Destination America Announces Winners of 'Red White and You' Contest
Destination America, a Discovery Communications network, and the only television network that celebrates the people, places, and stories of the U.S., along with national weekly magazine USA WEEKEND announce the winners of their second annual RED, WHITE AND YOU contest, which awards two deserving communities a spectacular Fourth of July celebration. And the winners are Prescott, AZ, a town still recovering from the devastating wildfires that tragically claimed the lives of 19 brave firefighters, and Hamtramck, MI, a city that has been hit by hard times, but in true American spirit is working to make a comeback - and will celebrate Fourth of July for the first time in over 30 years! Launched in March, the Contest asked folks across the country to put their pride on display to prove why their respective towns were most deserving of an over-the-top Independence Day party.
"We are honored to celebrate our nation's birthday with these two very worthy communities," said Marc Etkind, general manager for Destination America. "Fourth of July is a balance of remembrance with celebration and we hope to encourage the spirit and tradition of the holiday in Hamtramck, MI, while commemorating the heroic firefighters of Prescott, AZ."
"We are so excited to be working with Destination America to create a community-friendly celebration beyond any we have had in the past. Prescott has always been a very patriotic town, and this award will allow us to unite that patriotism with our strong community spirit through a Fourth of July Celebration that will bring families together to relax, rejuvenate, and remember." - Becky Karcie, special events manager for the City of Prescott.
"Hamtramck hasn't had a proper Fourth of July celebration in a very long time," said Fire Chief Paul Wilk. "The Hamtramck Fire Department is very proud to bring the community we serve 'Red, White & You' during our 100th Anniversary and we're thankful to Destination America and USA Weekend for this exciting opportunity. We are a very diverse city that's fallen on hard times- we need a boost like this. We can't wait to celebrate 4th of July within our town with so many new Americans and all of our friends and family."
The RED, WHITE AND YOU Contest received more than 2,500 entries from Americans nationwide sharing moving stories of why their towns deserve an all-American celebration. With many entries submitted on behalf of Prescott, AZ, a community approaching the one-year anniversary of the tragic loss of 19 firefighters, the one that earned the grand prize was from 23 year-old Hanna Axley, who is not native to Prescott, but felt the need to write in. As the town comes together to remember their loved ones, Destination America will offer a fitting tribute to help celebrate the lives lost and the families and friends who continue to heal. The second grand prize winner comes from the fire department in Hamtramck, MI that entered the RED, WHITE AND YOU Contest on behalf of their residents. The network awarded this city, which has persevered in a difficult economy, so that the community can officially commemorate their first Fourth of July in more than three decades. Below is a list of the actual submissions for the two grand prize winning towns as well as a list of the five runners-up, which will all be awarded a dazzling fireworks display courtesy of Destination America. Additionally, an online poll for People's Choice winner, which took place at DestinationAmerica.com, resulted in three winners with Delmont, SD, Gloucester, MA and Hackleburg, AL coming out on top, each receiving $4000 toward their local Parks and Recreation Department.
2014 "RED, WHITE AND YOU" GRAND PRIZE-WINNING SUBMISSIONS:
Prescott, AZ - Nominated by Hanna Axley (from Skull Valley, AZ)
I live outside of the town of Prescott in which I believe the city of Prescott needs and deserves a party that won't be forgotten. Last July we all came together to mourn the loss of 19 young firefighters and to have this July be a celebration is just what this town needs and the families of those men lost deserve. This town needs a little spark put back in it and I am certain winning this would do such that. This town is such an amazing place to live and yet there is not too much activity here besides the rodeo, that to have something like this happen for our town would just make everyone's year! It's a very family-oriented come-as-you-are town full of a variety of amazing, talented and unforgettable people. Please consider us, we would be so grateful! Thank you.
Hamtramck, MI - John Dropchuk
Hamtramck, Michigan is a perfect example of the melting pot that is the United States. We are a 2.1 square mile city surrounded by Detroit. Cultural diversity and a strong Blue collar work ethic make up the backbone of our town. There is no better representation of the pursuit of the "American Dream" than Hamtramck. Of our 22,423 residents, many are immigrants that speak one of over 26 different languages. With over 25% of our residents live below the federal poverty line, a Contest like "Red, White and You" could be the only fireworks many see this July 4th. The Hamtramck Fire Department is entering this Contest on behalf of our residents, whom we feel deserve this celebration. 2014 marks our 100th Anniversary and we would love to celebrate with a community we feel is a true representation of America. Hamtramck truly is Destination: America.
Columbus GA - Lori Chapman (Nominated Ft. Benning)
Charleston, West Virginia - Jama Jarrett
Aiken, SC - Debra Oehlberg
Ellwood City, PA - Nancy Breyer
Toledo, OH - Janice Green
Last year the inaugural RED, WHITE AND YOU Contest awarded Union Beach, NJ, a coastal town recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, and Fayetteville, NC, a community which enthusiastically supports its military partners at Fort Bragg. The network lined up a spectacular party for both towns - headlined by Grammy Award-winning band The Mavericks. Union Beach was treated to BBQ from stars of Destination America's hit series, BBQ PITMASTERS, Myron Mixon and Tuffy Stone, while in Fayetteville there was a more patriotic nod to our country's armed forces: the 82ndAirborne Division Chorus performed after a traditional Posting of the Colors and remarks from Maj. Gen. Jeffrey N. Colt, deputy commanding general, XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg.
ABOUT USA WEEKEND
USA WEEKEND Magazine is the national weekly that empowers America to start taking action every weekend, with 22.6 million circulation and 50 million readers in print and online. Awarded for its journalism and design, USA WEEKEND is an action based news source for people throughout the country who look for real stories behind change and a source for American family's to find food, health, family and celebrity information. USA WEEKEND is a Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), publication. Find us on Twitter and Facebook and visit usaweekend.com.
About Destination America
Destination America is the only network to celebrate the people, places, and stories of the United States. The inclusive network targeting Adults 25-54 is available in nearly 60 million homes, emblazoning television screens with the grit and tenacity, honesty and work ethic, humor and adventurousness that characterize our nation. Destination America features travel, food, adventure, home, and natural history, with original series like BBQ Pitmasters; A Haunting; Mountain Monsters; Buying Alaska; Buying the Bayou; and Railroad Alaska. For more information, please visit DestinationAmerica.com, facebook.com/DestinationAmerica, or twitter.com/DestAmerica. Destination America is part of Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the world's #1 nonfiction media company reaching more than 2 billion cumulative subscribers in 220 countries and territories.