," Holmes said.

Meanwhile, the local United Way's board on Wednesday approved the use of corporate donations to pay United Way's administrative costs so that 100 percent of individuals' contributions go to the people who need it most.

Administrative costs are $1.1 million, which rank the local organization among the top 25 percent in the nation for keeping overhead low.

The idea of using corporate donations came from Robert Jung of Norwest Banks, United Way's board chairman for 1998.

Holmes said his organization is the first among the nations largest cities to set up such a "revolutionary" donations policy.

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.