Drive-In Movie Night earns Award of Distinction

news release

GYAC’s Freddie Woolfork and Stephanie Nelson at FPRA’s Image Award Ceremony

The Treasure Coast chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) presented an Award of Distinction to Gifford Youth Achievement Center’s (GYAC) Marketing and Events Manager, Stephanie Nelson, for GYAC’s Drive-In Movie Night which took place last November at Riverside Park in Vero Beach. Awards of Distinction are presented to entries that meet the standards of excellence set by a panel of judges.

The Drive-In Movie Night, presented by the Bernard Egan Foundation, aimed to promote kindness and bring the community together in a safe, socially distanced way amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.  The World Kindness Day themed event, featuring “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” netted nearly $12,000 for the Center’s programs, sold out 2.5 months ahead of schedule and earned 24 media mentions.

“Quickly noticing an upward trend in drive-in movies across the country, Stephanie took action to bring the idea to life locally,” remarked Angelia Perry, GYAC’s Executive Director. “After surveying the community, it was clear that demand existed for such an event in our own neighborhood, and we ran with it.”

Emceed by WPTV’s John Shainman, the Image Awards ceremony was held at the Port Saint Lucie Botanical Gardens. Media coach, TV host, TEDx speaker and author Dave Aizer provided the keynote address, as well as an interactive session full of best practices in public speaking. Awards were also presented to the Chapter’s Communicators of the Year. Freddie Woolfork, GYAC’s Director of Public Relations and Facilities Operations was recognized as a nominee in the Service to the Community category for his COVID-19 vaccination outreach efforts in Indian River County.

The annual Image Awards competition is the precursor to FPRA’s Golden Image Awards. The competition provides PR practitioners an excellent platform to be recognized in their home markets for their outstanding public relations tools and programs. It also provides entrants insights for entering their work, if they choose, into FPRA’s statewide competition: the Golden Image Awards, which have become a standard of public relations excellence in Florida.

To qualify for judging, an Image entry must incorporate sound public relations research and planning. Entries must also meet the highest standard of production, execution and evaluation of results and budget. Winners demonstrate the very best examples of innovation, planning and design.

The awards competition includes four divisions of categories:  Public Relations Programs, Printed Tools of Public Relations, Digital Tools of Public Relations and Student Projects in Public Relations. GYAC’s Drive-In Movie Night was recognized as a special event in the Public Relations Program division.

For more information on GYAC’s programs, including the Center’s upcoming summer camp starting June 1, visit

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