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PBS Reno Announces Winners of the 2022 Spotlight Awards and Auction

RENO, NV (September 21, 2022) — The winners of the 2022 PBS Reno Spotlight Awards and Auction have been announced after a community-wide voting process that included more than 2,928 online submissions. The winners were revealed during the PBS Reno Spotlight Awards and Auction on Friday, September 16 at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino’s Grande Expo Hall. 

Don Angotti, Spotlight Award for Extraordinary Educator

Throughout the event, PBS Reno honored the Carano Family, the recipients of this year’s Extraordinary Philanthropists award, and highlighted their support of many non-profits throughout northern Nevada.

“The Carano family would like to extend our sincere gratitude to PBS Reno for our selection as the recipient of the 2022 Extraordinary Philanthropist Award,” said Donald Carano Caesars Director of Community Relations and Digital Reputation/Responsible Gaming Chairperson. It is our great honor to join the list of past inspirational awardees. We truly enjoyed a most moving and beautiful evening at this year’s extraordinary event – an experience we won’t soon forget. Northern Nevada has been our family’s home for over a century, and we’re excited and eager to see what the next 100 years have in store for our amazing community and how we, and our family’s generations to follow, might seize opportunities to continue to contribute to its growth.”

Everett Hogan, a 7th grade student at Carson Junior High School, won the Spotlight Award for Extraordinary Youth. Benjamin Browder, a junior at Sage Ridge School in Reno, and Denali Cooke, a Girl Scout from Truckee, California, were the other two finalists recognized in this category.

Don Angotti, the principal of Poulakidas Elementary School, won the Spotlight Award for Extraordinary Educator. Jeff Batavia, the principal of Rollan Melton Elementary School, and Kristy McMillan, a 3rd grade teacher at Spanish Springs Elementary School, were the other two finalists recognized in this category.

Edible Reno-Tahoe Magazine won the Spotlight Award for Extraordinary Local Business. KPS3 and Peterbilt Truck Parts & Equipment and Silver State International were the other two finalists recognized in this category.

Ashlee Smith, Spotlight Award for Extraordinary Individual

Ashlee Smith, the founder of Ashlee’s Toy Closet, won the Spotlight Award for Extraordinary Individual. Adrienne Santiago, the Executive Director of Northern Nevada Literacy Council, and Denise Castle, CEO of Join Inc., were the other two finalists recognized in this category.

The Boys and Girls Club of Truckee Meadows won the Spotlight Award for Extraordinary Community Group. Northern Nevada HOPES and Soulful Seeds were the other two finalists recognized in this category.

“We were so excited to be back in person this year,” said Emma Glenn, PBS Reno Vice President of Development. “It was a great event and it was such an honor to “spotlight” the individuals, community groups, and businesses who are doing great things in our community, as well as getting to honor the Carano family. The Spotlight Awards & Auction is our largest fundraiser of the year. This year especially, we were blown away by the generous support of our sponsors, donors, and auction purchases, the station raised more than $328,000. This fundraiser directly benefits PBS Reno’s educational outreach in classrooms across northern Nevada and helps fund the production of its award-earning local programs Wild Nevada and ARTEFFECTS.”

“We are honored to have this opportunity to recognize so many people who do such important work in our community every day,” said Kurt Mische, PBS Reno President and CEO. “Helping build and strengthen our amazing community is what we do at PBS Reno.”

About PBS Reno

As of February 2022, PBS Reno Channel 5.1 is watched weekly by more than 113,000 people in approximately 62,000 households in northern and central Nevada and northeastern California, with viewership on multicast channels Reno Create 5.2 and PBS KIDS Reno 5.3. PBS Reno channels are also available on cable, satellite services, and via livestream on YouTube TV. PBS Reno provides PBS national programming and award-winning, locally-produced content. provides engaging interactive content, including the video portal at that streams all locally-produced content and most PBS national content. PBS Reno serves students, teachers, parents and caregivers through immersive educational services including Curiosity Classroom Workshops that bring classroom lessons to life with standards-based lessons and activities. Through the support of local corporations and foundations, as well as thousands of individual members, PBS Reno has been delivering public television and educational services to the communities it serves since 1983.

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