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Unofficial total: 372 drive for CB West Football

CB West football parent Karen O'Connell is ready to drive off after her test drive.

In the window of sunshine and blue skies that opened August 26 between a rainy Thursday and the “Weekend of Irene,” 372 people took time out of their busy Friday to come on over to Central Bucks West High School and take a spin in a new Ford or Lincoln. It was all for the 2011 Ford Motor Company Drive One 4 UR School fundraising event, hosted by the Central Bucks West Football Parents Club.

The event earns a $20 donation from Ford for every qualified test drive up to 300. Dealership partner Fred Beans Ford Lincoln in Doylestown, which provided vehicles and sales personnel for the test drives, also pledged to extend the $20 donation for the next 100 qualified drives above Ford’s cap.

Alice Sparks of Doylestown and Fred Beans's Joe DeQuila finish up her test drive of a 2012 Ford Focus.

So, if it turns out that all of their sign-up sheets pass Ford and Fred Beans’s muster (valid driver’s license, one name per address, all the blanks filled in), the West football program will receive checks for $6,000 and $1440 sometime in just a few weeks. The funds will be shared with CB West band and cheerleading programs.

“What this small group of parents, school staff and students has accomplished here is remarkable,” says Fred Beans, president of the southeastern Pennsylvania automotive group. “I saw the energy at last year’s Drive One 4 UR School event [when they raised $4660 from Ford], and I knew we could help the school achieve even more in 2011.

“It was satisfying to be involved in such a terrific community effort. It was very well run.”

Kevin Munnelly, Tammy Sergeyev and Gary Glauser

Tammy Sergeyev, fundraising chair of the parents club, worked with the CB West Football coaching staff, band and cheerleading squad to publicize the fundraiser and get sign-ups in advance. The band members and cheerleaders were instrumental in getting drivers to attend the event and cheerleaders helped throughout the day at the registration tables.

Chick-fil-A and the Central Bucks Family YMCA also put in appearances, with the Y helping bring in test-drivers to swell the final tally.

Let the games begin! -- Football scrimmage versus Archbishop Wood, that is.

The event was expanded to eight hours this year, running 11am to 7pm along McFarlane Lane between the school and War Memorial Field. Entertainment throughout the day included Jungle Joe Fortunato, executive director of the Bucks County Zoo, with one of his zoo critters and CB West Band. Central Bucks Family YMCA hosted a Zumba Party to music provided by DJ Eck of Next Entertainment. The football scrimmage between Central Bucks West and Archbishop Wood, which started at 6pm, pulled in the final 75 or so test-drivers.

The Beans sales team brought 21 small, medium and large cars, trucks, SUVs and crossovers, worth over $1 million total, from the dealership for the event. Through the day they rotated the entire sales force on three-hour shifts between the school and the showroom.

Fred Beans sales team: "Here's how we're gonna get 400 test drives in 8 hours..."

“We were committed to doing all we could to see that the school meets its goal of 400 test drives,” said sales manager Gary Glauser. Besides the Central Bucks Family Y, other local businesses made a commitment to getting drivers to the fundraiser. Catherine Howard, vice president of Wells Fargo’s Doylestown branch, estimated the branch signed up about 30 people, including customers and about 8 of the branch’s staff.

The 2009 DO4URS test-drive event raised $1,800 with 90 test drives; last year the event raised $4,660 with 233 test drives. Learn more about Ford’s program: www.facebook.com/driveone4urschool.

The CB West Football Parents Club thanks the Fred Beans Family of Dealerships and the Central Bucks Family YMCA for their assistance with this event.