ACHS athletics benefits from donations and test drives

James HowellStaff

September 9, 2012

Ashe County High School’s athletic department received generous donations from the community last week; made mainly by Ashe County Ford and Northwestern Emergency Vehicles.

The first donation arrived Thursday morning when Northwestern Emergency Vehicles (NWEV) donated a 1999 Chevrolet Suburban. The vehicle was officially donated by owners Richard Hamby and Frederick Miller.

This donation truly was a communal contribution made possible by the following people and companies who donated their time and services:

• American Emergency Vehicles (AEV) gave the Suburban a new paint job.

• NWEV employees donated new upholstery and they serviced and charged an A/C system.

• Brandy Elliot of B&E Graphics offered a design and graphics package.

• Maria Romero offered professional cleaning and detailing of the unit.

No word was given for exactly how the vehicle will be used by the school, but it can transport about eight people.

The second donation was made by Ashe County Ford on Saturday during an event called “Drive One for Your School.” This event took place at Ashe County High School from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.

In an effort to raise money for Ashe County High School’s booster club, Ashe County Ford decided to pay $20 for up to 300 people who decided to test-drive a Ford, which could have potentially totaled $6,000.

When the event ended at 2 p.m., there had been 165 people who test drove a Ford. This resulted in a generous $3,300 donation.

“We like to be involved in the community, and this is an excellent way to raise money for high school athletics without people needing to pay for it directly,” said Jeff Dollar, president of Ashe County Ford.

Once they signed in, the drivers were ushered to the vehicle of their choice. Afterwards, they filled out a survey to assess Ford’s brand image and performance.

The drivers had a chance to test the following models: F-150, Fusion, Flex, Edge, Escape, Explorer and Taurus.

“Ford’s research found that people who attend this event are not Ford drivers, so this event is a good opportunity to see what Ford has to offer,” Dollar said.

The ACHS Booster Club also raised money at the event by selling BBQ chicken dinners for seven dollars each. Plus, drivers were allowed free “Drive One for Your School” tee shirts for participating.

According to Dollar, this event was a success last year and even more successful this year. This prompted Dollar to confirm that the event will be held next year, and he says he hopes “Drive One for Your School” will continue to rise in popularity.

While Ashe County Ford did make the financial donations for this event, the test drivers are appreciated for donating their time in order to help raise money for the school, as are the booster club volunteers who worked during the event.