Bridgestone Retail Operations (Bridgestone), a subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas celebrated the culmination of a two-week fundraising competition for Boys & Girls Clubs of America in partnership with NFL players from Tight End University (TEU). The campaign concluded at the TEU Summit in Nashville, where area Club youth had the opportunity to engage with players and experience activities that emphasized the importance of healthy life skills, such as teamwork, strength and the importance of good character.
At the event, Bridgestone announced it is making a $450,000 donation to local Boys & Girls Clubs to support critical needs, including transportation and technology resources. TEU also announced their players and fans raised an additional $131,000 for Clubs in NFL markets across the country. Dawson Knox, Tight End playing for the Buffalo Bills, was the top TEU fundraiser during the campaign and received an additional $100,000 donation from Bridgestone and TEU for his hometown Boys & Girls Club. All in, Bridgestone and TEU donated a combined $681,000 to Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide.
“Thanks to the dedication of TEU, their players and their fans, Club youth across the country will have better access to the critical resources and out-of-school programming provided by Boys & Girls Clubs each day,” said Marko Ibrahim, President, Bridgestone Retail Operations. “We are so proud of the impact our Boys & Girls Clubs Driving Great Futures partnership has made over the past seven years, and we are grateful to TEU for joining forces with us to help even more youth nationwide.”
The TEU partnership is the latest campaign in support of the Bridgestone Driving Great Futures initiative, which has raised more than $20 million to support Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide since the program’s inception in 2015. This is the second consecutive year Bridgestone and TEU have partnered to support Boys & Girls Clubs of America. TEU provides a venue for the country’s top Tight Ends to build camaraderie, share ideas and make an impact in their communities.
“When Greg, Travis and I created TEU, it was important to us that in addition to putting on an elite event for our Tight End community, we helped make a positive impact off the field,” said George Kittle, NFL Tight End and Co-founder, TEU. “All proceeds from TEU will go to helping people around the country. On behalf of the 80+ NFL Tight Ends in Nashville this year, we’re excited to work with Bridgestone to support the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Seeing the fans join in to donate and help raise money for BGCA was truly humbling.”
In 2015, Bridgestone established its national partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America with the mission of making out-of-school programming more accessible to Club youth and their families. Through donations collected at the company’s 2,200+ retail stores, Bridgestone has contributed funds to address transportation-related needs, including maintenance and repairs of existing Club vehicles and the purchase of 51 new vans. The partnership has also raised money to help bridge technology divides through the purchase of new computers and hotspots that support in-person Club programming, virtual classroom learning and other technology infrastructure needs.
“As Boys & Girls Clubs continue to offer safe spaces, positive mentors and life-enhancing experiences for young people, we are grateful for Bridgestone’s continued support to address critical mobility and technology needs,” said Jim Clark, President & CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “Not only has this partnership made Clubs more accessible to youth, but these efforts have strengthened our organization’s mission to help kids and teens realize their full potential.”
The Bridgestone Driving Great Futures partnership aligns with the Bridgestone E8 Commitment that consists of eight Bridgestone-like values starting with the letter “E” to realize a sustainable society. The Driving Great Futures initiative is an example of the company’s commitment to “Empowerment,” which is defined as contributing to a society that ensures accessibility and dignity for all and “Emotion”, defined as inspiring excitement and spreading joy to the world of mobility.