Mitsubishi And Burton Snowboards Expand Chill Program

Chill Program Launches in Nine Cities This Winter, Including Toronto, Canada

CYPRESS, Calif., Jan. – Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) and Burton Snowboards’ Chill Foundation (Chill) are partnering to enable more than 1,500 at-risk inner-city youth to experience life enriching activities through the Chill learn-to-snowboard program.

Chill will introduce youth from more than 135 child-welfare organizations and schools in North America to a new sport and to an opportunity to succeed. For many of these children, personal success happens all too infrequently.

“Our partnership gives participating youth the opportunity to build self- esteem by meeting challenges and developing a sense of accomplishment and pride in their own abilities, all by learning how to snowboard,” said Gael O’Brien, MMNA vice president, corporate communications and public affairs. “The valuable lessons learned and the experiences they gain with Chill extend far beyond the life of the program and embody the spirit of Mitsubishi Motors and our employees.”

Chill was founded in 1995 by Burton Snowboards as a way of giving back and sharing the sport of snowboarding with kids in the company’s hometown of Burlington, Vermont. Immediately realizing the need for this type of organized activity and the benefits provided to these troubled kids through the experience, Burton took the necessary steps of expanding the program into other cities. Snowboards, boots, bindings, technical outerwear, transportation, lift tickets and instructions are furnished as part of the program, which has grown into a nine-city program. Because snowboarding has such a rapid learning curve, Chill participants can go from novice to snowboarding proficiently at the end of the six-week program, allowing them a taste of success that can often be life-changing.

“We provide the necessary equipment and materials, and the youth bring the energy, enthusiasm and determination,” said Jenn Davis, director of Burton Snowboards’ Chill Foundation.

MMNA is the international vehicle sponsor of Chill, as well as the city sponsor for Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, DC and the newest Chill site, Toronto. MMNA is proud to expand the Chill program to Toronto, Canada for its first year; and again in Washington, DC for its second year; Chicago for its third year; and Los Angeles for its fourth year. In addition to financial support, MMNA employees within each region serve as volunteers and role models during Chill’s six-week program and MMNA provides each Chill site with a specially prepared Mitsubishi Outlander “ChillMobile” to serve as a support vehicle. The nine Chill sites are Boston, Chicago, DC, Los Angeles, New York, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Toronto and Vermont.

“Chill is a very special program. Most of the inner-city children participating have never been to the mountains and some have never even seen snow,” adds Ms. Davis. “We are so excited to see our partnership with Mitsubishi Motors continue to grow, allowing more deserving youth to experience the positive, life-changing effects of Chill.”

Chill is an international non-profit learn-to-snowboard intervention program for underprivileged and at-risk inner-city kids between the ages of 10-18. The program works through agencies that service disadvantaged kids (on probation, in foster care and residential group homes, from low-income neighborhoods, at-risk of dropping out of school or getting involved with gangs or drugs).

Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., (MMNA) is responsible for all of the North American operations of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation. As a single company consolidated on Jan. 1, 2003, MMNA and its subsidiaries manufacture, distribute, finance and market Mitsubishi brand coupes, convertibles, sedans and sport utility vehicles through a network of nearly 700 dealers in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Mitsubishi Motors sold its first vehicle in the U.S. in 1981, and began building carrs here in 1988 at its manufacturing facility in Normal, Ill. For more information, call the Mitsubishi Motors News Bureau at (888) 560-6672.