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United Way earns award for ads

The Nevada County chapter of the United Way has been given one of the national organization’s top advertising awards, the nonprofit announced this week.

United Way of Nevada County won a “Best Design Continuity” award for its 2001 funding drive. The award, established this year, recognizes the chapter’s efforts to spread the United Way’s message through print, video and radio advertisements.



It is the most prestigious marketing award given to local chapters, said Brian A. Gallagher, president and chief executive officer of the United Way of America.




Jan Bray, executive director of United Way of Nevada County, said the campaign helped the agency raise nearly $250,000, which was distributed to 75 agencies. Three-fourths of the money went to county agencies, Bray said.

“I think the community is just beginning to realize how important we are,” said Bray, who has been involved with United Way and nonprofits in western Nevada County for more than 15 years.

“I feel we’ve made a big step when the national organization recognizes us,” she said. “We must be doing something right.”

LeeAnn Brook, president and creative director of Brook Design Group, created the print advertisements for the campaign.

“For a tiny little agency like ours, to win is huge,” said Brook, who has created the local United Way’s print advertisements free of charge for a decade. “It’s a fun little feather in our cap.”

Brook worked with United Way guidelines to create advertisements using the theme “The way Nevada County shares, neighbor to neighbor.”

“I’d rather be doing that work for free than bake cookies,” Brook said. “If you can have a professional do this kind of work, it’s a real benefit.”

The Union’s managing editor, John Seelmeyer, wrote the copy for the advertisements this spring. It’s the second time he’s contributed to an award-winning campaign.

“I try to do what I can because I live here, and it’s important,” said Seelmeyer, editor of The Union since 1990. “The secret to the success of this campaign is the design. This little United Way in this little town has a way of tapping into really good people. That says something about the community.”


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