This Week's Poll


Drive 4 UR School Event a Success at Branford High School

Sponsored by Walt's Live Oak Ford

Branford High School Teacher Angel Hill enjoyed the ride with her daughter, Maura Hill. Maura, who is a senior at BHS, really, really liked the green Mustang. -Photo by Jeffry Boatright

By Jeffry Boatright

Several cases of new car fever have recently been detected around campus at Branford High School. Of course, it would be difficult for even the most frugal to avoid contracting new car fever after the Drive 4 UR School event, which was held at BHS on May 11.

The event, which was sponsored by Walt’s Live Oak Ford, showcased some very alluring vehicles ranging from the sporty Mustang to the powerful F250 Lariat, which is equipped to handle even the most difficult tasks. It is no doubt the event attracted numerous test-drivers.

Stacie Fortner of Walt’s Live Oak Ford stated that Ford will donate 20 dollars to BHS for every valid test drive taken in a Ford vehicle during the one-day event. Fortner, who coordinated the event, added that the goal is to raise the maximum donation of six thousand dollars at every Drive 4 UR School or Drive 4 UR Community event. She added that since BHS qualified for the EcoSport Bonus Drive, the school would be eligible to raise up to eight thousand dollars.

Referring to Ford’s program overview, Fortner stated, “The Drive 4 UR School began in 2007 as a way for Ford to give back to communities across the country. According to Ford Motor Company, the idea was simple: Test-driving a Ford vehicle from a local dealership resulted in participating schools to garner contributions. Due to the school program’s success, Ford launched the Drive 4 UR Community program, which also allows Ford Dealers to partner with nonprofit organizations.

According to Ford’s website, schools or community organizations can raise money for virtually anything, ranging from athletic equipment for school teams to canned foods to fill a food pantry. These programs have raised over 40 million dollars to help communities and schools across the country. These events are very community oriented, allowing anyone 18 or older with a valid driver’s license to participate. Test-drivers do not even have to be a member of the organization to qualify.

The Drive 4 UR School program is designed for dealerships to partner with any public or private elementary, middle, or high school or organization in which the funds will directly benefit or go back to a school in any capacity, according to the Ford Drive 4 UR Program website.

Fortner explained that Walt’s Live Oak Ford takes part in the Ford Drive 4 Ur School and Community programs every year. “Our events, in particular, have helped with academic incentives, scholarships, and assisting individuals who need accessibility ramps built onto their homes.”

The Second Annual Walt’s Live Oak Ford Drive 4 UR School event was a great success, according to BHS Principal Terry Huddleston. “Numerous individuals drove one of the EcoSport vehicles around the track to support our school,” Huddleston added. “Proceeds will be used to support academic incentives, student supplies and academic recognition for BHS students.

“I really appreciate the partnership with Walt’s Live Oak Ford,” Huddleston emphasized. “Their continued support of BHS provides opportunities for academic success.”

Coinciding with the annual Drive 4 UR School event was the Second Annual Orange and Blue Color Run. According to BHS Agriculture Instructor and FFA Advisor Stacy Young, the Orange and Blue Color Run, which is a 5k run, is a fundraiser for purchasing equipment for the football teams.

“Last year, enough money was raised for the team to purchase a Huddle system for video recording and viewing of football plays.” Young explained. “The system provides a live feed for the coach on the sidelines and allows our coaches to view the plays later.”

According to Young, this year’s Orange and Blue Color Run was another success. “We had a good turnout and it looks like we’re close to our goal again this year,” she confirmed. Young added that proceeds from this year’s event will be used to purchase a hydration system for the football team.

While considerable effort was put into making these events a success at BHS, the Drive 4 UR School event and Orange and Blue Color Run served as a reminder of how communities do continue to rally in support of their youth to enhance academics and extracurricular activities. Ultimately, such efforts are stepping stones to the success of tomorrow’s leaders. Henry Ford sure would be proud.

Branford High School Assistant Principal Carl Manna (left) and BHS Athletic Director Alex O’Quinn (right) prepared to test drive the vehicles of their choice during Saturday’s Drive For Your School Event.
-Photo by Jeffry Boatright

Walt’s Live Oak Ford delivered a beautiful lineup of cars to be test-driven during the Drive For Your School event, which was held at Branford High School on May 11. -Photo by Jeffry Boatright

Walt’s Live Oak Ford Sharon Hutchison and Chip Sundo (center), along with BHS students and staff volunteers helping to raise money for the school. -Photo by Stacie Fortner

L-R: Branford High’s Nathalia Veal, Devin Mosley and Dustin King were quite focused on the Orange and Blue Color Run. -Photo by Jeffry Boatright

Attendees signing up to test drive a Ford and helping to raise money for BHS. -Photo by Stacie Fortner