Well... you know...we all want to save the World. (are you humming along with me and John Lennon?)
And I think attendees at the Conference (Celiac Disease Foundation's Annual Educational Conference and Food Faire) on Saturday would agree. We're doing it! We're changing the way the world looks at gluten and their own misunderstood symptoms - one crumb at a time.
(NOTE: If you're here looking for links for the PSAs, keep reading, the link is below)
When we arrived at 8:00 the underground parking at the Universal Hilton was already filling up. Rudi's Van, now healed after our event last week (see previous post), was parked in the circular drive at the entrance. Inside the huge ballroom, breakfast was being served! Besides all the fabulous GF food that awaited us, we knew,as in years past, that our hearts and minds would be filled with all the latest research and other information for living our best Gluten-Free Lifestyle. My next posts will feature reports on the speakers, our three sit down GF feasts as well as the 70+ vendors. But the focus of today's and tomorrow's post will cover the PSA premiere, as well as the Educational and other aspects of the Day.
At around 8:45, CDF Founder Elaine Monarch took the stage. Opening remarks and introductions included Elaine's announcement that, after 21 years, she was retiring. New Executive Director, Rita Hopkins said a few words and Elaine took back the microphone to introduce the day's speakers, which included the reigning rock star of Celiac Research: Alessio Fasano, M.D.
The two giant jumbo screens on either side of the ballroom displayed an image of Senator Robert Huff's California State Senate Resolution to Designate May as Celiac Disease Awareness Month in California. If you follow my posts, you know that it is almost impossible to get legislation passed here in CA - and even more difficult in this economy. Thanks to Senator Huff, who authored the bill, our light shines brighter here in CA this month.
And then the images on the jumbo screens morphed into a screen-grab of the opening shot of the PSA. Introducing the "World Premiere PSA to Raise Awareness". Susan and I were called to the podium, and even though I knew I would be speaking to over 600 people, there were no nerves. This was family, and I felt a kinship to each and every one. I offered a quick intro, the lights dimmed and then....NOTHING. Seems the A/V guy was out getting coffee. I took a breath and improvised, sort of - using words from a recent post: "Six years ago, my daughter and I were diagnosed with an incurable disease, and we've been celebrating ever since." There were chuckles in the audience - this was a crowd that could really appreciate the irony of that statement. I saw Mr. A/V walk back in and disappear behind his equipment, but I was on a roll. "Like everyone in this room, we are among the lucky ones. It is estimated that 95% of 3 million Americans still need to be diagnosed, which is why we've created these PSAs to raise awareness....."I felt a little lump in my throat, but I kept it together, wrapped it up and gave the cue. The jumbo screens came to life and the 60 sec PSA looked beautiful. The crowd went wild. The lump was getting bigger as I cued the 30 sec. More cheers. The lights came back up and then...my favorite part. After one deep breath in: "Today, I am thrilled to be able to say that these PSAs are available FREE for the asking! They are broadcast quality, shot in Hi-Def, ready to go. They are fully licensed with no strings attached. Please help us spread the word to raise awareness!" I held back the emotion as I said those words, as in addition to fulfilling a secret promise, they represented the culmination of 2 years of really hard work for me and for Susan.
Outside the ballroom CDF provided a table for us where the PSAs ran on a continuous loop. My son,Jeremy designed this fabulous poster to help showcase our table.
The hours that followed are a blur. We talked to dozens upon dozens of like-minded attendees who wanted to help spread the word. Many had connections to Media, others to local community publications. We even had requests to be included in school and Scout presentations. And now, drum roll please, Here is the 60sec version. A 30 sec and 60 sec with credits (for social media sites) are available as well. Here you go.
As I said, they're FREE! We just have one request; if you're posting it to your site, or via other social media, please credit Not Even A Crumb Productions and this site. Also, we encourage any and all feedback and/or suggestions for other tools to raise awareness.
Finally, we're hoping that most venues can use this "broadcast-ready" file. If you're hoping to get them to your local media, they may require another format such as a beta sp or digi-beta. Or if they want the original file, I can email it to them too. Please contact me here (firstname.lastname@example.org and I will explain that process.