The unofficial word is in: 143 drivers took test drives in brand new Lincolns on Saturday, May 3, to help raise money for the Palisades High School Cybersonics Technology Team 103, earning the school’s robotics team an expected $4,860 donation from Lincoln Motor Company’s Driven to Give initiative.
The event was held in cooperation with the Palisades Community Foundation’s 5K Challenge run.
This test-drive event — Palisades’ third in three years — was given a big boost from Lincoln’s special bonus add-on: take a second drive in one of Lincoln’s 2014 MKXs, its luxury crossover, and Lincoln will donate an additional $20 to the cause, up to 100 extra test-drives or $2,000. And the Cybersonics’ test drivers did just that, ratcheting the total to an equivalent 243 test drives and a new event record for the Cybersonics.
In October 2012, 117 test drives raised $2,340 from Lincoln; in May 2013, the 173 test drives raised $3,460 from Ford.
Ford’s and Lincoln’s test-drive events have been conceived by the respective companies as a tool for the manufacturers to gather responses from those “average Jills and Joes” who take their newest models for a spin — and as a way to donate thousands of dollars into communities through high schools and nonprofit organizations.
The events are non-selling activities, and drivers must be licensed and over 18 years of age. Only one driver per household qualifies for the donation. The manufacturers provide public relations and marketing guidance and event materials to the organizers, who publicize the event and handle the surveys and other arrangements. The organizers partner with a local dealership to provide vehicles, test-drive assistance and other guidance.
Fred Beans Family of Dealerships has partnered with five area nonprofits and schools on 12 test-drive events that have raised over $45,000 since 2009.