USA NETWORK ANNOUNCES 2013 CHARACTERS UNITE AWARD WINNERS, Abilene¡¯s Petty Hunter was among the winners

USA NETWORK ANNOUNCES 2013 CHARACTERS UNITE AWARD WINNERS, Abilene¡¯s Petty Hunter was among the winners

Bright House Networks, Cablevision, Charter, Comcast, Cox Communications, Mediacom, Suddenlink and Time Warner Cable Recognize Community Heroes Honorees to Be Acknowledged at Award Presentations Across the Country with $5,000 Grant; Featured on USA Network On-Air and Online NEW YORK, NY ¨C June 10, 2013 ¡ª As part of its award-winning ¨DCharacters Unite¡¬ public service campaign, to address social injustices and bridge cultural divides, USA Network, along with its distributors today announced the 2013 recipients of the Characters Unite Awards. Ten winners were selected from hundreds of nominees for their extraordinary efforts in combating hate, intolerance and discrimination worldwide, and making significant contributions to champion civil and human rights in their communities. ¨DCongratulations to this year¡¯s Characters Unite Award winners who, in the face of adversity, have worked tirelessly to fight hate and discrimination while promoting acceptance in their communities, said Mac Budill, President, NBCUniversal TV Networks Distribution. ¨DAlong with our distributors, we¡¯re proud to recognize these leaders for their remarkable efforts. {{more}} ¨DWe applaud these ten incredible role models for the tremendous contributions they have made in their communities,¡¬ said Toby Graff, senior vice president, public affairs, USA Network. ¨DThey truly embody the Characters Unite mission with their dedication to combating discrimination and promoting greater acceptance. With these grants and recognition, we are proud to help each honoree expand their important efforts.¡¬ Each honoree will be acknowledged during a hometown award ceremony and will receive a $5,000 grant from USA Network and participating local distributors to support his/her project or related nonprofit organization. Additionally, honorees will be featured on-air in a PSA, online at charactersunite.com and via a social media promotion campaign. Nominations for the Characters Unite Awards were submitted by the public on charactersunite.com during Characters Unite Month in February, a time when the network leverages all its platforms to shine a special spotlight on the importance of combating hate and intolerance. Petty Hunter, Abilene, Texas President, Abilene Chapter of the NAACP Executive Director, Neighborhoods in Progress Often referred to as the ¨DKing of Abilene, Petty Hunter has displayed outstanding leadership within the Abilene community having spearheaded positive social change in the areas of education, civic duty, economic and community development and elder care. As the President of the Abilene Chapter of the NAACP, Petty has been asked by leaders of his community to assist them in addressing social conditions such as closing the gap on academic achievement in the local school district, and strategies to address school dropout rates. His advocacy work on behalf of school children has led to the creation of the Abilene Independent School District ¡¯s Closing the Gap Committee, which monitors various social and academic indicators to assess academic achievement and then makes recommendations to the school district¡¯s administration to address each assessed indicator. Petty also serves as Executive Director of the Neighborhoods In Progress community development organization, Treasurer of the Interested Citizens of Abilene North , a member of the Citizens United Against Disproportionality and Disparities a onetime Board member of the Abilene Black Chamber of Commerce, Board member of Community Foundation of Abilene, Board Member of the Big Country Sports Hall of Fame, and sits on numerous other committees. Petty¡¯s exemplary service continues in the developing communities where he advises a group of local youth known as the Carver Youth Council who have been credited for eradicating drugs from the Carver Neighborhood. An active community member, Petty¡¯s social work values and ethics demonstrate a true leader committed to helping others and making a lasting difference. What Hunter had to say about the award. ¡°The work I have done in the community never has been about me¡±. He said the $5000.00 grant will go to the Curtis House a museum that will showcase African American history from the Abilene area. Petty said ¡°I believe the Lord guided me back home to do community work. I don¡¯t think I have completely fulfilled his plan¡± As many of you know Petty suffered a stroke earlier in the spring, I asked him about his health. He said, ¡°I¡¯m doing well, blessed, recovery is on track however my vision is not quite back¡±. Petty said ¡°the Lord has given me a wonderful wife; Tonya is passionate about helping me maintain my health. I asked Hunter what he saw as the most important issue today. He said the Citizens need to have the confidence to engage, they need to know that their voice makes a difference. He believes that in trying to change things people quit too soon.