Perfect School Attendance Jumps 104% During Inaugural “Drive for Perfect Attendance” Program

May 9, 2014

Contact:
Liz Baker, Thompson & Co. Public Relations
907-561-4488, liz@thompsonpr.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Program Sponsored by Local Businesses Awards Prizes Including 2014 Jeep Patriot

Anchorage, Alaska – The inaugural “Drive for Perfect Attendance” program finished out a stellar year by awarding a brand new Jeep Patriot to one high school student with perfect attendance, and 50,000 Alaska Airlines Miles each to four runners up. The campaign was a partnership by Lithia Chrysler Jeep Dodge of South Anchorage and GCI, Pizza Hut Alaska, the Alaska Aces, Alaska Fighting Championship and Anchorage School Business Partnerships.

The winner of the Jeep Patriot, donated by Lithia Chrysler Jeep Dodge of South Anchorage, was Justus Easley, a senior from SAVE High School. The other finalists, who each took home 50,000 Alaska Airlines Miles donated by GCI, included Dylan Denter from Eagle River High School, Chong Her from Bartlett High School, Bryan Kirby from South High School and Jemuel Prince from East High School. Additionally, Pizza Hut Alaska awarded Personal Pan Pizzas to all 4,735 ASD high school students who had attendance of 95 percent or better this school year, while the Aces and AFC donated 500 tickets each to their events throughout the year.

“As an Alaskan and as an employer, I like to know we can make a difference in important matters like education and the importance of attendance in both school and future employment,” said Lithia Chrysler Jeep Dodge of South Anchorage General Manager Troy Jarvis. “We’re proud to be a part of this program and believe we will continue to see positive results for years to come. Lithia Automotive Group and Lithia Chrysler Jeep Dodge of South Anchorage share a deep commitment to nonprofit events and organizations that support children’s programs.”

Out of nearly 6,400 students in grades 11-12, 434 had perfect attendance for the school year and were eligible to win the Jeep Patriot. Generously donated by Lithia Chrysler Jeep Dodge of South Anchorage, the grand prize served as a spectacular incentive for juniors and seniors to achieve perfect attendance for the entire school year. Perfect attendance for Anchorage School District students at the high school level was up by a startling 104 percent over the previous year. The number of students in grades 9-12 with attendance of 95 percent or better increased by 26 percent.

“GCI is committed to giving back to our community, and we’re proud to play a part in such an impactful campaign,” said GCI Senior Vice President and General Manager of Consumer Services Paul Landes. “Great education is the foundation of a great community, and getting students to take initiative for their own school attendance is a huge part of that.”

“For over 35 years, high school-aged kids have been among our best customers and our best employees. We are happy to help engage kids with learning and completing their education,” said Kurban Kurani of Pizza Hut Alaska.

The idea behind Drive for Perfect Attendance originated from Lithia Chrysler Jeep Dodge of South Anchorage General Manager Troy Jarvis after speaking with Jeannie Mackie, school board president at the time. With a rough concept in hand, Jarvis partnered with GCI and Pizza Hut of Alaska because both companies have a strong history of supporting education in Alaska.

During registration for the 2013-14 school year, Lithia Chrysler Jeep Dodge of South Anchorage, GCI and Pizza Hut, along with the Alaska Aces and Alaska Fighting Championship, partnered through the Anchorage School Business Partnerships, to fully develop this program and encourage students to take attendance more seriously. In addition to the Jeep Patriot, Alaska Airlines miles and generous donations from Pizza Hut Alaska, other prizes throughout the year included trips to Disneyland, mobile phones and tablets, Alaska Aces hockey games and Alaska Fighting Championships.

About Lithia Automotive Group

Originally founded in Medford, Oregon 1946, Lithia Automotive Group is a publicly traded company with more than 100 automotive dealerships in 13 states, including nine in Alaska. Lithia currently employs more than 450 employees in its Alaska dealerships. From the very beginning, it has been a Lithia priority to actively contribute in the communities in which Lithia does business. For more information on Lithia community commitments, please visit http://www.lithia4kids.com. More information About Lithia Chrysler Jeep Dodge of South Anchorage is available at www.lithiachrysleranchorage.com.

About GCI

GCI is the top provider of voice, data and video services in Alaska, through which consumers can experience entertainment everywhere. GCI is also the leading provider of communications services to enterprise customers, particularly large enterprise customers with complex data networking needs. The Alaska-based company is dedicated to providing the best in communication services, including the state’s largest wireless network, high-speed broadband, digital cable television and local telephone services. The company offers more than 1,200 TurboZone locations statewide to provide customers with more high-speed wireless capabilities. The Alaska-based company continuously supports community efforts, contributing to nonprofit organizations across the state. More information about GCI can be found at www.gci.com/about.

About Pizza Hut Alaska

Alaska family owned and operated by Kurani Inc. since 1978, Pizza Hut Alaska has 13 restaurants in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Wasilla, North Pole and Kenai. Pizza Hut is dedicated to providing America’s Favorite Pizza. Approximately 20% of Pizza Hut’s 250+ employees are high school students, often working in their first job.