State Farm wants G-AHS teens to adopt good driving habits

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot

The two State Farm agencies in Greencastle have banded together to promote a safe driving initiative. To the targeted audience, teenagers, the ultimate prize of a concert by Kelly Clarkson may be the reason to participate. But to agency organizers Cindy Piskorik, Julann Stoops and Kadee Bard, adopting safe driving habits are more important in the long run.

Piskorik and Stoops, office staff with Ted Mercado, and Bard with Fran Kenawell’s office, are planning the promotion for the week of Oct. 18-26.

“There have been several bad accidents involving teenagers in the past several years,” said Stoops. “Sometimes they are texting, which even a lot of adults do.”

Nationally, State Farm is sponsoring “Celebrate My Drive”, urging people ages 14 and up to commit to safe driving. The program began last year to share the belief that safe driving is a lifelong commitment. The insurance company says crashes are the number one cause of death for North American teens.

The Celebrate logo is 2N2, which means two eyes on the road and two hands on the wheel.

Participants, including community members, may go online once daily per email address during the week to make the pledge. The site is celebratemydrive.com

Greencastle-Antrim High School is registered under the large school category. Ten prizes of $100,000 and 90 prizes of $25,000 will also be awarded. Ten percent of each grant must be used in support of a teen driver safety program. The rest can go to school-related needs approved by State Farm.

The organizers hope everyone in the district will join in.

“We want the school to win,” said Piskorik.

The staff from both insurance offices are helping out. A kickoff event will be held at the Oct. 11 G-AHS home football game. State Farm will pass out information and free hot chocolate. Employees will be in the high school cafeteria each day the week of Oct. 18. They are planning a special event for the final day.

“We will also have a Facebook event page,” added Bard.

The committee wants area businesses to get involved, too, as outlets for handouts and posters. Because G-AHS is on the smaller end of the large school category, every commitment will increase its chance of winning a grant.