Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) Issues a Call-for-Entries for “Pledge for Life” Gospel Idol to Raise Awareness for Organ Donation

Pittsburgh, January 13, 2014The Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE), a federally designated not-for-profit organ procurement organization (OPO) serving Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and parts of New York, will use the powerful sounds of gospel music to bring people together to share the important message of organ, tissue and cornea donation. CORE’s Pittsburgh Multicultural Task Force is pleased to issue a call-for-entries and hold its inaugural “Pledge for Life” Gospel Idol. Slated to take place from 6-9 p.m. on Saturday, February 8, 2014 at O’Hara Student Center Ballroom on the campus of University of Pittsburgh (4024 O’Hara Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213), Bishop Loran Mann of the Pentecostal Temple Church in Pittsburgh will serve as emcee. During intermission, there will be a presentation about organ, tissue and cornea donation. CORE will also have a table encouraging donor sign-ups. The event is free to attend and open to the public.

CORE welcomes interested contestants to submit a 90-second DVD or YouTube video showcasing their talent in the following categories: gospel singer (solo/group/choir), Christian rap, mime, spoken word and liturgical dance. It is free to participate and there is no age limit for contestants. The final deadline to submit an entry is Wednesday, January 22, 2014. For registration and audition rules, please visit

“We are excited to hold our inaugural ‘Pledge for Life’ Gospel Idol to raise awareness for the urgent need for organ, tissue and cornea donors while enjoying the sounds of gospel music and other performances from our contestants,” said Susan Stuart, president and CEO of CORE. “We are pleased to commemorate National Donor Day and Black History Month with this event and welcome the public to join us. We hope that attendees who are not already registered donors will make the Pledge for Life and sign up on February 8.”

Based on entry submissions received, a panel of judges will choose the top 10 finalists who will perform live on February 8 for prizes that include first place ($1,000), second place ($750), third place ($500) and Viewer’s Choice ($250).

Judges include Danielle Smith of WGBN’s American Urban Radio Network “HOT or NOT”; Charmalene Ulmer of WERG Erie’s “Morning Glory”; Stephanie Smith of Pittsburgh Gospel Showcase; Frederick Dukes, Jr. a five-time award nominee, singer, songwriter and producer; and Misty Enos, interim director of professional services and community outreach at CORE.

Observed on February 14, National Donor Day highlights the ways that lives can be saved and enhanced through organ, tissue and cornea donation by bringing hope to the more than 120,000 people on the national transplant waiting list. At least 18 of them will die each day without receiving an organ, including two from CORE’s service area. For every person who donates their organs, tissues and corneas, up to 50 lives can be saved or dramatically improved.

For more information about “Pledge for Life” Gospel Idol, please visit

About CORE
The Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) is one of 58 federally designated not-for-profit organ procurement organizations (OPOs) in the United States. CORE works closely with donor families and designated health care professionals to coordinate the surgical recovery of organs, tissues and corneas for transplantation. CORE also facilitates the computerized matching of donated organs and placement of corneas. With headquarters in Pittsburgh and an office in Charleston, West Virginia, CORE oversees a region that encompasses 155 hospitals and almost six million people throughout western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Chemung County, NY. For more information, visit or call 1-800-DONORS-7.

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