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It's a wrap: 'Get Screened' video contest winners announced

SEATTLE — April 23, 2009 — Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center today announced the winners of its "Get Screened" video contest – a creative challenge to moviemakers nationwide to help shine a spotlight on the importance of colorectal-cancer screening.

The five winning videos – featuring a stirring survivorship story, a probing puppet and a sinister character named "Colon Polyp," among other compelling characters – were selected from a pool of more than 60 submissions from contestants spanning 18 states and the District of Columbia. The submissions were either 30 or 60 seconds long and represented a wide variety of styles and genres.

"We were thrilled to receive so many creative entries from moviemakers across the country," said Linda Gainer, vice president of the Center's External Affairs and Communications Department, which launched the contest last fall in hopes of securing a strong video to support its broader ongoing colon-cancer screening awareness campaign – "Your colon. Your life. Your call." – to increase colon-cancer screening rates and reduce deaths from the disease in Washington state.

The grand-prize winner, "Your Choice," was submitted by Zach Smith of Vancouver, Wash., who will receive $2,500 and an opportunity to have his winning video featured in a Hutchinson Center public-service announcement to air on Seattle NBC-TV affiliate KING-TV. The split-screen video depicts two scenarios; in one, a man gets a reminder letter to get a colonoscopy, undergoes the test and is informed that during the procedure the doctor had removed a potentially deadly polyp from his colon. In the other scenario, the same man throws the letter in the trash and, instead of scheduling a colonoscopy, takes a nap on the couch, oblivious to the time bomb ticking inside his body.

"There's a fine line between scaring people and sending a strong message – to look at colonoscopy as an opportunity and not a threat," said Smith, 23, an amateur videographer who is a nursing student in his final semester at Washington State University in Spokane. "Eventually I want to work in pediatric oncology, and so my interest in cancer and cancer prevention was an added influence in entering the contest," he said.

Other winning entries included two first runners-up that came with a $1,000 prize:
•  "Scope," submitted by Ken Westermann of Seattle.
•  "Don’t Put it Off," submitted by Kelly Guenther of Seattle.

And two second runners-up that came with a $500 prize:
•  "Get Screened," submitted by Gary Bosek of Washington Township, Mich.
•  "Get Screened, End Colon Cancer," submitted by Adam Montoya of Washington, D.C.

A small panel of community judges chose 15 finalists based on five criteria: originality, creativity, concept, accuracy and pertinence of the information included, and overall presentation.

Another group of community judges – including campaign chairman and former Seattle Super Sonics star Fred "Downtown Freddie" Brown and KING-TV "Evening Magazine" reporter Jim Dever – then used the same criteria to select the five winning videos during a screening event at the Hutchinson Center. The other judges were Aaron Cryzewski, vice president of government relations at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Great West Division; Alyson Munday, a marketing executive at KING-TV; and colorectal-cancer survivor Ann Stephens, president of the Washington Colon Cancer S.T.A.R.S. (Support, Treatment, Awareness, Resources and Screening).

Screening and early detection are crucial because people with colon cancer may be asymptomatic for many years, and precancerous lesions or polyps may take 10 years to transform from benign to malignant. If routine screening via colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy detects a precancerous polyp, it can be removed immediately.

The winning videos can be viewed on www.endcoloncancernow.org/video/

Note for media only: To obtain a broadcast-quality copy of the grand-prize-winning video, please contact Dean Forbes, 206-667-2896 or dforbes@fhcrc.org

MEDIA CONTACT:
Dean Forbes
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
(206) 667-2896
dforbes@fhcrc.org

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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, our interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists and humanitarians work together to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Our researchers, including three Nobel laureates, bring a relentless pursuit and passion for health, knowledge and hope to their work and to the world. For more information, please visit www.fhcrc.org.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is a world leader in research to prevent, detect and treat cancer and other life-threatening diseases.