HARRISBURG, March 12, 2008 – – State Senator Wayne D. Fontana (D-Allegheny) and Senator Rob Wonderling (R-Bucks/Lehigh/Montgomery/Northampton) took part in the third annual Pennsylvania Public Television Network (PPTN) Neighborhood Awards Ceremony at the State Capitol and honored the network with a Senate Resolution.

Fontana and Wonderling said they were happy to present PPTN with Senate Resolution 241, which designates March 11, 2008 as “Pennsylvania Public Television Network Day” in Pennsylvania. Both Senators serve as Commissioners on the PA Public Television Network.

“PPTN provides Pennsylvania with an invaluable service that informs, engages, and enlightens viewers,” Fontana said. “This is why I was happy to sponsor SR 241 along with my colleague, Senator Wonderling, and recognize the network on its 40th anniversary.”

The PPTN Neighborhood Awards are a tribute to Fred Rogers’ life and work. Awards are given to distinguished Pennsylvanians, public television stations and partner organizations.

Wonderling added, “Fred Rogers helped launch WQED in Pittsburgh, which is the nation’s first public television station. Rogers and PPTN started a rich tradition of public programming with his show, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and this tradition continues across our state and country.”

The PPTN Neighborhood Awards were presented in four separate categories:

  • Elsie Hilliard Hillman of Pittsburgh received the “Mister Rogers Award” for the individual who best exemplifies the ideals and philosophy of Fred Rogers;
  • Mary Alice Brown – Erie’s Queen of Jazz; received the “Joanne Rogers Award” for a musician or musical ensemble whose work and life exemplifies community service, diversity, and educational outreach;
  • Philadelphia Daily News and WHYY received the “Best Neighbor Award” for a collaborative program or project that extends the impact of a public television program or non-broadcast project; and
  • The VOD (Video on Demand) Squad from WPSU in State College received the “Speedy Delivery Award” for an innovative or cutting-edge approach that enhances public television’s mission.

The Neighborhood Awards event celebrates PPTN and its eight-affiliate stations’ longterm
dedication to serving the needs of citizens throughout Pennsylvania. PPTN affiliate stations include: WHYY/Philadelphia; WITF/Harrisburg; WLVT/Bethlehem; WPSU/State College; WQED/Pittsburgh; WQLN/Erie; WVIA/Pittston; WYBE/Philadelphia

The mission of the PPTN Commission is to be a leader in using technology to advance educational, cultural and civic opportunity and support public safety. PPTN contributes to the lives of families, the success of schools and colleges, the productivity of businesses, and the quality of life and communities in Pennsylvania.