MADD Canada

MADD Canada

February 22, 2012 13:30 ET

Kia Canada's Vice President and COO Comes Home to Grand River Collegiate with MADD Canada's School Assembly Program

OAKVILLE, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 22, 2012) - Grand River Collegiate students welcomed a distinguished alumnus today when Maria Soklis, Kia Canada's Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, visited her childhood high school to help present Damages, MADD Canada's 2011-2012 School Assembly Program.

"As an alumni of Grand River Collegiate, I am honoured to have the opportunity to support this outstanding and important program from MADD Canada." Ms. Soklis said. "Today has been a memorable day assisting with the School Assembly Program at my former high school. I am pleased to personally further support this important partnership."

Delivered to Canadian schools since 1994, MADD Canada's School Assembly Program presents students with solid information and best practices to help them understand the issue of impaired driving from alcohol and drugs. A new show is produced each year to reach out to young people and talk about a variety of issues and misperceptions that they and their peers may be dealing with, including: binge drinking; realities about impairment caused by smoking cannabis; mixing cannabis and alcohol; and accepting rides from alcohol and drug impaired drivers.

Kia Canada Inc. is the National Presenting Sponsor for Damages and its tour to schools across the country. The corporation donated the use of four vehicles to the MADD Canada field representatives who travel from school to school to deliver the program. Kia Canada has also made an additional four vehicles available for use by Chapters across the country to promote local activities and events. All vehicles are adorned with MADD Canada's logo and messaging for maximum visibility and awareness.

Kia Canada's support of MADD Canada is part of its Drive Change social responsibility initiative which is the cornerstone of the Kia brand. Kia Canada in conjunction with partners and dealers collaborate to improve and make positive changes in communities across Canada. For more information on Kia Canada Inc.'s Drive Change initiative, visit

"Kia Canada Inc. truly is driving change," said MADD Canada National President Denise Dubyk. "With their crucial contribution to our School Assembly Program, we are delivering this important message to more than 1 million students across the country, helping them to understand the dangers of impaired driving and reinforcing the need to always drive sober. It's a message that will save lives."

"Drive Change is a conduit for Kia and all its partners to give back to our local communities across Canada," Ms. Soklis said. "Our work with MADD Canada and the effort to reduce impaired driving among youth is a very important way that we as a responsible automotive manufacturer can help improve our communities for everyone."

Damages follows Jesse from his terrible decision to drive impaired through the resulting horrific crash and into the criminal justice system where he must face the consequences of his actions. His bright future and plans for university are replaced with the possibility of a prison term and a criminal record that will follow him for life. The dramatic film ends with the true stories of three families who faced the real-life nightmare of losing loved ones to impaired driving crashes. Their powerful and emotional stories bring the message home to students that impaired driving carries very real and very tragic consequences.

Teens and young adults are at particularly high risk for impaired driving. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among 15 to 25 year olds, and alcohol is a factor in 50% of those crashes.

For a preview of Damages, visit

About MADD Canada

MADD Canada (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) is a national, charitable organization that is committed to stopping impaired driving and supporting the victims of this violent crime. With volunteer-driven groups in more than 100 communities across Canada, MADD Canada aims to offer support services to victims, heighten awareness of the dangers of impaired driving and save lives and prevent injuries on our roads.

About Kia Canada

Kia Canada Inc. ( - -- a maker of quality vehicles for the young-at-heart -- is a subsidiary of Kia Motors Corporation (KMC) in Korea, was founded in 1999 and sells and services high quality class leading vehicles like the Soul, Forte and Sorento through a network of 174 dealers nationwide. Kia Canada Inc. employs 147 people in its Mississauga, Ontario headquarters and four regional offices across Canada. Kia Motors Corporation continues to showcase the company's global commitment to surpassing customer expectations through continuous automotive innovation.

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