May 12, 2014 Nashville, TN

Michigan Elementary School Wins $25,000 Grand Prize in Bridgestone Fuel the Cause Contest

Donation will rebuild Waterloo Elementary School playground

Students at Waterloo Elementary school in Monroe, Mich., will now be able to build their much longed-for playground. Bridgestone Americas (Bridgestone) today announced the school is the winning site of its Fuel the Cause contest, receiving a $25,000 gift from the world’s largest tire and rubber maker.

More than 376,000 public votes were cast for Waterloo Elementary school through an online voting portal on the Bridgestone website. Waterloo students, faculty and area community leaders turned to social media, launching a grassroots, viral campaign to encourage the public to vote for their playground project. Currently, Waterloo students and neighborhood children have no place to play after previous playground equipment was removed for safety reasons. Waterloo Elementary is the smallest school in the Monroe Public Schools District with a poverty rate of 80 percent.

“The environmental mission of Bridgestone is to help ensure a healthy environment for current and future generations, and the Fuel the Cause contest has shown us that we are not alone in our commitment to building a sustainable future,” said Erik Seidel, Vice President of Brand Management, Bridgestone Americas. “Congratulations to the students of Waterloo Elementary and thank you to everyone who participated in our contest. It’s amazing what we can accomplish when we work together as One Team, One Planet.”

This is the first year for the Bridgestone Fuel the Cause contest. Consumer response exceeded expectations, with more than 760,000 votes cast in the month of April to support 12 finalists. To enter the Fuel the Cause contest, consumers were asked to submit three pictures and a brief description of the project and how it would benefit from a $25,000 transformation. The entry with the highest number of online consumer votes was selected as the grand-prize winner.

Bridgestone conducted the Fuel the Cause contest as part of its annual Rethink Green campaign in April. Rethink Green highlights the Bridgestone Ecopia line of tires, which delivers low rolling resistance and improved fuel efficiency, as well as the company’s breadth of Eco-Products. The Eco-Product designation is used to identify Bridgestone products that feature environmentally-conscious materials, such as low-aromatic oil and recycled materials, and also are designed to help improve vehicle fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.

For more information about the Bridgestone Rethink Green campaign, visit For additional information about the Bridgestone Americas “One Team, One Planet” environmental platform, or to learn more about the company’s global environmental mission, visit