PHOTO RELEASE: CORE Recognizes Gospel Idol Winners, Celebrates National Minority Organ Donor Awareness Week

– Janina Simone of White Oak Awarded First Place and Viewer’s Choice –

WHO: The Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) and its Pittsburgh Multicultural Task Force

WHAT: Recognition of the winners of its Pledge for Life Gospel Idol, a singing competition held in celebration of National Minority Organ Donor Awareness Week.

After submitting a 90-second DVD or YouTube video showcasing their talent, the top ten finalists performed live at the event, where first, second, third place winners were selected by a panel of judges. A “Viewer’s Choice” winner was selected by the audience.  The following were named winners:

  • First place ($1,000): Janina Simone (White Oak, Pa.)
  • Second place ($750): Keith Claiborne (Farrell, Pa.)
  • Third place ($500): Jimyse Brown (Rankin, Pa.)
  • Viewer’s Choice ($250): Janina Simone (White Oak, Pa.)

WHERE/WHEN: Pledge for Life Gospel Idol took place at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 25, 2015 at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater in Pittsburgh, Pa.

DETAILS: National Minority Organ Donor Awareness Week, celebrated nationally from August 1-8, is designed to increase awareness of the need for organ, tissue and cornea donation in minority communities.  It seeks to bring together faith leaders, donor families and transplant recipients to highlight the ways that lives can be saved and enhanced through organ, tissue and cornea donation.

Gospel Idol contestants could showcase their talents in the following categories: Gospel singing (solo/group/choir), Christian rap, mime, spoken word and liturgical dance. Participation was free and open to individuals across CORE’s West Virginia and western Pennsylvania service area. There was no age limit for contestants.

PHOTOS: Available upon request.

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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