Thursday April 19, 2012

Community News

Pursuit of Happiness

Chilliwack Ford helps Bernard Elementary put some vroom in their fundraising

Staff/Voice photos


One of the approximately 200 happy test drivers on Saturday at Bernard Elementary pulls away in the 2012 Ford Mustang.


room, vroom. That's what it sounded like at Bernard Elementary for the Drive One 4UR School fundraiser put on by Chilliwack Ford last weekend.

Each year schools are encouraged to apply to host a Drive One 4UR School event and if chosen, they partner with a local Ford or Lincoln dealership to have people in the community take a new vehicle out for a spin. For every test-drive completed, Ford Canada will donate $20 to the school, up to a maximum of $6,000.

Saturday was Bernard Elementary School's opportunity to put the "fun" in fundraiser and Chilliwack Ford brought several sparkling vehicles to the school and then let the community loose with them.

It was a special day for the school because, it meant that with Ford's help, their struggle to raise money to pay for new playground equipment is all but over.

A playground can run as much as $50,000 and for a number of years the school has been wanting to replace their aging wooden play structure.

Bernard Elementary Vice Principal David Wellingham and Chilliwack Ford's Paul McManus in the background.

So a few months ago, while looking for ways to generate money they came across the program and wanted to give it a try it.

"We heard from another couple of schools in the district that have done this and been fairly successful. So we decided to do it for our community as well," said Bernard Elementary Vice Principal David Wellingham.

"Our parent advisory committee put it all together, organized it and all the money is going to our school for the new playground."

Having the Drive One 4UR School at Bernard Elementary was a good call because the $4-5000 that the event will put them over the top of their fundraising goal.

Wellingham said that they'd like to have the new playground installed by the end of May or mid-June so the kids moving on to middle school can get some use out of it.

The new state-of-the-art playground is being designed by Habitat Systems Inc.

"I think it's a win-win because Ford gets to display the vehicles, we get to drive them around in the community, so Ford wins in that regard and hopefully, the person goes back in and buys a vehicle and we win because we get money for our kids," said Wellingham.

Chilliwack Ford also gets a chance to give back to the community by sponsoring the event.

Chilliwack Ford sales supervisor Paul McManus said that Ford encourages dealers to piggyback the Drive One 4UR School with an event like a car wash or bottle drive.

"Schools are crying for funding for so many different things like a playground or whatever and this is just a great avenue to help them out," said McManus.

For people in the market for a new vehicle, it's a laid-back way to check out a car or truck.

"This is a great system too because it's a non-pressured environment and they can drive 3, 4 or 5 different vehicles," he said.

Best of all for the kids no more splinters.

Related Links

Bernard Elementary School website:

To apply:

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