Miami Palmetto High School puts ‘fun’ in Ford Test Drive fundraiser

Miami Palmetto High School puts ‘fun’ in Ford Test Drive fundraiserTake the wheel and help your community school. Join Miami Palmetto Senior High School parents, alumni, faculty, friends and other supporters for a fun-filled community festival on Oct. 10 that will raise thousands of dollars for the school by simply test-driving a new Ford vehicle.

Drive 4 UR School will be hosted by Gus Machado Ford of Kendall, 15551 S. Dixie Hwy. in Palmetto Bay. From 3 to 7 p.m. that day, Palmetto High will receive $20 per test drive for the first 300 testdrives, then $10 per driver. The goal is to raise a minimum of $6,000, and the sky’s the limit thanks to the generosity of the Gus Machado Ford dealership that will donate the additional $10 for every driver over the first 300 (Drive 4 UR School is a national program by Ford Motor Co. in Detroit that caps its donation at $6,000.)

“First and foremost, it’s a fundraiser to help our school buy things they need but the government does not fund,” said Anna Hochkammer, president of MPSH PTSA. “But we want people to enjoy themselves with their neighbors while they’re there, so we’ve built a multi-level community festival around the test drives. Each test drive takes about 10 minutes, but the fun will last the entire four hours.”

A variety of entertainment by various school groups, including elementary and middle schools in the Palmetto High feeder pattern, will take place every 15-20 minutes. Expect performances by cheerleaders, the marching band, dance troupes, a jazz band and more. And of course, there will be food and drink for sale in addition to homecoming tickets, spirit wear and some “limited edition” uniform-compliant Tshirts available only at this event.

“The first $6,000 we raise will go to the school’s TV production facilities to buy some much-needed updated materials and technology,” Hochkammer said. “All funds over that will go straight into the PTSA’s special projects funds to be spent on teacher-requested upgrades throughout the school and across departments.”

Lilliam Machado, Gus Machado’s wife and executive director of MGM Advertising Agency at Gus Machado Ford, explained why helping the local community school is one of its many philanthropic efforts.

“We know funding for many school programs is hard to come by, and we want to do our part to help make sure these programs remain available,” Mrs. Machado said. “We’re excited to raise money for Miami Palmetto Senior High, and support school excellence in our own backyard.”

The Oct. 10 event will feature many vehicles from Ford’s impressive lineup.

“Whether you are looking to test out our fuel efficiency vehicles, like the Fusion or Focus, or are more interested in an electric vehicle like the C-MAX, or our popular Mustang, we will be able to put you behind the wheel of your favorite Ford vehicle,” Machado said.
Dealership staff will be able to assist with all Ford vehicles and provide additional information about each vehicle available for test-drive.

For the budding video producers at MPSH, the fundraising festival continues with a competition for cash with potential national exposure. Students are encouraged to create and upload a YouTube video of two to three minutes about why the Drive 4 UR School event helps both them personally and their school community.

At the school level, five finalists will be selected by a judging panel and posted on the MPSH PTSA Facebook page. From there, the first, second and third place videos will be chosen based on the number of Facebook “likes” received. The top three will share a total of $500 in prize money plus other gifts from Gus Machado Ford, and sent on to Ford Motor Co. to compete in the national competition.

Everyone is welcome; you do not have to have a student at the school or live in the school district. Participants must be 18 or older and have a valid driver’s license. Limit is one test-driver per household address.

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