WESTPORT – South Decatur High School (SDHS) will be holding a fundraiser from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, sponsored by Ford Motor Company and Don Meyer Ford to raise money for the school.
For every qualified person who test drives a Ford during the event, the car manufacturer will donate $20 to the school, up to a maximum of $6,000. To be qualified, one must only be at least 18-years-old and possess a valid driver’s license. Test drivers do not need to be a student or even know a student to qualify for a test-drive-donation. After the test drive, a short survey is filled out and the school will receive the $20 donation. However, only one driver per household will qualify for a donation.
According to Jerry Sebo of Don Meyer Ford, the school was told about the fundraiser last year. SDHS Athletic Director Willard Rice contacted Sebo this year to schedule the event, which Ford Motor Company calls, “Test Drive One 4 UR School.” Each Ford dealership may hold two of these events per year.
Sebo said Don Meyer Ford will send the 12 vehicles that make up the current Ford product lineup, complete with a long list of extras. The vehicles will reportedly be equipped with Ford Sync and MyFord Touch, the comprehensive in-car communications and entertainment system that allows users to make hands-free telephone calls and control vehicle systems.
Sebo said that at least three Don Meyer Ford employees will be on hand to assist with the test drive event. While the money for the donations will come from Ford Motor Company, the vehicles and staff will be supplied by Don Meyer Ford.
“Don Meyer Ford has been in this business for 40 years and have always been about the community. We do a number of scholarships every year and we are happy to be able to help the schools with this as well,” said Sebo.
Willard Rice, the SDHS athletic director, said he contacted Don Meyer Ford this year to arrange the fundraiser for the athletic department. Some of the money raised is already earmarked for the football department, which has a large part in putting the test drive fundraiser together. Depending on how many test drives the school accumulates and how much money they receive, the remaining funds will be distributed among other athletic teams.
Rice credited head football coach Rodney Martin with a lot of the success in building momentum for this event. “He’s worked very hard for this. Because of him, the kids, coaching staff and parents are enthusiastic about this,” Rice said. “It’s hard to get people excited about fundraisers, but Coach Martin has and he deserves a lot of the credit.”
New SDHS Assistant Principal Marty Layden said the school has been advertising the fundraiser as much as possible. During registration, there is a sign hanging outside the school and every student and parent that come through the office are told about the upcoming event. The fundraiser has also been advertised on local radio station WTRE.
While this is a first-time event for both SDHS and Don Meyer Ford, Rice believes that the school will take part in it in the future. Though SDHS will likely have to wait for its turn. If the fundraiser is successful, there is a very good chance that the other schools in Don Meyer Ford’s service area will want to participate as well.
“This is a wonderful fundraising prospect for the school. Ford is providing us a great opportunity to raise money for our athletic department. And it’s all at no cost to the school, the parents and the supporters,” Rice said. “We will absolutely be taking part in the future.”
The Varsity Football Parent’s Club will be holding a fish fry dinner during the “Test Drive One 4 UR School” event. They will be selling fish sandwiches, chips and drinks to further raise money for the football team.
The football players aren’t sitting idly by and letting others do all the work, either. The football team, as well as the coaching staff, will be on hand to assist with the event, which adds up to anywhere between 25 and 40 student volunteers ready to make the fundraiser go smoothly. There will also be at least five faculty members in attendance.
The students and staff at SDHS are hoping for the 300 test drive maximum, allowing them to receive the full $6,000. Layden said the school is expecting to finish the day in the 200 to 300 range, which will still bring in a large amount of money for the athletic department.
Every person over the age of 18 with a valid driver’s license is warmly invited to stop by South Decatur High School on Saturday, August 3 between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. to test drive a new Ford vehicle and donate to the school without spending a penny. For the cost of only a few minutes, qualified drivers have the opportunity to donate to the hardworking students of SDHS. South Decatur High School is located at 8885 South State Road 3.
Contact: Amanda Browning 812-663-3111 x7004