WCET-TV establishes award in honor of Dr. O'dell Owens
WCET-TV will honor the memory of longtime Action Auction chair Dr. O'dell Owens by celebrating a trio of educators at the second CET is Me fundraiser April 27.
The inaugural Dr. O'dell M. Owens Community Service Hero Awards will be presented to Cincinnati Public Schools teachers Rosemary Jane and Pamela Knox, and Learning Grove, the combination of the former Cincinnati Early Learning Centers and Children Inc.
Owens, who died in November at age 74, chaired the station's Action Auction for a record 12 years.
The tribute will be the highlight of this year's CET is Me event, Be A PBS Kid Again, at Longworth Hall. The adults-only event from 5:30-9 p.m. will include "childhood games, a wine bottle ring toss and re-imagined school cafeteria lunches," according to the station announcement. Tickets are $100.
"I have fond memories of growing up with PBS," said Larry Shields, co-chair of the event, in the station announcement. "From learning how to read to attending events as part of the CET Kids Club and the valuable life lessons taught each afternoon by Mr. Rogers. This event allows grown-ups a night to relive some of those memories."
"We're honored to help support an organization with a long track record of helping kids and educators across our community," said co-chair Megan Shields in the media release.
The first CET is ME event, in 2021, was a block party in the station's parking lot beneath "The Singing Mural" by artist C.F. Payne. It was a salute — and thank you — to Owens, who had just chaired the Action Auction for a record 11th year and been honored with a mural on the Central Parkway side of the Crosley Telecommunications Center, which houses the station.
An obstetrician, Owens established an in-vitro fertilization program at the UC Medical Center before serving as Hamilton County coroner, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College president, Cincinnati Health Department medical director and president and CEO of Interact for Health.
The nation's first licensed public TV station intends to present the Owens Community Hero Award every year, says Kellie May, WCET-TV's manager of communications and digital initiatives.
From the release:
The organization is currently looking for sponsors to help make the event a success. Tickets are on sale now at CETisME.givesmart.com. Proceeds from the event will help fund programs on-air, online and in the classroom that enrich the Greater Cincinnati community.
“Many of our community members know us for our shows, but they might not know about all the work we do in education. CET and ThinkTV are leading providers of national PBS LearningMedia educational content, our staff members train hundreds of teachers and caregivers each year, and teachers throughout our community use our curriculum materials in their classrooms every day. We are thrilled to have an opportunity to celebrate those educators with a special award, named for Dr. Owens, who was a steadfast supporter of our work in education,” said CET and ThinkTV President and CEO Kitty Lensman.
To become a sponsor or host, call 513-345-6552, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit CETisME.givesmart.com. To learn more, visit www.CETconnect.org/cet-is-me/.