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Courageous Persuaders Honors High School Students with Over $23,000 in Scholarships and Awards at Upcoming Celebration

TROY, Mich., May 5, 2015 – The Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA) Education Foundation announced today that tickets are still available for its 2015 Courageous Persuaders Video Competition Awards Celebration which will be held on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at the Emagine Theatre in Royal Oak, Michigan. The Courageous Persuaders Video Competition, now in its 15th year, recognizes high school students that take a creative approach to educate fellow students on the dangers of underage drinking. This year, Courageous Persuaders will give away over $23,000 in scholarships.

“As a parent I can’t think of a more worthy initiative to support, especially one that has the potential to save children’s lives,” said Sam Slaughter, DADA president. “I encourage parents with teenage children to attend and not only educate themselves on the dangers of underage drinking, but learn about more creative ways to connect with their children on this important cause.”

Tickets for the event, which is open to the public, are $25 for adults and $20 for 18 and under, can be purchased at the door. Huel Perkins, noted WJBK Fox2 Detroit television personality will be the emcee for the event and will be joined on the stage by many notable Michigan executives and dignitaries, including Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director, Michigan State Police.

Courageous Persuaders is a competition-based scholarship program that invites high school students to create a 30-second television commercial about the dangers of underage drinking. The commercials are targeted toward middle school-aged children, with the winning entries aired on television and via streaming video on The Michigan Department of State, led by Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, will also show the winning commercials in select Michigan Secretary of State (SOS) branch offices.

Winning entries are eligible for the following scholarship awards:

  • Grand Prize: $3,000
  • First Place: $1,500
  • Second Place: $1,000
  • Third Place: $500

Additionally, special awards are also presented by Courageous Persuaders partners:
State Farm Fan Favorite Award: $3,500 – a cash prize of $2,500 to the school with the most “likes” on the Courageous Persuaders YouTube Channel and $1,000 to the student/team that created the commercial.

  • Lindsey Renee Cianciolo Family Memorial Award: $3,000 – two $1,500 Michigan-based scholarship winners
  • Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA) Award: $2,000 – presented to the commercial that best illustrates the dangers and effects of drinking and driving
  • Adcraft Club of Detroit Award: $2,000 – presented to the commercial that conveyed factual information about the dangers of alcohol use
  • Michelin Award: $2,000 – presented to the commercial that best illustrates the dangers and effects of drinking and driving
  • AutoTrader Award: $2,000 – presented to the commercial that best illustrates the dangers and effects of drinking and driving
  • Dangers of Texting While Driving Award: $1,000 – Courageous Persuaders has expanded its message to also include the dangers of texting while driving. This award is presented to the commercial that conveyed the dangers of distracted driving
  • State Farm Award: $1,000: awarded to a commercial that best illustrates the dangers of drinking and driving
  • Wall Street Journal Courageous Leader Award: $500 – presented to a special teacher for his or her extraordinary support of the Courageous Persuaders program
  • College for Creative Studies Award: $250 – based on the creativity of the commercial

Winners are selected after several rounds of judging starting with a panel from the DADA that views the entries and identifies the top 60 finalists during the first round. Those entries are then reviewed by students at middle schools, who complete questionnaires to determine the final winners for each category.

State Farm, a long-time partner, will feature its driving simulator, staffed by deputies from the Michigan Sheriff’s Association. The driving simulator will give participants the experience of driving drunk and the negative side effects involved.

To view the 2014 winning commercials or for information about the competition and upcoming awards celebration, visit Courageous Persuaders.

To view last year’s winning commercials and/or enter the 2015 competition, visit the Web site at, or contact Sandy Herp at tel: (248) 283-5138 or by e-mail at [email protected].

About the DADA Education Foundation

dada education foundation logoThe 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)

Detroit Auto Dealers Association LogoThe DADA was founded in 1907 by 17 local car dealers, and has grown to more than 220 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 16,500 people. Many members participate in the NAIAS, LLC, which is responsible for the production of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). To find out more about Detroit Auto Dealers Association, visit To find out more about the NAIAS, visit

About SmartFinds Internet Marketing
smartfinds internet marketingSmartFinds Internet Marketing is proud sponsor of Courageous Persuaders helping with Internet marketing. SmartFinds is a 2009 Michigan 50 Companies To Watch awardee. The critical element of SmartFinds Internet Marketing solutions and services is the creativity and imagination to apply the technological aspects of the digital marketplace to the marketing objectives of a particular business. You can visit SmartFinds Internet Marketing at

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More Stories By Melih Oztalay

I have over 20 years of experience in developing successful, efficient and strategic web marketing and advertising solutions for businesses. Working through an entrepreneurial framework, I have focused on business development, sales, execution, and management. Combining solid knowledge of marketing and advertising with information technology, I have been successful in being able to apply digital technologies to the needs of businesses. As an early adopter of new ideas and technology, my clients are able to benefit from imaginative and effective programs that keep them ahead of their competition.

The Company

Smartfinds is a digital marketing agency working with national and global corporate clients including domestic and off-shore franchise operations with their online marketing efforts. We offer a number of core competencies including web marketing research, analysis, strategies, and tactics; website development and SEO; organic search engine marketing with content marketing and social media marketing; Google AdWords advertising including pay-per-click; Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools interpretation; Local Store Marketing including customer ratings and reviews management; and more.

Our entrepreneurial business approach employs open-mind creativity and early-adopter assertiveness along with in-depth planning for business growth. Our goal is to be a strategic partner with our clients focused on increasing traffic to the website, business growth, generate leads, increase sales and revenues.