NEW YORK, Dec. 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ - Shred-it -- the leading information security company providing safe and secure destruction services and Presenting sponsor of Good Riddance Day -- together with the Times Square Alliance, today announced Carissa Payan of San Diego, California as the winner of the 2017 Good Riddance Day contest.
On Dec. 31, 2016, Carissa and her husband, Austen, made a promise to pay down their $25,000 debt of student loans, medical bills, car payments and other expenses by New Year's Eve 2017. Determined to ditch the debt, Carissa and Austen set out on a year-long crusade to become debt free by the end of 2017 by sticking to a stricter household budget and cutting back on some of life's modern indulgences, including a year without manicures, Netflix and a whole lot of PB&J sandwiches.
"The journey to getting debt free was not without sacrifices for my husband and me. We felt so trapped by our debt and knew we needed to take drastic steps to pay it all off," said Carissa. "We did whatever we could to make additional payments toward our debt and that meant picking up weekend jobs, selling our second car and even selling my wedding dress."
Carissa was selected from 1700 entries across the country by a panel of judges from Shred-it and the Times Square Alliance.
"While there were so many fantastic stories of sacrifice, overcoming adversity and triumph, Carissa's story of becoming debt free in just a year really stood out and promotes a positive message of persistence and perseverance in the face of adversity," said Paul D'Adamo, District Manager, Shred-it. "We are not only excited to help the Payans shred their last bill during our Good Riddance Day Event, but we also look forward to helping many more people shred some of their most forgettable memories of 2017."
As the grand prize winner, Carissa will enjoy a 5-night trip to New York for Good Riddance Day on Dec. 28 where she will be the first person in line to securely destroy the couple's last bill. As part of her trip, Carissa will also receive tickets to attend the official New Year's Eve VIP Party in Times Square.
Good Riddance Day will take place on Dec. 28, 2017 in New York City's Times Square Broadway Plaza between 45th and 46th Street from noon to 1 p.m. EST. All shredded material generated on Good Riddance Day will be baled and sent to nearby recycling plants to be turned into something usable like everyday paper products. For every ton of paper shredded and recycled, 17 trees, 4,100 kilowatts of energy and 3.5 cubic yards of landfill space will be saved. New Yorkers and visitors to the city are invited to this free event where Shred-it will park a mobile shredding truck in Times Square. Participants are encouraged to bring their funniest, most outlandish or unpleasant items to the event to be shredded.
"Carissa and her husband's inspiring story is a great way to celebrate the 11th annual Good Riddance Day event with everyone in Times Square as debt is something that millions can relate to," said Tim Tompkins, President, Times Square Alliance. "There's no better way to get rid of these unwanted memories than by shredding them with us and Shred-it on the 28th to start fresh in the New Year."
Shred-it is a world-leading information security company providing information destruction services that ensure the security and integrity of our clients' private information. Shred-it, a Stericycle solution, operates in 170 markets throughout 18 countries worldwide, servicing more than 400,000 global, national and local businesses. For more information, please visit www.shredit.com
About Times Square New Year's Eve
The Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment are the organizers of Times Square New Year's Eve. The Times Square Alliance works to improve and promote Times Square so that it retains the energy, edge and distinctiveness that have made it an icon of entertainment, culture and urban life. Countdown Entertainment, which represents the owners of One Times Square, and the New Year's Eve Ball, is a marketing management and event production company specializing in the Times Square area.