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'Holiday Holla' trio takes third

Car crashes are the No. 1 killer of teens, taking more than 5,000 lives a year, and the holiday season is a deadly time for teen drivers.

But that hasn't stopped a group of teens from spreading good cheer and smart driving messages through one of the first contests of its kind called "Holiday Holla."

With the goal of saving lives during a deadly time of year for teen drivers, the Allstate Foundation -- through its national teen-to-teen smart driving movement, Keep the Drive -- challenged teens from across the country to rewrite and perform (or "holla") holiday carols with new, catchy lyrics about smart driving.

From among the many entries, teens voted on their favorites and the top five most popular performers were selected to belt it out at the finalist event during which a panel of teen and celebrity judges selected the grand prize winner.

Emily Twohig, 14, Sara Sweeney, 14 and Alexa Erickson, 14, from Woodbury, won $3,000 for finishing third place in the contest.

Taking first place was Dillon Craig, 18, Jeremy Glick,17 and Sam Feil,17, from Visalia, Calif., who won $10,000 from The Allstate Foundation.

Tomaso DeNoia, 17, Kim Kasten, 17 and Brooke Davenport, 18, of Tom's River, N.J. took second place with a prize of $5,000.

Craig, Glick and Feil performed, along with four other teams, their version of the holiday carol Jingle Bells with smart driving lyrics in front of recording artist Kate Voegele, known for her guest starring role on "One Tree Hill," and hundreds of holiday shoppers at the Mall of America, in Bloomington, Minn., on Dec. 6.

Allstate Insurance agent Jason Frankot from Cottage Grove helped kick off the event by welcoming the crowd on behalf of The Allstate Foundation and introducing Voegele.

"The Allstate Foundation's teen driving program is about empowering teens to become smart driving activists in their communities," said Frankot. "It is our hope that the Holiday Holla contest helps positively impact the driving choices of teens across the country this holiday season."