The NBC show 30 Rock was the inspiration for all of the winning entries in The Chronicle's first VolunTV Challenge.
Quality Services for the Autism Community, a New York charity, was the grand-prize winner in the contest, which invited people to create their own ideas of how volunteerism could be incorporated into their favorite television shows.
The contest was inspired by the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s iParticipate promotion, which featured more than 100 network and cable shows that included the theme of volunteerism into their programs during the week of October 19-25.
Entrants in The Chronicle contest were encouraged to submit ideas of how they would incorporate their favorite charities into the plot lines of popular TV shows. More than 150 people entered the contest — and a committee of judges, including entertainment officials, celebrities, and nonprofit experts, awarded prizes to the top three entries.
As the grand-prize winner, Quality Services for the Autism Community, or QSAC, wins $5,000 from The Chronicle. The entry was submitted by Joe Moran, assistant director of multimedia development, and Marissa Goldberg, a development assistant, at the autism group, who created a video showing how 30 Rock could highlight the organization’s work in one of its episodes. The plot twist involves a cast member getting the words “artistic” and “autistic” confused.
30 Rock also inspired the two silver-prize entries — each of which won $2,500 from The Chronicle.
One of the winners, Cody Switzer, new media specialist at Goodwill, produced a video that showcased how a "30 Rock" plot could center on a donation drive for the charity. Goodwill will receive $2,500 based on Mr. Switzer’s entry.
The other silver-prize winner, for a written entry, was Maureen Sullivan, a development consultant at St. Rose Center, in Chicago. The center will win $2,500 from The Chronicle based on Ms. Sullivan’s plot, which involves bidding at an art auction for a piece created by a developmentally disabled artist served by St. Rose.
Judges included nonprofit experts as well as other people involved in the philanthropic world, such as the actress Ashley Judd, a spokeswoman for Population Services International; Arthur Coddington, a senior official at the Craigslist Foundation; and Nigel Barker, a judge on “America’s Next Top Model.”