Fifth Third Bank

News Release


Waterford Woman wins $250,000 in Fifth Third “Unlock Your Dreams” Contest; Ann Arbor Woman wins $10,000


Laurie Richards of Waterford, Michigan, is $250,000 closer to realizing her dreams today, thanks to Fifth Third Bank’s “Unlock Your Dreams” contest. And the good news doesn’t stop there. In addition, Martha Gatlin of Ann Arbor won $10,000. Michigan also had $10,000 winners in both Grand Rapids and Sutton’s Bay. Eastern Michigan’s two prize winners received their checks at a special awards presentation today at the Southfield 2000 Town Center Atrium.

In keeping with Fifth Third’s legacy of giving back to the community, our two prize winners helped unlock dreams for three SE Michigan charities at the awards event. In the spirit of the “Unlock Your Dreams” theme, Food Gatherers, Lighthouse/Pathways and Gleaners opened treasure chests in the hopes of unlocking their dreams to support their missions. Cash prizes of $1,000, $5,000 and $10,000 were locked in those treasure chests. Food Gatherers won the $10,000 prize, Lighthouse/Pathways won $5,000 and Gleaners opened the $1,000 treasure chest.

The Unlock Your Dreams contest, which ran from September through October, complements Fifth Third Bank’s advertising theme – the things we do for dreams – launched in February. “This year, our advertisements and other communications have touched on dreams of all shapes and sizes, and have celebrated the steps and sacrifices individuals make today to realize their dreams for tomorrow,” explains David Girodat, President and CEO of Fifth Third Bank Eastern Michigan. “Our goal with every consumer interaction is to help our customers understand the connection between today’s financial decisions and tomorrow’s dreams. This sweepstakes was designed to encourage customers to consider their goals – be it a new home, retirement, higher education or more – and engage in a conversation about how Fifth Third Bank can help them along the way.”

Girodat adds that this campaign was the Bank’s most comprehensive consumer initiative to date. “We are thrilled that out of the entire Fifth Third Bancorp footprint, the grand prize winner was drawn from right here in Eastern Michigan.”

Laurie Richards, a long-time customer and single mother of three grown children, plans to use the $250,000 to fund a much-needed retirement account. “I work as a personal assistant for a family where the mother has Parkinson’s disease and her son has Downe’s Syndrome, said Richards. “I cook, clean and care for the family but have no retirement. This is truly a blessing for me!”

Because many customers today are more concerned with holding onto their dreams, Fifth Third Bank is also launching a new initiative called “Dream Guard”, a multi-faceted program offering free practical ideas and useful information designed to help people navigate today’s financial uncertainty. This initiative includes a comprehensive brochure with tools and tips to help customers through turbulent times, enhancements to its Web site to provide helpful resources, and print advertising and in-bank displays. Some of the helpful information includes articles on how to talk with your children about financial difficulties, dealing with stress, tips for selling a home in a down market and much more. For more information, go to and look for the Dream Guard logo.

About Fifth Third Bank

Fifth Third Bank, Eastern Michigan, is based in Southfield, Michigan and led by President David F. Girodat. Fifth Third Bank is metropolitan Detroit’s seventh largest bank and has $6.37 billion in assets, $4.6 billion in deposits, $2.5 billion in assets under care and actively manages $600 million for its personal, corporate, and not-for-profit clients.

Fifth Third Bank serves customers in eight southeastern Michigan counties: Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, St. Clair, Shiawassee, Livingston, Genesee and Washtenaw. Fifth Third Bank currently operates 91 banking centers, and more than 120 ATMs throughout eastern Michigan.

Fifth Third Bank believes in strengthening neighborhoods and communities. In 2007, the Bank donated more than $1.0 million to neighborhood and small business improvement programs.