Test drives raises funds for VHS

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Test-driving spiffy new cars to raise money for local students sounds like a pretty good deal. Valencia High School scored almost $6,000 by getting nearly 300 people to take a test drive.

Test-driving spiffy new cars to raise money for local students sounds like a pretty good deal. Valencia High School scored almost $6,000 by getting nearly 300 people to take a test drive.

Deborah Fox-News-Bulletin photo: Valencia High School seniors, from left, Giselle Garcia and Uriel Urquijo, and Renaissance Coordinator Diane Silva receive a check for $5,740 from Brad Francis for student extracurricular programs. VHS Principal Darian Jaramilo is pictured at the far right.

The money was raised through the Ford Motor Company’s “Drive 4 UR School” event hosted by Brad Francis Ford last April.

Brad Francis, owner of the All American Auto Mall in Los Lunas, delivered the check to the school on June 26.

“This is great because it helps extracurricular programs that don’t receive funding,” said Diane Silva, the VHS Renaissance coordinator.

Silva and students from the Renaissance, student council, and prom clubs helped promote the event. For every test-drive the Ford company donates $20. The more test drives, the more money raised.

“Supporting our local high schools is a top priority for all of the dealerships in the Brad Francis All American Auto Mall,” said Brad Francis, president. “When Ford offered to partner with us to help raise money for the VHS extra-curricular programs, we jumped at the chance to make it happen.”

Eight different Ford automotive models were available to drive including the brand new Ford Mustang, Fusion and Fiesta.

“The mustang was the bar, everyone took that one,” said VHS senior, Uriel Urquijo.

The money will be divided between the Renaissance, student council and prom club programs.

Silva said the programs will use the money for Renaissance rewards and travel, next year’s prom and student council to attend the state student government leadership conference in February.

“It was very exciting that we got this opportunity because fundraising is our only source of funding these programs,” said Silva. “The students have to raise the money for anywhere they want to go, so if we don’t have the money for extracurricular events, we don’t go.”

Drive 4 UR School was organized by Francis and was held at the Tractor Supply and Wells Fargo parking lots. Students from all three clubs helped run the event.

“The turnout was tremendous,” Francis said. “We conducted a total of 287 (test drives), and raised $5,740. It was lot of fun and people really enjoyed seeing all the exciting models that Ford has to offer.”

Ford allots the dealership two Drive 4 UR School events per year, and a Drive 4 Ur School event for Los Lunas High School will take place in the near future, said Sylvia Martin, marketing coordinator.

Francis is looking for ways to pump up the local Drive 4 Ur School events.

“We’ve got some new models coming out, a new Mustang and an all aluminum body F-150 − lighter, stronger, faster,” Francis said. “There are some cool cars coming out.”

He plans to add more new cars to test drive and match every $20 the Ford Motor Company donates as well as donate $100 for every car sold.

“This will be an annual thing,” he said. “We’ll make it even better next year.”

Brad Francis All American Auto Mall also provided the free car for the annual Valencia High School Renaissance car give-away this year, and has committed to providing a car every year.


-- Email the author at dfox@news-bulletin.com.