St. Rose Center Meets 30 Rock: Winning Entry In Philanthropy.com’s VolunTV Challenge

voluntvcropThe lovely Maureen Sullivan and I do fund raising and communications work for a few great clients, including a South Side community center serving developmentally disabled adults. Since 1962, St. Rose Center has been giving job training and education to adults with special needs. Think of them as similar to Misericordia, only much smaller and far less funded. Here’s a clip showing the place in action:



So over at Philanthropy.com, we noticed something called the VolunTV Challenge was launched “to celebrate the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s “iParticipate” week of volunteer—focused television programs from October 19-25, The Chronicle of Philanthropy invited individuals and charities to create their own ideas of how volunteerism could be incorporated into their favorite TV shows.”

That’s what we did, and we won $2,500 for the Center. Score! The treatment we wrote was for Tina Fey’s 30 Rock, NBC’s finest comedy since CPO Sharkey. Amusingly, all three of the winners used 30 Rock for their entries.  Wonder what a Silver Prize 250-word show pitch looks like?

Liz Lemon enters Jack Donaghy’s office to find him agitated and distracted. Donaghy just came back from an art auction where he lost a bidding war on a painting to first lady Michelle Obama. “She can raise her hand faster to outbid me because she doesn’t wear sleeves,” complains Jack.

Jack puts Liz on the task of finding more art from the artist. Liz discovers the artist is a member of St. Rose Center in Chicago, a service organization for developmentally disabled adults. Lemon notices St. Rose’s website call for volunteers at a talent show they will run next week.

Liz tells Jack that the artist whose work Jack was bidding on is developmentally disabled and that St. Rose needs volunteers.

Pausing to consider the information, a big smile crosses Jack’s face. “Outsider art!” he exclaims. “Do you have any idea how lucrative that is today, Lemon? What a tremendous investment! What will it take to lock it all up?”

Liz suggests volunteering to help produce the talent show. Jack orders her to collect writers, stagehands, makeup artists and actors and fly to Chicago to help put on the show.

Jack accompanies the volunteer group and meets the members and the nun who runs the program. The pros help make the show a huge success and Jack gets a meeting with the nun and her lawyer to negotiate the exclusive rights to all of St. Rose artist’s work.

Seated in the room is the nun and her lawyer, Michelle Obama.

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