All Air: Idaho's Mountain View High School Claims Top Prize In National Skateboard Design Contest

WASHINGTON, May 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- truth®, the nation's largest youth smoking prevention campaign, is proud to partner with Vans to announce Mountain View High School in Meridian, Idaho as the winning school in truth's inaugural skateboard deck design contest. truth conducted the contest in conjunction with Vans' Custom Culture competition. Custom Culture is a national high school art competition, where students from all over the U.S. compete for a chance to win a $50,000 grand prize for their school's art program.


This year for the first time, Vans and truth partnered up to add an additional layer to the contest, where the top 50 finalist schools were given a chance to design a skateboard deck around this tobacco industry fact: "As early as 1998, execs from one major tobacco company discussed 'covertly' contacting graffiti artists to paint for them in key locations." The fact ties into a new mobile game truth is launching this summer, called Graffiti Collective.

For creating the most compelling design, three students and one teacher from Mountain View High School will be honored at a celebration event on June 11th at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, where the grand prize winner in the Vans Custom Culture competition will be unveiled. Additionally, as the winner of the skateboard design contest, Mountain View High will receive $10,000 to support school arts programs.  The winning skateboard design and finalist designs will be featured on a gallery at 

To reach its audience with lifesaving messages about tobacco use and the marketing tactics of the tobacco industry, truth always aims to connect with teens' passions and interests, choosing initiatives and channels where we know teens and young people like to be and where they connect with friends and share information.

"We were overwhelmed by the number of submissions and the quality of the designs submitted in such a short time frame," said Eric Asche, Chief Marketing Officer at Legacy®, the national public health foundation that directs and funds the truth campaign. "Engaging with such talented young artists on this issue has been extremely rewarding. The designs submitted offer a fresh view on an epidemic that has plagued this country for generations. We are extremely happy with the finished product and are confident the design will strike a chord with teens."

Mountain View High School was a top five finalist in the Vans sneaker contest last year. With a clear passion for the arts, students created a compelling and innovative design to win the first truth skateboard design contest.

"Students had a tough time with this assignment at first, but then they got on the Web site and they thought some of the images and facts were really cool. After discussing some ideas, we then focused on a still life concept that we thought really brought the fact to life – illustrating and symbolizing how tobacco use ultimately deteriorates people's health," said Laura Ritzer, the art teacher who advised students on the project.   

Ritzer also applauded students for showing real commitment to this project, coming in before school, after school and at lunch time – and working on the skateboard deck during their own time separate from class.

The truth campaign has other links to the Boise area. The campaign's popular summer tour routinely makes a stop in suburban Boise each summer. Featuring a crew of young people who educate teens about tobacco use, the truth "zone" also features a dance floor and DJ, games and contests, and giveaways of truth-related items like t-shirts. This year, the tour will be at the Idaho Center in Nampa as part of the Uproar Festival on Thursday, September 5.


truth®, launched in February 2000, is the largest national youth smoking prevention campaign and the onlynational campaign not directed by the tobacco industry. The campaign exposes the tactics of the tobacco industry, the truth about addiction, and the health effects and social consequences of smoking. truth allows teens to make informed choices about tobacco use by giving them the facts about the industry and its products.

About truth®
truth® is the largest national youth smoking prevention campaign and the only national campaign not directed by the tobacco industry. The campaign exposes the tactics of the tobacco industry, the truth about addiction, and the health effects and social consequences of smoking. truth gives teens facts and information about the tobacco industry and its products, allowing them to make their own informed choices about tobacco use. Research-proven as an effective public health intervention, the campaign is credited with keeping hundreds of thousands of teens from starting to smoke. To learn more, visit truth is directed and funded by Legacy, a national public health foundation located in Washington, D.C. Legacy was created as a result of the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) reached between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. To learn more about Legacy's life-saving programs, visit

Follow us on Twitter @truthPR.

About Vans Custom Culture
Vans Custom Culture inspires creativity among students through art and design while at the same time aiming to shed light on diminishing budgets for art in education. Since its inception in 2010, Vans Custom Culture has reached tens of thousands of students and has awarded more than $175,000 to support high school art programs.

For more details, visit the Vans Custom Culture platforms:



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