NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Feb. 2, 2016) — Minges Brook Elementary School in Battle Creek, Mich., and World Compass Academy in Castle Rock, Colo., are the grand prize winners in Bridgestone Americas'“Fuel the Drive” contest.
Based on the quality of contest submissions and the narrow margin of votes between the top two entries, Bridgestone said it was inspired to award two grand prizes of $25,000 instead of one.
A runner-up prize of $5,000 will be awarded to Crestwood Intermediate School in Chesapeake, Va., the third highest recipient of votes in the contest.
“Like everyone who voted in our Fuel the Drive contest, we were inspired by these wonderful and deserving projects, and we are excited to be able to give away two grand prizes,” said Amber Holm, vice president of brand marketing, Bridgestone.
“Programs like Fuel the Drive are an important part of our vision at Bridgestone to be an innovative tire company and an outstanding corporate citizen.”
Bridgestone said it created Fuel the Drive as a way to help fund a new or existing K-12 school-based athletic program or wellness initiative. The contest is part of the tire maker's partnership with the National Football League (NFL) initiative, NFL PLAY.
To enter the contest, nearly 100 contestants submitted a 250-word essay describing why their school's program has untapped potential and explaining how contest prize money would be used. A panel of judges selected the top 10 finalists and then turned the decision over to the public to vote for their top choice.
During the voting period from Nov. 12 through Dec. 14, the contest received hundreds of thousands of votes.
In addition to their prize money, the two grand prize winners and runner-up will receive an NFL PLAY 60 in a Box kit, which includes a range of equipment to increase physical activity options for students.
The three winners all will be making playground and recreation area improvements, according to Bridgestone. Minges Brook plans to use the grand prize funds to purchase new playground equipment for students to enjoy during recess sessions each day and to provide a place for neighborhood children to play after school or during the summer.
World Compass Academy plans to use its winnings to purchase soccer nets, a backstop for baseball, bleachers and paint lines for soccer and football fields.
Finally, runner-up Crestwood Intermediate School will be purchasing additional playground equipment for its students.