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Community rallies to support Drive 4 UR School fundraiser

Big Freddy was there to cheer everyone on.

The community showed its support for Palisades High School’s Cybersonics Technology Team #103 on Saturday, May 4, by coming out “in droves” to raise money for the robotics club through Ford Motor Company’s Drive 4 UR School program.

Just shy of 200 people hopped in a new Ford and took a spin around the block – or, in many cases, quite a bit further than that – to earn the robotics club a $20 donation from the manufacturer for each test-drive. The unofficial tally for this event is 194 test-drives, bringing the club $3,880 if all the surveys are approved by Ford.

Last fall, a similar Lincoln Drive Smart for Your School event netted the club $2,340.

Team and club advisors

“We’re really pleased by the increase in the numbers of test-drives,” says Christian Willman, technology and engineering teacher and advisor for the club. “Next time around, we expect to reach our goal of 300 test-drives for Ford’s maximum contribution of $6,000.”

The Cybersonics must raise $100,000 a year to cover the program’s costs, which include materials and travel to several competitions. Just last week the team was in St. Louis for a major competition.

To qualify for the Ford donation, the test-driver must be 18 years or older, and only one qualified test-drive per household address is acceptable. There is absolutely no obligation to buy anything and no sales pitch. This is a no-pressure community event during which Fred Beans personnel only answer questions and help out.

Besides thirteen 2013 test-drive vehicles – F-350 SuperDuty truck, F-150 truck, Expedition, Escape, Explorer, Fusion and Fusion hybrid, Fiesta, Edge, Taurus, Focus, C-Max EV and Mustang – the Doylestown dealership provided personnel and promotional assistance for the event.

“We’re very grateful to Fred Beans Ford for again partnering with us to raise money for the Cybersonics,” said Willman.

Everyone who test-drove a Ford was entered into a raffle to win an iPad provided by the Cybersonics team.

The Drive 4 UR School event was held before, during and after the Palisades Community Foundation 5K Challenge at the high school, 35 Church Hill Road in Kintnersville.