BROWNSBURG — Bill Estes Ford and the Kiwanis Club here presented the Brownsburg Education Foundation with a record haul in 2012, stemming from its Drive One 4 UR School promotion in September.
Bill Estes Ford presented the BEF with checks totaling $9,340, while the Kiwanis Club contributed the $1,042 that they were paid for being escorts at the event.
Drive One 4 UR School encourages community members to test drive a Ford vehicle in exchange for donations to the school from the Ford Motor Company.
“We did it on a week night and that made a huge difference in regard to people not being tied up on a Saturday, and then (Brownsburg Community School Corporation superintendent) Dr. (Jim) Snapp really got behind it,” Bill Estes Ford Brownsburg General Manager Andy Wernsman said.
Josh Laycock of the BEF added, “Brownsburg has a great community. We take care of our own. There was an opportunity for people to test drive a vehicle at no cost to them to help out a great organization and they did. It was incredible to see all the people, especially the people in the school corporation, that took time out to test drive the vehicles. It was a very proud moment.”
The funds will be used for a variety of programs, including scholarships for students and grants to allow teachers experiences they otherwise might not have been able to obtain.
“One of the teachers that drove three years ago got a grant and she went to a school in Atlanta and came back and told me she’s still implementing that same project,” Wernsman said.
He said the program is “on his heart” because his wife, who is a teacher, once received a grant that helped further her educational experience for students.
Russell Hodgkin and David Cantrell are both Kiwanians and also are part of the BEF, so this was dually important to them. The Kiwanis opted to donate all of the money they made from being escorts during the event.
“The Kiwanis mantra, so to speak, is to work with kids and give to kids, so we’re in a similar kind of situation as the education foundation,” Hodgkin said. “Money is tight. We know teachers don’t always have the money to do the things they like to do, so this goes toward grants to do things that teachers might not get out of the regular budget. A teacher might get to go to a conference they otherwise might not have been able to. This is kind of paying it forward.”
Cantrell added, “We had 17 cars going constantly and we’ve done this for several years, and this was by far the most successful event we’ve had. We feel a big part of the community is living here because of the quality of the schools and that we have an emphasis on education. Ford has been very supportive of this. It’s a win-win situation when you recognize the efforts of education.”