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Annual Excalibur Awards honor best in local public relations efforts

Forty-two gold, silver and bronze Excalibur Awards were presented Thursday night honoring public relations work in the region at the 23rd annual dinner of the Buffalo Niagara chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.

Wally Smith and Andrea Langston, representing AAA Western & Central New York, and Carolyn Human and Susan Asquith of Travers Collins received platinum "Best of Show" and gold awards. Smith and Langston were honored for AAA's strategy to seek out associate contributions, modernize its design and utilize technology to increase accessibility.

Human and Asquith were recognized for Travers Collins' planning and execution of a campaign titled "Buffalo Police Recruitment Campaign: You Have the Right to Make a Difference."

Frank Sava, vice president of public relations at Independent Health, was presented the May C. Randazzo Outstanding Practitioner Award. J. Efrain Martinez, superintendent of the Charter School for Applied Technologies, received the outstanding executive award. Jeff Paterson, executive director of the Community Music School of Buffalo, received the distinguished service award. Kate LaBrake, director of marketing communications at St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute, received the rising star award. Students Kelly McBride, from the University at Buffalo, and Carly Perreaud, from Fredonia State, received the May C. Randazzo Memorial Scholarship.

Judging was performed by public relations professionals from the Portland Metro Chapter of PRSA.

Other Excalibur awards in the following categories were presented to:

Community Relations: Gold: Travers Collins, "Catholic Charities of Buffalo: Appeal 2011"; Silver: Carr Marketing Communications & First Niagara Bank, "Not All Dollars and Cents: A Bank's Mentoring Program Changes the Lives of Community Youth"; Silver: Gateway-Longview, "Hope Believe Change, Fostering Families for Foster Children."

Institutional Programs: Silver: Travers Collins, "Diocese of Buffalo: Faith in Tomorrow."

Special Events & Observances: Gold: Buffalo Museum of Science, "Buffalo Museum of Science Celebrates 150 Years"; Silver: Charter School for Applied Technologies, "2011 Celebration of Reading Event"; Bronze: Travers Collins and Rich Products Corporation, "The Lord Bedlington Cup Soccer Match."

Public Service: Silver: Cannon Design, "Open Hand Studio."

Public Affairs: Silver: Jeff Paterson, Public Relations Counselor, "Dyster Does It: Niagara Falls Mayor Makes history"; Bronze: Travers Collins, "EverPower: Travers Collins Helps Clear the Air About Wind Project."

Marketing Consumer Products: Gold: AAA Western & Central New York, "AAA & NOCO Fuel Advantage."

Internal Communications: Gold: Rich Products Corporation, "Helping the Community .?.?. Like Only a Family Can."

Integrated Communications: Gold: Travers Collins, "Buffalo Police Recruitment Campaign: You Have the Right to Make a Difference."

Social Media: Silver: Genesee Community College, "Genesee Community College Gets Social."

Projects: Media Relations: Gold: Carr Marketing Communications, "Heads Up! Excelsior Orthopaedics Launches Sports Concussion Center & Play Safe Program to Keep Young Athletes Healthy"; Silver: Hilbert College, "Hilbert College Media Relations Program"; Silver: Travers Collins and Rich Products Corporation, "The Right Angle' Book Launch"; Silver: Travers Collins, "Disney on Ice presents Treasure Trove"; Bronze: St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute, "A Taste of Politics: Fiery Debate Educates Students and Informs Voters."

Newsletters: Gold: AAA Western & Central New York, "Associate Connection: The Newsletter by and for AAA Associates"; Bronze: Hilbert College, "Hilbert Weekly."

Magazines: Silver: Grace Lazzara Inc., "Canisius High School Today: A Reinvigorated Alumni Magazine Makes Welcome Its Readers"; Bronze: University at Buffalo School of Management, "Buffalo Business Magazine."

Annual Report: Gold: Travers Collins, "Independent Health: Better Together, For a Healthier Tomorrow"; Bronze: Cannon Design, "Cannon Design Annual Report."

Special Purpose Publications: Silver: Hilbert College, "Hilbert College Christmas Card"; Silver: University at Buffalo School of Management, "Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership View Book."

Internal Video Programs: Gold: Travers Collins, "Independent Health: The Inside Story."

External Video Programs: Bronze: Cannon Design, "@cannondesign"; Bronze: State University of New York at Fredonia, "True Blue – Year 2."

Feature Stories: Bronze: Cannon Design, "Modern Art: Instituto Nacional de Cancer."

Editorial/Op-Ed Columns: Gold: Travers Collins, "Independent Health: Transforming Health Care in Western New York."

Research/Evaluation: Gold: Travers Collins, EverPower: Travers Collins Uses Research to Energize Wind Project"; Gold: Carr Marketing Communications & First Niagara Bank, "Staking Out Market Leadership: First Niagara Uses Exclusive Research to Build Public Relations Presence."
Creative Tactics: Bronze: Cannon Design, "Cannon Design E-Holiday Card"; Bronze: Travers Collins, "Travers Collins Nerd Alert."

Interactive Communications: Bronze: Child and Family Services, "Child and Family Services' Agency Website."

Bronze: Rich Products Corporation, "Enhancing the Rich Experience Online."

Articles on Public Relations: Bronze: McDougall TC, "Management POV: Communications & the Revolving Executive Door."

Presentations/Workshops on PR: Gold: Genesee Community College, "The Many Faces of Social Media"; Silver: Travers Collins, "TC Smart Training: Media & Social Media Seminar for DDAWNY."