Courageous Persuaders program harnesses creativity to deliver youth-to-youth message about dangers of underage drinking

TROY, Mich., Feb. 7, 2011 – The Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA) Education Foundation is reminding students that the deadline for entry into the Courageous Persuaders video competition is approaching quickly. The deadline for entry is February 10, 2011. The announcement was made by DADA President Jim Seavitt.

courageous persuaders logoCourageous 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 commercial in select Michigan Secretary of State (SOS) branch offices.

“This high school competition awards creativity and persuasiveness,” said Seavitt. “This is a great opportunity for peer-to-peer influence and education, where high school students learn while creating, and their clever and interesting videos positively impact middle school students’ thinking about the dangers of underage drinking.”

The DADA Education Foundation also announced the Awards Celebration will be held at the Troy Marriott on May 19, 2011, complete with red carpet, strolling supper and an enhanced awards presentation hosted by Detroit Fox 2 News Anchor Huel Perkins.

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. In 2007, the DADA became the primary sponsor and administrator of the Courageous Persuaders program through its DADA Education Foundation. Last year, the contest drew 743 entries from 1,196 students in 45 states.

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:

  • Lindsey Renee Cianciolo Family Memorial Scholarship: $3,000 – two $1,500 Michigan-based scholarship winners
  • Adcraft Club of Detroit Award: $2,000 – presented to the commercial that conveyed factual information about the dangers of alcohol use
  • New York festivals: $2,000 – chosen based on the commercial’s effectiveness to inform and inspire
  • Wall Street Journal Award: $2,000 – chosen among the most persuasive commercials, as judged by middle school students
  • State Farm Insurance: $1,000 – awarded to a Michigan-based entry on the dangers of drinking and driving
  • College for Creative Studies Award: $250 – based on the creativity of the commercial
  • Courageous Leader Award – presented to a special teacher for his or her extraordinary support of the Courageous Persuaders program

Seavitt announced that Courageous Persuaders has created a satellite program in San Diego, Cal. The program, administered by the New Car Dealers Association of San Diego County (NCDA), will be a regional program, awarding scholarships of $2,500, $1,500, and $1,000 for first, second and third place, respectively, to students of San Diego County.

Winners are selected after several rounds of judging. During the first round, a panel from the DADA views the entries and identifies the top 60 contenders. Those entries are then reviewed by students at middle schools, who complete questionnaires. Results of the questionnaires determine the winners.

To view the winning commercials and/or enter the 2011 competition, visit the Web site at, or contact Sandy Herp at 248.283.5138 or

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 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 16,000 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 $44 million for children’s charities in southeastern Michigan since 1976. To find out more, visit and

Contact: Sandy Herp, Tel: (248) 283-5138,

Source: The Detroit Auto Dealers Association