Cy Young Award winners announced

Territorial award is presented for story pitching to the media.

by Kathy Lovin –

Marlene Gerber and Suzi Woodruff Lacey [Photo by Marie Romeo].

Western territorial headquarters has announced the most recent recipients of the Cy Young Award for Story Pitching: Marlene Gerber, director of public relations for The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) in San Diego; and Suzi Woodruff Lacey, director of public relations for the Sierra del Mar Division, who is receiving the honor for the second time.

For the past three years the Cy Young Award for Story Pitching has been given out twice per year to the person (or persons) in the Western Territory whose work best demonstrates the art of encouraging the media to report on The Salvation Army.

Gerber and Lacey combined forces to pitch “A Living Portrait,” which told the story of the Army’s mission and the connection between the ARCs and thrift stores with the divisional programs and services. A local television station interviewed a family, comprised of a man who had graduated from the local ARC and the mom and kids who lived at the Door of Hope Transitional Living Center. The interview took place inside an ARC truck decorated with furnishings from the local thrift stores. The family’s new pastor, Captain John Van Cleef of the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, participated in the interview, describing the ultimate mission of the Army.

The judges described the pitch as “original,” “incredibly creative,” and “visual.” It also accomplished the task of marrying the two parts of The Salvation Army in a fresh way. For more visibility, the television piece was also well positioned on the Sierra del Mar divisional website and posted to YouTube. From start to finish, Gerber and Lacey crafted a well-executed pitch, reaching many viewers with the Army’s message.

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