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For more than 15 years, Florida State University has been attracting world-class artistic talent to Tallahassee under the banner of Seven Days of Opening Nights (recently renamed the Opening Nights Performing Arts Series and Festival). Under the expert guidance of director Christopher Heacox, the festival has become a cornerstone of arts programming for our local community. We at Sachs Media Group love the performing arts, and felt we simply must be part of this exciting and outstanding community treasure. We’re proud to be a key sponsor of the series that is a highlight of culture in our community every year.
One of many dynamic charitable organizations in Tallahassee, the local chapter of the American Heart Association plays an active role in the life of the community. Our firm is proud to support the Association’s many efforts, from recruiting and organizing teams to participate in the yearly Heart Walk fundraiser to supporting the organization’s annual Heart Ball gala.
It’s always rewarding to see young men and women recognized for outstanding achievement, and we have been honored to play a key role in an extraordinary program for students throughout Leon County. Most scholarship programs honor students for achievements based primarily on GPAs. Looking to recognize other exceptional traits among local high school students, we partnered with our hometown public and private schools and other organizations to create the “Best & Brightest” Awards. This program’s numerous categories consider grades, but also factor in such meritorious traits as hard work, dedication, community service, and civic duty. The result has been an outstanding community program that has awarded $450,000 in cash scholarships to more than 1,300 of Leon County’s finest high school seniors.
Recognizing the tremendous economic potential as millions of northern Baby Boomers retire and relocate to more inviting locations, Sachs Media Group was pleased to work closely with a diverse group of civic leaders to help Tallahassee stand out from the competition. On the heels of an independent study that identified Tallahassee as the #1 destination for the traits Boomers most desire, we helped launch a campaign to attract this lucrative target market, including a contest for one year of free Tallahassee living. The “Choose Tallahassee” initiative attracted media attention across the northern tier of the nation, and it remains an ongoing effective program to attract retiring Boomers to Florida’s capital city.
Sachs Media Group is a proud and committed supporter of programs that work to prevent domestic violence and to help victims move forward with their lives. In Tallahassee, we have donated our services to help promote Refuge House, one of the 42 state-certified domestic violence centers. We even donated a Smart Car for Refuge House to auction in a fundraising activity. Our Orlando office is an equally strong supporter of Harbor House of Central Florida, that community’s state-certified center, including the service of that office’s senior executive as a member of the center’s board of directors.
Few causes resonate more with the Sachs Media Group family than trying to help a powerless individual fight injustice. That’s why we were honored to be asked to support the public case for Felix Garcia, a deaf man who may well have been framed for murder and railroaded to an unjust conviction. Because of his hearing loss, Felix had difficulty understanding proceedings at his trial, and now he has served more than a third of a century behind bars despite solid alibi witnesses. In 2014, we produced a news conference at the Florida Capitol with hundreds of Floridians who are deaf or hard of hearing, their families, interpreters, and advocates, promoting legislation to enhance deaf rights and to ask for justice for Felix Garcia. To date, although Felix has not been granted a parole release date, authorities have granted some of his requests and he has been referred to a prison facility with special programming.
Leadership Florida is a unique statewide organization that takes a broad view of the conditions and challenges that face the Sunshine State. As a member of the 10th class of Leadership Florida, Ron Sachs collaborated with some of Florida’s most influential leaders and went on to serve as Chair of Leadership Florida from 2005-06. He remains deeply committed to the organization’s mission and vision, and Sachs Media Group works with Leadership Florida on many initiatives.
One shining example of those ongoing efforts is Sachs Media Group’s work with Leadership Florida to develop a high-profile candidate debate series in partnership with the Florida Press Association. This project helps to ensure that Floridians are informed about the candidates they consider for public office during each major election cycle. Our team has helped to organize and promote many years of televised debates, offering candidates the chance to share their visions for Florida’s future, and providing the electorate with an opportunity to get a better perspective on potential future statewide leaders.
