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Print publicity example
 

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Examples pf print stories Phase 1 and Phase 2

Examples pf print stories Phase 1 and Phase 2

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    Print publicity example  Print publicity example Document Transcript

    • Example: Phase 3 - Publicity/ Firehouse Makeover Revealed
      Cool contest, hot kitchen
      By SHEILA MULLANE ESTRADA
      Published July 16, 2006
      INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - The once shabby kitchen, dining and day room at the Pinellas Suncoast Fire & Rescue District's Station 27 sparkled Thursday following a massive makeover that started months ago when firefighters entered a national contest.
      The complete renovation of the more than 1,000-square-foot area became a reality when the station won $10,000 in a national "Spruce Up Your Firehouse" photo essay contest sponsored by Maxwell House/HGTV.
      The contest was conducted in 10 major metropolitan areas - Atlanta, Buffalo, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Orlando and Tampa.
      "Firefighters give up the creature comforts of home while living at a firehouse," explained David Hyland, senior brand manager for Maxwell House. "Our contest was meant to celebrate these local heroes and reward winners with something that will boost the quality of life at the firehouse."
      The Pinellas Suncoast firefighters took up the challenge, wrote a short essay and submitted photos of their drab kitchen, dingy and patched walls, and cast-off furniture and equipment.
      When they learned their station was selected as one of two finalists for the Tampa Bay area, the firefighters organized an aggressive campaign urging the public to vote online for their firehouse entry.
      That effort helped the beach fire station to win over competing St. Petersburg Fire Station No. 8.
      But winning was one thing. Renovating a kitchen that had not been updated since the early 1980s was something else.
      Firefighters began by spending much of their time when not answering fire or rescue calls ripping out aging cabinets, flooring and wall-paneling.
      "We wanted that money to go as far as possible," says Virginia Lyle, the fire district's executive secretary.
      That's because city firefighters log 24 hours per shift and must
      There's no question, the city they're up against, Orlando, is much bigger than Zephyrhills. Velez says, "Vote for your local boys.“
      That effort was joined by area businesses and fire district supporters. As a result, the $10,000 prize money was augmented by donated labor and materials, including Corian countertops, new plumbing and fixtures, flooring and even a new set of dishes.
      "All the help we received was just incredible", says Lyle, who worked closely to coordinate the project with the contest sponsors.
      She estimates the value of donated labor and materials has at least tripled the value of the original contest winnings.
      Thursday morning, the firefighters were ready to show off their new digs. Family members, friends, and local officials gathered at the station for an open house tour and breakfast catered by the Black Cat Cafe in Largo.
      What they saw was a completely redecorated kitchen that featured engine red cabinetry with stainless steel finishes, decorative light fixtures, new flooring and new appliances.
      Mismatched tables and chairs were gone, replaced by color-coordinated furnishings picked out by Deborah Ramos, an area interior designer selected by the contest sponsors. The day room walls featured merchandise donated by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
      A rebuilt termite-damaged pool table had its once-green felt replaced by a bright Buccaneer Red covering autographed during the open house by Tampa Bay Buccaneer Mike Alstott.
      For the firefighters, their spruced-up quarters has given them a welcome respite from continuing political controversies over the fire district's operations and finances.
    • Example: Phase 2 Publicity/semifinalists
      Zephyrhills Fire Station No. 2 needs your vote
      The old Zephyrhills station is a finalist
      in the Maxwell House/HGTV Spruce Up
      Your Firehouse contest.
      By EBONY WINDOM
      Published April 20, 2006
      ZEPHYRHILLS - Zephyrhills Fire Station No. 2 is nearly four decades old. With its wood-paneled walls and drab carpeting, the station is starting to show its age.
      "The other (station) is the penthouse. We're the outhouse," said Capt. Ralph Velez, referring to the city's other fire station, built three years ago.
      So when Velez got wind of the Maxwell House/HGTV Spruce Up Your Firehouse contest, the crew decided to give it a shot.
      Velez figured they'd have a good chance because Station No. 2 is old and nestled in a small town.
      It seems the contest's judges agreed. Zephyrhills Fire Station No. 2 is a finalist in the nationwide contest. Locally, it's competing against an Orlando fire station for the big prize.
      Zephyrhills is up against Orlando because of a geographical mixup that put it in the Orlando category instead of Tampa. Two Pinellas County fire stations - St. Petersburg No. 8 and Pinellas/Suncoast Fire and Rescue No. 8 in Indian Rocks Beach - were named finalists in the Tampa Bay area. The folks at Zephyrhills Fire Rescue were among 100 other fire stations from across the country who mailed in a 250-word essay and photo to Maxwell House.
      Earlier this month, contest organizers picked two finalists from each of the 10 cities chosen to participate. Zephyrhills Station No. 2 made the cut.
      "We don't have the budget that some of the big departments have," said Velez, who works as the fire department's training officer. "This is just an old station. It's getting run-down."
      The winner will receive a $10,000 spruceup with the help of popular HGTV host Kristan Cunningham, who will offer a long-distance consultation from Los Angeles. Then Cunningham will draw up floor plans. Local contractors will finish the one-room makeover by the end of June.
      There's talk of possibly featuring some of the firehouse makeovers on HGTV. But that's a very costly project, says Gerry Casanova, Maxwell House's spokesman. After the renovations, folks can get a peek inside during a community open house.
      That's because city firefighters log 24 hours per shift and must Velez and the crew at Station No. 2 are hoping for a dorm-room makeover.
      "The bunk room is probably the last of the city's priorities, but it's one of our top priorities," he said.
      bunk at the station. The dorm is crammed with six neatly arranged twin beds. It's an open space. If one person gets a cold, the whole crew catches it, Velez says. And at times, the dorm can get noisy.
      If they win, Velez wants to add privacy partitions and perhaps some lockers. The old-school wood paneling has got to go too, he says.
      Last year, the city of Zephyrhills shelled out $20,000 for a kitchen renovation at Station No. 2, Velez says. Now, it's the dorm's turn for an update.
      The competing station, the city of Orlando's Firehouse No. 2, wants to make over its kitchen, adding new cabinets, countertops and appliances.
      This is the first year Maxwell House and HGTV have launched the Spruce Up Your Firehouse contest in an effort to give back to communities.
      "Everybody loves a firefighter," said Casanova from his office in New York City.
      Maxwell House representatives mailed 500 fliers to fire stations across the country.
      Finalists were notified April 5. But Velez says Zephyrhills Fire Rescue didn't get word it was a finalist until Tuesday when a reporter called.
      Starting today, the public can cast votes online for the winner. The station that receives the most votes wins the one-room makeover. One winner will be chosen from each of the 10 markets.
      Now Velez and the rest of the crew at Station No. 2 are working hard to drum up votes. Velez plans to spread the word to the local firefighters union and the county Council of Firefighters.
      There's no question, the city they're up against, Orlando, is much bigger than Zephyrhills. Velez says, "Vote for your local boys."