Panhandle PBS scores national award for Savor the Goods series

Last Updated by Chip Chandler on
Panhandle PBS was given the 2019 PBS Development Award for Membership

Panhandle PBS's innovative Savor the Goods series received the prestigious 2019 PBS Development Award for Membership in a national conference this week.

The Membership Award recognizes successful programs or specific techniques and practices among PBS member stations that lead to increases of net revenue and/or membership.

The annual honor was bestowed on July 10 at the Public Media Development & Marketing Conference in Dallas, with more than 1,000 public media professionals in attendance.

“It turned into more than we could ever dream, and we are truly honored to be recognized nationally,” Corby Fails, Panhandle PBS’s development coordinator, said. “The people we’ve reached, the community of growers and farmers, the education component ... it all elevated awareness across the board.

“It was so successful, in fact, that we’re continuing the series in 2019.”

Fellow Development Awards winners include WGBH, WPSU Penn State, East Tennessee PBS and Eric Greiling of Wisconsin Public Television.

“Public television is one of the most successful public-private partnerships in the nation, thanks to leaders across the country who work tirelessly to ensure that we have the resources needed to deliver on our very important mission,” said Jim Dunford, PBS Senior Vice President of Station Services. “We are thrilled to recognize WGBH, Panhandle PBS, WPSU Penn State, East Tennessee PBS and Wisconsin Public Television’s Eric Greiling for their hard work, creativity and dedication.”

Savor the Goods in 2018 was a series of six thematic dining and educational events, each presented at a different venue and featuring a local chef who presented specialties sourced from the Texas Panhandle.

Patrons not only enjoyed unique menus of food and drinks, they were treated to cooking demonstrations amidst often-ornate thematic place settings and decor designed by the chefs in partnership with the station.

A total of 650 ticketed patrons attended the dinners, and Panhandle PBS, which is licensed to Amarillo College, gained 83 new members, a six percent increase in its overall membership.

In addition to capturing video footage at the dinners themselves, Panhandle PBS videographers captured additional background content on the growers and chefs, which were then edited and featured at each event.

That content also is now featured in “The Goods” — a regular segment on our weekly newsmagazine, The Handle, and on our various social media platforms.

“The uniqueness and creativity that Panhandle PBS put into each dinner was absolutely outstanding,” said Sam Blackburn, executive chef for Northwest Texas Healthcare System/Sodexo. “They definitely pulled out all of the stops on these dinners.”

Kevin Ball, CEO of Panhandle PBS, said the opportunity for new engagement with community members, donors, farmers, growers, and chefs sparked a new following of believers in the station’s mission.

“We are grateful to PBS for recognizing the emphasis we place on creativity in our development efforts,” Ball said. “We want people to have a nice time out while teaching them something new about our area. Savor the Goods has been a great community investment.

“The series was started because Panhandle PBS’s mission is to tell the stories of the people in our area and to have as much local content as possible. The series benefits the station, which then helps us spotlight our community even further.”

Building on its 2018 success, Panhandle PBS has already launched its second season of Savor the Goods and one-of-a-kind dining experiences are slated for July 25, Sept. 19 and Nov. 7.

Support for this dinner series is provided by Affiliated Food ServiceAmarillo Botanical GardensAmarillo Classic EventsEmbassy Suites Amarillo - Downtown, FirstBank SouthwestHugo's on the SquareReed BeverageThe Resplendent Garden and South Texas Money Management.

For information, call 806-371-5479.

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