When Leon County public school leaders proposed a half-penny local sales tax to benefit education, they asked us to make the case to the public. A cornerstone of the campaign was a series of commercials featuring local school children explaining benefits of tax funds and urging adults to vote for the tax. Despite prevailing nationwide anti-tax sentiment, the result was an overwhelming vote of support for the tax and the schools. Ten years after county voters agreed to finance local school improvements with a half-penny sales tax increase, the levy was set to expire in 2012. Officials believed quality of education and school facilities would suffer if the tax ended so our team rallied to the cause, volunteering our services again as we handled all publicity and advertising activities in favor of the tax proposal. The half-penny tax was retained with a 67.5% favorable vote.
Against the backdrop of increased racial tensions in communities across the nation, a revealing National Bar Association survey – developed in partnership with Sachs Media Group and the National League of Cities – showed that fewer than half of Americans believe race relations are better today than they were a decade ago. Despite more than 50 years of civil rights and affirmative action programs designed to foster closer connections among races, the eye-opening insights into racial attitudes in America illuminate the need for local, state, and national dialogue and action on race and community relations.
College students today face so many stresses beyond the normal pressure for good grades. The challenge of covering the cost of tuition, books, and living expenses can force even the most gifted students to bypass a promising academic future. The Southern Scholarship Foundation softens the financial blow for selected students so they can concentrate on what’s really important – their education – by providing quality long-term housing. Sachs Media Group has been proud to support the Foundation in this important effort, volunteering our counsel to boost the Foundation’s fundraising efforts.
The Tallahassee Chamber devotes its energies to building and supporting a flourishing business community in Florida’s capital city, and Sachs Media Group has been privileged to support the Chamber in many ways over the years. This enthusiastic backing is best embodied by founder and CEO Ron Sachs’ ongoing efforts on behalf of the Chamber. Ron has served as Chamber chair and is a member of its Executive Committee and Board. In addition, he chairs the Chamber’s Total Resource Campaign, a concentrated all-volunteer revenue-generating effort that raises funds to help support the Chamber’s mission of providing tools, resources, and opportunities to its members and enhancing Tallahassee’s overall business climate.
For more than a decade, we have been a leading booster of the area’s United Way. The organization is dedicated to supporting the greatest variety of human service needs and service providers in our local area, and we are fully committed to helping them in this essential cause. We show our support by consistently approaching 100-percent staff pledges, and President & CEO Ron Sachs has performed tireless service to the United Way Board – including back-to-back terms as chairman and a prior term as chairman of the fundraising campaign. In 2013, we produced a series of Emmy Award-winning commercials promoting the United Way campaign in our region. Day in and day out, we choose to “Live United!”
To understand the state we proudly call home, you must recognize the history of Florida’s first 500 years. We were honored to be asked to produce a multimedia statewide educational campaign for Viva Florida 500, the celebration of the 500-year history since Juan Ponce de León’s arrival in La Florida. Working in conjunction with the Friends of the Museums of Florida History, Inc., and with the support of the Florida Lottery, the Florida League of Cities, and Florida Blue, we created a campaign that included a series of public service announcements, an Emmy-nominated 30-minute television special in English and Spanish, a clickable map providing a colorful registry of Florida cities’ historical information, and a mobile app. Through Viva Florida 500, we helped tell the stories of the people and places that made Florida what it is today.
Across our nation, Americans responded in innumerable ways in the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy. At Sachs Media Group, our concern was centered on the children, who would now grow up in a world forever changed. To help young Floridians get through the healing process, we produced a 30-minute television special and secured airings throughout the state. Through the special, we hoped to assist the next generation of Floridians, those who were robbed of the kind of carefree childhood enjoyed by their parents’ generation. The program also provided helpful tips for parents to help answer their children’s questions and reduce their fears.
Our community was stunned by a late-night single-car crash that caused the tragic and senseless death of a 14-year-old girl and injuries to five of her teenage friends. Grief turned to shock when it turned out the adolescents had been drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana before the accident. Despite multiple opportunities for parents, teachers, and others to see signs of trouble, no one did … until it was too late. Galvanized by the tragedy, Sachs Media Group worked with a group of concerned local citizens, Leon County Schools, area clergy, and Florida State University. We forged an unprecedented collaboration between the two leading print and broadcast organizations to establish a community dialog exploring issues of underage drinking and drug use and the related issues raised for parents. We conducted an anonymous poll of teen and adult attitudes and awareness on the problems, and the initiative culminated in seven days of focused media attention, community forums, and a long-term plan for community leaders to take a more proactive approach to this serious issue.