GRANITE CITY — Holy Family Catholic School was presented a check on June 9 by the folks at Koetting Ford dealership for their Drive 4 UR School test drive event.
Principal Margaret Pennell, along with Holy Family Parish priest Father Jeff Holtman, was awarded $6,000 in donation funds for the private school.
The nationwide Ford Motor Co. campaign designed to help schools raise money to support their athletics departments and extracurricular activities. It is a way to engage the community in fundraising efforts and get them behind the wheels of a Ford.
Koetting Sales Manager Kevin Grillion has been involved with the test drive campaign for years and said the dealership sponsors any nonprofit organization that wishes to participate. On April 11, Holy Family Parish opened up its parking lot for the school’s event, reaching a high goal of 300 test drives. Ford donates $20 for each valid test-drive, up to $6,000 in awards.
“Holy Family did really well with their event,” Grillion said. “There is no pressure when people come to test drive. We just want to get them in a Ford. We’ve changed our entire product line in the last few years.”
Koetting is allowed to host two campaigns per year and will be holding the next one for the Tri-City YMCA from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 27 at the dealership, 3465 Progress Parkway.
Stephanie Jovi, branch coordinator for Tri-City YMCA, said she feels confident the event will be a success for their organization. Last summer, the YMCA held a test-drive campaign at their location but did not reach the maximum goal. Jovi said many people didn’t know where it was or didn’t come prepared to take the test drive (you must bring a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance with you to all events).
“I think it will be more successful this year; it’s a better location at Koetting,” Jovi said. “Everybody likes to drive nice, new cars.”
Jovi said the funds they raised last year went to the YMCA’s before- and after-school care program, other programs, toys and games.
Founded in 2007, the Drive 4 UR School campaign has been so successful, Ford broadened its fundraising efforts to include other nonprofit agencies and organizations. Drive 4 UR Community test drive events are open to nonprofit businesses and organizations such as the YMCA. Since its inception, the Ford has donated more than $20 million to schools across the United States.
Many local nonprofits have benefited from Koetting’s generous events over the past six years. In 2014, the GCHS Marching Warriors held a Drive 1 event at the high school parking lot, which turned out to be extremely successful.
“The band really rocked it,” Grillion said. “They got the people out there to test drive and raised $6,000 for their department.”
For information on setting up a fundraising event, contact Koetting Ford at (618) 452-5400.