An innovative fundraising program developed by Ford Motor Company helped raise several thousand dollars for St. Joseph Catholic Church and School in Waconia on Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Sponsored by Ford Motor Company and facilitated locally by Waconia Ford, the Drive 4 UR Community initiative is designed to raise funding for local community groups and nonprofit organizations.
According to the Ford website, the program has Ford dealers teaming up with a local nonprofit organization to schedule a test drive fundraising event. The dealers provide the cars to be test-driven and work together with the nonprofit groups to organize and publicize the event. For every valid test drive completed, Ford Motor Company donates $20 to the participating nonprofit or community group, up to a maximum of $6,000.
The St. Joseph event featured approximately 160 to 170 test-drives, which is expected to generate a $3,000+ donation from Ford Motor Company for church and school.
Bruce Richards, principal of St. Joseph Catholic School, called the effort an excellent community event.
“There were smiles all over the block that day as people enjoyed the hospitality of Waconia Ford’s employees and their genuine interest in supporting St. Joe’s parish,” Richards said. “The proceeds from the event will help subsidize tuition for local families choosing a Catholic education for their children. All of us at St. Joe’s are thankful for the partnerships of the businesses in the community. Waconia Ford really stepped up to the plate and helped a number of local families with this great event. We can’t thank them enough.”
The St. Joe’s fundraiser marked the third time Waconia Ford has participated in one of the initiatives. In 2012, the dealership held the similar Drive 4 UR School initiative at Holy Family Catholic High School in Victoria and the same initiative at Waconia High School earlier this year.
This is the first time Waconia Ford has participated in the Drive 4 UR Community initiative.
“We do this to support our schools and community,” said Mike Keaveny of Waconia Ford, who noted that most dealerships look for ways to be involved in their communities. “Everybody thinks we’re here just to sell cars but we like to be involved in the community.”
Waconia Ford’s David Gohl expressed appreciation for everyone that helped make the Drive 4 UR Community initiative a success this year.
“On behalf of owner Tim Curtis and the staff at Waconia Ford, I’d like to thank everyone who participated. It wasn’t just a St. Joe’s event, it was for the entire community.”
Waconia Ford is planning on continuing the initiatives next year. Gohl noted that the programs are not confined to Waconia; they can occur in any of the nearby communities that Waconia Ford services.
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