County DWI program makes PSA with hometown stars

December 20, 2013 • Local News

Gerina Mendoza-Piller films a series of public service announcements at Goddard High School, Friday. (Mark Wilson Photo)

She’s a professional golfer. They’re a professional film crew.

All are Goddard High School graduates and they came together with the Chaves County DWI Program to film a public service commercial urging youth to make the right choices.

Goddard High 2003 graduate Gerina Mendoza-Piller, who now tours with the Ladies Professional Golf Association, donated her time Friday to the filming of a commercial meant to [auth] show young people the benefits of avoiding drugs and alcohol and staying in school.

“If you make the right choices, your future can be brighter,” said DWI Prevention Specialist Diane Taylor. “I want to show that these people chose to do the right thing.”

The commercial will air statewide beginning in mid-January on KOB and will be uploaded to YouTube.

On set recording Mendoza-Piller were Rodney Austin, a ’96 Goddard grad, and Keith Jones, who graduated in 2009. Austin and Jones both work in professional film production.

Austin has worked on numerous feature-length films in New Mexico, including “Due Date” and various independent films. Jones runs film production business 4K Media LLC, where he works on commercials, music videos and films.

Like the golf star, the two donated their time to making the commercial.

The commercial begins with Mendoza-Piller standing with her golf bag in front of a table containing trophies from her time playing golf, both for the high school and professionally.

“I am playing on the LPGA because I had people who supported me. But first, I had to choose to believe in myself,” reads the script.

Mendoza-Piller said the theme “really hit home.”

“Everything you do in your life is a choice,” she said.

She said the commercial was a great opportunity to support her state.

“I can make an impact in someone’s life, hopefully,” she said.

Austin and Jones shared in her optimism.

“I hope that it reaches a lot of people,” said Jones.

The two have worked with the DWI program in the past. In 2009, they documented students’ experiences in the Every 15 Minutes program, which simulates the aftermath of a DWI related car accident, with a mock accident and trial.

“That was quite an experience, not only for the students but for us,” said Jones.

Austin, who volunteers with the high school’s media arts program, said he was eager to work with Taylor again.

“I was more than thrilled to be able to work with her and do something,” he said.

Taylor plans to do more commercials in the same vein, working with other Roswellites who have made good.

She hopes to do a public service advertisement with LGPA champion golfer Nancy Lopez in the spring.

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