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Tea Council Awards 2008 'Calm-A-Sutra of Tea(TM)' $20,000 Scholarship To American Film Institute Student of Los Angeles, California

Tea Council of the USA, Inc. Announces Winner of $20,000 Nationwide Scholarship Competition with Celebrity Spokesperson Megyn Price of the CBS Hit Sitcom, Rules of Engagement

NEW YORK, Sept. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The Tea Council of the USA, Inc. announced today that 26-year old John Ford of Los Angeles, CA is the lucky $20,000 scholarship recipient and winner of the 2008 Calm-A-Sutra of Tea(TM), a nationwide scholarship competition meant to further educate America's young people on the health-related benefits of drinking tea, specifically black, green, white or oolong tea, all from the Camellia sinensis plant.

John Ford, a resident of Los Angeles, CA is currently a second year graduate student attending the American Film Institute (AFI), also in Los Angeles, CA, in pursuit of a Masters of Fine Arts in Film Directing.

"After some research and a trip to a local tea shop, I was amazed by how many health benefits tea actually has, and I thought about how many Americans probably are unaware of this fact," said John. "I immediately felt inspired to enter this contest and create a video to spread the word of how healthy tea really is. Today, I feel privileged to have helped out, and the scholarship reward will allow me to continue the pursuit of my MFA."

John's video, simply called "INTERROGATION," was inspired by John's father, a retired FBI agent, who to this day can't seem to shake the habit of interrogating everyone, including the cat. It depicts two horribly misinformed police detectives interrogating a cup of tea, thus creating the argument that drinking tea is bad while stating the health benefits and realizing in the process that tea is actually good and good for you. To view John's grand prize winning video, "INTERROGATION," and the 2008 Honorable Mentions, please visit www.TeaUSA.org/CalmASutra.

The Tea Council received nearly 700 creative and unique Internet video submissions that emphasized the health-related benefits of drinking tea and most of the entrants took it one step further to explain in great detail some of the science that they found most interesting about tea and health. The entire gallery of video submissions can be seen at www.TeaUSA.org/CalmASutra/Gallery.cfm .

"While educating the public on the emerging science about the health- related benefits of drinking tea is one of the Tea Council's main objectives, we also strongly support America's young people seeking a higher education," said Joe Simrany, President of the Tea Council of the USA. "We were thrilled by the overwhelming response we had in video submissions this year and incredibly entertained by how creative the many participants were about communicating tea's broad range of health benefits. The Calm-A-Sutra of Tea scholarship competition is a unique and timely tool for this Internet generation to use in their search for scholarships and financial aid for the upcoming school year -- and a great way for them to learn about and enjoy the many health-related benefits of drinking tea!"

The Tea Council of the USA, Inc. partnered with sitcom star Megyn Price of the CBS hit series Rules of Engagement as the official Calm-A-Sutra of Tea celebrity spokesperson. Price, a new mom and big fan of healthy foods and beverages and nutritious cooking, supports the Tea Council's platform on educating young Americans about the health benefits of drinking tea through the immensely popular and ever-growing trend of using online video as the newest form of mass communication.

"All I can say is wow! It blew me away that we received nearly 700 videos that communicated tea's many health benefits so creatively," said Price. "When I first saw John's video 'INTERROGATION,' I knew hands down that he would win - and I was right. My exact words were, 'He [John] has done for tea what Tarantino did for Travolta!' But above all, I am so proud of all the entrants, as they did an amazing job, and I'm really happy to have been part of this terrific experience helping to create awareness for the health benefits of tea with the Tea Council in support of education in America."

All entries were required to be original one-to-two minute Internet videos created by the entrant and had to contain at least one valid message regarding Tea's health-related benefits, specifically black, green, white and oolong tea. The competition was open to legal residents of the United States and Puerto Rico, who were at least 16 years of age, with a deadline for all entries to be received electronically at www.TeaUSA.org/CalmASutra no later than Wednesday, August 6, 2008. All video submissions were judged by a panel of Tea Council representatives. Judging was based on the following criteria: HEALTH-RELATED MESSAGE (50%; Entry must contain at least one valid message regarding Tea's health-related benefits, specifically black, green, white and oolong tea), CREATIVITY (20%), INDIVIDUALITY (20%) and POPULARITY (10%).

As the world's most widely consumed beverage (next to water), tea is great tasting and calorie-free. It contains flavonoids that are believed to be health-protective antioxidants, which ultimately make drinking tea part of a satisfying, healthy lifestyle. For more information, please visit www.TeaUSA.org.

ABOUT THE TEA COUNCIL OF THE USA:

The Tea Council of the USA is a non-profit association that was formed in 1950 as a joint partnership between tea packers, importers and allied industries within the United States, and the major tea producing countries. It functions as the educational arm of the tea industry with a primary goal of increasing overall awareness of tea by providing information about its many positive attributes. One of the Council's primary objectives is the dissemination of key scientific findings about tea to the public. The Tea Council does this in several ways including: funding scientific meetings to bring tea researchers from around the world together to share key information and identify next steps for future research projects; and working with health organizations and international scientists to disseminate information about potential positive health effects of tea consumption on a public level. Additional efforts of the Tea Council include outreach to the health professional community, support and monitoring of key scientific meetings internationally, and ongoing interaction with leading tea researchers.

    Press Contact:
    Kevin Hughes
    Pollock Communications for the Tea Council of the USA
    646-277-8720
    [email protected]

    Jennifer Krosche
    Pollock Communications for the Tea Council of the USA
    646-277-8719
    [email protected]

SOURCE The Tea Council of the USA, Inc.

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