By Tammy Sue Struble
Zephyrhills and Pasco high schools are having a friendly rivalry competition with each other in cooperation with Jarrett Ford Lincoln of Dade City.
The Nine Mile War between the Bulldogs and Pirates this time is a contest to see just who can get the most test drives from their school.
The Drive One 4 UR School program is a test drive fundraising event that could feasibly net $6,000 from Ford. For each test drive at the event in Dade City on April 1-2, Ford Motor Co. will donate $20 to the participant’s school of choice (up to $6,000 max per dealer location).
Currently, the Jarrett Ford Lincoln of Dade City location is No. 2 in the nation with fundraising through the Drive One 4 UR School program.
Langdale Ford in Valdosta, Ga., holds the top position per Cliff Martin, vice president and general manager at Jarrett Ford Lincoln.
“We’ve had six drives in two years — since the fall of ’08,” described Martin, “with donations from Ford totaling $37,060” for the schools from the dealership. Martin explained that Ford was previously allowing two of these test drive events per year and just came out recently, adding Lincoln to the mix.
Since Jarrett sells both Ford and Lincoln, that means his dealership can have four test drive fundraising events a year.
“I jumped on it,” Martin said of the announcement. “We’re excited we are able to help out the schools. It’s perfect timing with budget situations the schools are facing.”
“It’s a good program,” explained Zephyrhills High Athletic Director Bruce Cimorelli. “Our goal is to try to become No. 1 in the nation with the program. It’s an easy way to make money for the school. There will be two events this spring and two in the fall. Cliff Martin does an outstanding job for us.”
The Drive One 4 UR School test driving event will be at Jarrett Ford Lincoln at 38300 Dick Jarrett Way in Dade City on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The business will also be offering free hot dogs, hamburgers and drinks for customers. One test drive per household is allowed.
Pasco High Principal Patrick Reedy said, “The sales people don’t put any pressure on you. They just want to help out the school and community. Bring a neighbor when you come!” Reedy also said they were “very appreciative of Ford and Mr. Martin for getting us this opportunity.”
And, for parents and the community, “It’s the easiest fundraiser; you don’t have to put anything out of your pocket.”
Cimorelli said that there are so many participants, Jarrett uses volunteers to help out.
“It’s real simple,” Cimorelli said. “Go for a test drive. No hassle. Good promotion!”
For more information, call (352) 567-6711.