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How often do we bemoan the lack of positive coverage of the funeral/cemetery profession in the media? Now there's something you can do about it--every day from now until July 3. Nancy Weil, who is director of aftercare for Mount Calvary Cemetery, Cheektowaga, New York, is certified as a laughter leader, grief management specialist and funeral celebrant. She has entered a contest to host her own show, "The Ha Ha Happy Hour," on the Oprah Network.
I don't think I need to tell you that there is A LOT of competition. I just went to the site to check out Nancy's 3-minute clip and to vote for her show and saw that there are already 2,494 entries, including 453 in her category, Health & Wellbeing. A surprising number have 0 or very few votes, but some people obviously got started early (the contest began mid-May) and have done their social networking, amassing tens of thousands of votes. (You can vote more than once.) The top five submissions will go on to the final selection process.
Here's what Nancy has to say about why we should help her (other than the fact that she gives back to the profession, sharing her ideas with colleagues by writing articles and speaking at conferences):
"I want my peers in the industry to clearly understand why I would encourage them to help me gain the attention of the OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) producers. I mention in my video entry that I work in grief support for 11 cemeteries and that my show will address tools for tough times. If I am selected, I will be representing our industry in a positive light that shows the caring side of our work. The media tends to knock us, mock us and try to make us look like money-hungry monsters. We all know that this is not true, but the public needs to get the message. I will also be looking at cremation and the issues that it creates, as well as the need for a ceremony to support the bereaved when a loved one dies. Life can be challenging at times, but we all know that the work we do helps our clients through those times with the support and guidance they need. Let's keep finding a way to spread our message of caring. I'm doing my part; I hope you can help me out with your vote. Thank you."
Click on the following link to see her 3-minute video and/or to vote for Nancy. Yes, you can vote as often as you like. And please forward this to colleagues, friends and family. In order to finish in the top five, Nancy says, "I need this to go viral, so please post the link on your Facebook page, tweet it, send out e-mails and take out a billboard. You can vote more than once, so if you could take a moment or two to vote each day, that would be wonderful. Watch it the first time, but for subsequent votes, you only need to open it and click 'vote.'"