Courageous Persuaders Awards Celebration Recognizes High School Student-Produced Anti-Underage Drinking Commercials

TROY, Mich.May 17, 2013 — The Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA) hosted the annual Courageous Persuaders Awards Celebration, at which high school students who took a stand against underage drinking won $18,750 in scholarships and awards. The event, which took place on Wednesday, May 15 at the Troy Marriott in Troy, Mich. was hosted by renowned Detroit television personality Huel Perkins, anchor at WJBK FOX2.

The DADA is the primary sponsor and administrator of the Courageous Persuaders program, which is facilitated through the DADA Education Foundation. “As president of the DADA, I couldn’t be more proud of being associated with this event,” said Scott LaRiche. “As a father, I have been truly moved by the talent of these young people and the courage they have displayed in taking a stand that may save a life.”

The competition, now in its 13th year, encourages high school students to create 30-second television commercials warning middle school students about the dangers of drinking alcohol. The contest drew 1,107 participants from 240 high schools who submitted 547 video entries, which included thousands of students from schools throughout the U.S. and Canada.

The State Farm Fan Favorite Award from State Farm returned for a second year. The Fan Favorite is selected by Courageous Persuaders fans who view the Courageous Persuaders YouTube site. The winner is selected from among the 60 finalists, and the prize is awarded to the school where the video originated. The videos were viewed over 100,000 times, and the winner was determined by a margin of just 13 votes.

Student scholarships and award winners:

  • Grand Prize, $3,000 – “First Drink” by Dylan Malburg, Forest Hills Northern High School, Grand Rapids, Mich.
  • First Place, $1,500 – “The Mase” by Michael LeCroyCarlson High SchoolRockwood, Mich.
  • Second Place, $1,000 – “Wanna Get Buzzed?” by Lauren Mueller, Frederick V. Pankow Center, Clinton Township, Mich.
  • Third Place, $500 – “Your Actions Have Consequences” by William Anklin, Lenawee ISD Tech Center, Adrian, Mich.

In addition, special sponsored awards were presented to the following:

  • Lindsey Renee Cianciolo Family Memorial Scholarship $3,000 – two $1,500 Michigan based scholarship winners: “Drinking Damage” by Megan Dunn, Eisenhower High School, Shelby Township, Mich., and “Be Courageous” by Mackenna Grasman, Careerline Tech Center, Holland, Mich.
  • DADA Award, $2,000 – contributed by the Detroit Auto Dealers Association: “YOLO” by Jael KuRowland High School, Rowland Heights, Cal.
  • Michelin Award, $2,000 – “Affects” by Alexus SnipesCleo TownsendLee M. Thurston High SchoolRedford, Mich.
  • Adcraft Club of Detroit Award, $2,000 – presented to the commercial that conveyed factual information about the dangers of alcohol use in the most persuasive and creative manner: “The Power of No” by Robert Marrocco, Eisenhower High School, Shelby Township, Mich.
  • State Farm Award, $1,000 – chosen based on the commercial’s effectiveness on the dangers and consequences of underage drinking and automobile usage: “Would You” by Michelle JacksonAmador Valley High School, Pleasanton, Cal.
  • College for Creative Studies Award, a $250 Award and a portfolio or reel review –  “Shattered” by Kathryn Snediker, Utica Center for Science and Industry, Sterling Heights, Mich.
  • Wall Street Journal Courageous Leader Award – presented to a special teacher for his or her extraordinary contribution to the Courageous Persuaders program: Roger Smith of Lake Orion High School, Lake Orion, Mich.
  • State Farm Fan Favorite Award, $2,500 to the winning school – “Affects” Lee M. Thurston High SchoolRedford, Mich.

The Courageous Persuaders program was created in 2000 by Oakland County District Judge Michael A. Martone and John Barczyk, a local McCann-Erickson advertising executive (retired).  In 2007, the DADA became the primary sponsor and administrator of the Courageous Persuaders program through its DADA Education Foundation. This year’s entries continued to be strong, drawing from 38 states, the Canadian Province of British Columbia, demonstrating the continued interest in the program.

In addition to the scholarship, the grand prize-winning student receives the opportunity to participate in a professional editing session to make the video broadcast ready. The commercial will be broadcast on the Courageous Persuaders Web site, on television, and will be televised in branches of the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office. For information, and to view the winning videos, go to

About the DADA Education Foundation
The mission of the DADA Education Foundation is to promote excellence in education through quality programs and leadership. In addition to the Courageous Persuaders program, the Foundation also administers Automotive Education Day at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), and the NAIAS Poster Contest.

About Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA)
The DADA was founded in 1907 by 17 local car dealers, and has grown to more than 200 member car and truck dealers who donate their time and resources to a host of community activities. Currently, the DADA members collectively employ more than 16,000 people.

Many members participate in the NAIAS, LLC, which is responsible for the production of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). The most significant charitable venture of the DADA is the annual NAIAS Charity Preview, which has raised more than $87 million for children’s charities in southeastern Michigan since 1976, of which $36 million was raised in the last seven years alone. To find out more about Detroit Auto Dealers Association, visit To find out more about the North American International Auto Show, visit

Editors Note – Image of winning students available. Please contact Sandy Herp

SOURCE DADA Education Foundation