When the Central Bucks West Football Parents Club and Bucks’ head coach Brian Hensel were planning this year’s test-drive fundraiser – the fifth in a row in partnership with Ford Motor Company and Fred Beans Ford – they realized they’d need to set the date for Friday, September 6, after school was in session in order to capture the now traditional “driver draw” of a home football game.
Everyone involved wondered if this new arrangement would impact the turnout for the annual fundraiser. Apparently not, from the 400-plus test drives the event tallied.
“If the timing made any difference,” says Gary Glauser, general sales manager at Fred Beans Ford, “we never noticed it. We were quieter in the morning, but after the buses cleared it was a steady, enthusiastic stream till after kick-off.”
The final count is 403 test drives, which must still be verified. At $20 per test drive, that translates into $8,060 in donations from Ford ($6,000 for the first 300 drives) and Fred Beans Family of Dealerships ($2,060 for the 103 drives above Ford’s cap). Again this year, the parents club shares the generous donations with the CB West band and cheerleading programs, whose members and parents helped bring drivers to the event and assisted throughout the day.
Among the attractions and activities in the afternoon were a Central Bucks YMCA Zumba class with the CB West cheerleaders, music from DJ Reilly as well as the high school band, the band’s hot dogs and drinks sale, the antics of Big Freddy the mascot, 13 new Fords available for test drives – and of course the football game against William Tennent.
Ford’s Drive 4 UR School
Ford has created a simple program that reinforces the relationship between the business and education communities in towns across the country. High school groups partner with a local Ford dealership to provide vehicles and accompanying drivers, while Ford assists school groups with Drive 4 UR School marketing materials, samples and tips to ensure a successful fundraising event.
The no-pressure, no-sales-pitch, no-obligation event is held in conjunction with other school activities and gives people of the community an opportunity to support the school and its programs simply by taking a brief test drive in a new Ford and completing a form that seeks the driver’s response to the driving experience.
“I love that we were truly involved in this school and community effort, not just writing a check,” says Beth Beans Gilbert, vice president of the Beans organization, who came for a test drive. “It is fun to make the school the center of attention. The energy and excitement generated by everyone who participated – parent volunteers, students, members of the community and dealership personnel – was amazing.”
CB West’s event raised $1,800 in 2009, $4,660 in 2010, $7,440 in 2011 and $7,840 in 2012. This year’s projected donations bring the total raised to date to nearly $30,000.
Learn more about the parents club and the CB West football program: www.WestFootball.com
The CB West Football Parents Club thanks the Fred Beans Family of Dealerships for its assistance with this event.