Bridgestone Firestone Canada Inc.

Bridgestone Firestone Canada Inc.

October 20, 2008 10:56 ET

Bridgestone Awards Scholarship Money To Canadian Safety Scholars Winners

Top Canadian contest winners to receive $5,000

MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 20, 2008) - Bridgestone Firestone Canada Inc. (BFCA) has announced the results of its first Safety Scholars video contest, in which drivers ages 16-21 create short auto safety-themed videos. Three grand prize winners were selected from 5 finalists through an online voting process that was open to the general public on More than 1400 online votes were tallied. While the winner hails from Ontario, British Columbia is well represented with the 2nd and 3rd place finishers from the Western Province.

The top three winners receive a $5,000 college scholarship and a free set of Bridgestone tires. This year marked the first time the contest was held in Canada after two successful years in the United States.

"The Safety Scholars contest allows us to address a literal life-and-death issue with teens via a method that resonates with them," said Christine Karbowiak, Vice President of Community and Corporate Relations for Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc. "Every day in North America, fatal auto collisions claim the lives of more than 20 young drivers, so we want to make sure that Bridgestone's youth safety education programs are compelling to the audience we're trying to reach."

About the winners:

Perry Walker of Burlington, ON , is in his second year at York University in Toronto studying film and hopes for a career in TV or film production. Walker's video features a driver being distracted by a cell phone call and nearly avoids an auto accident. When he checks to see who was calling the cell phone reads "Common Sense Calling". Walker's video received the most votes during the on-line voting period.

Spiro Sideris, of Delta, B.C., currently attends Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School and hopes to attend the University of British Columbia. He hopes to eventually become a director of feature length films. Sideris took a light hearted approach to the video, eschewing some of the morbid, heavy imagery for a short film featuring a woman who treats her tires as though they were real people. She even tucks them into bed at night to underline the important aspect of car safety - taking care of your tires.

Emily Bourke of Nanaimo, B.C. Emily currently attends Woodlands Secondary School and plans on taking a B.A. with a major in design and a minor in fine arts. She wants to continue to work in character and conceptual design in film and television. Emily's video focused on not paying attention while driving and not only on the safety concerns but what you will miss when texting or talking on your cell phone.

Bridgestone Firestone developed the Safety Scholars initiative in 2006 to promote driver safety and education among America 's youth. Initially, the competition took the form of an essay contest, which received more than 20,000 submissions. $2,500 scholarships were awarded to three top winners. In 2007, Safety Scholars became video-based and the scholarship amounts were increased to $5,000 each. In 2008, 620 videos were submitted and more than 10,000 votes were tallied in the United States portion of the contest.

In addition to Safety Scholars, Bridgestone Americas has invested in a myriad of innovative driving and tire safety education initiatives specifically targeted at young drivers. The Bridgestone brand serves as presenting national sponsor of Driver's Edge, a hands-on safe driving course that's offered free of charge to teens in selected U.S. cities. Under the Firestone brand, the company has also aired a series of tire safety public service announcements featuring Mario Andretti, legendary racer and Firestone spokesman. Andretti has also toured the country talking to students about auto and tire safety, encouraging the young drivers to learn their M.A.R.I.O's (Mario Andretti's Real Information on Safety). The company has distributed more than 50,000 M.A.R.I.O's safety booklets to teens across the country.

About Bridgestone Firestone Canada Inc.:

Mississauga, Ontario-based Bridgestone Firestone Canada Inc. (BFCA) is an affiliate of Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC (BFNT). BFCA and Nashville, Tenn.-based BFNT are subsidiaries of Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc., whose parent company, Bridgestone Corporation, is the world's largest tire and rubber company. BFCA and BFNT develop, manufacture and market Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand tires. They are focused on wholesale and original equipment markets, supplying passenger, light truck, commercial vehicle, off the road, agricultural and other tires to their customers in Canada and the United States, respectively. In addition, through its Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions Canada unit, retreading customers have access to industry-leading research and development, manufacturing, marketing and sales expertise, providing them with a total tire solution.

Contact Information

  • Bridgestone Firestone Canada Inc.
    Media Center
    (877) 201-2373