By Caleb Slinkard
The Commerce Journal
Raising money for a local non-profit is as easy as driving around the block.
The Commerce Parks Foundation has partnered with the Commerce Auto Group to raise money for the Commerce Skatepark Project, a grass roots effort to build a concrete skatepark at Centennial Park. The Ford Motor Group will donate $20 every time an individual test-drives at new Ford at the Commerce City Park on Nov. 3 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., up to $6,000.
“Ford came up with these events as a way for local dealers and their employees to partner with non-profit groups and get involved in the community,” Commerce Parks Foundation President Barbara Lenington said. “Partnerships build better communities, and Ford is interested in improving the communities where their employees live and work.”
The event, titled “Drive 4 UR Community,” will feature live music, a step show featuring Phi Beta Sigma, Kappa Alpha Psi and Alpha Phi Alpha, improv comedy, games, food, prize drawings and goodie bags for kids. It will also provide attendees with an opportunity to support two other local organizations.
“Pi Kappa Alpha will be setting up a bounce house, and we’ll have a cake walk for the kids, as well as our usual SKATE competition,” Lenington said. “If individuals will bring non-perishable food items, we will give them a game pass that will let them enjoy all of our games for free.”
The canned food items will be donated to the Commerce Food Pantry, located at the First Presbyterian Church in Commerce.
Additionally, the Commerce Auto Group is continuing to donate $1 to the Commerce Public Library every time they get a new like on their Facebook page. The library will have a table set up at the event, and the Commerce Parks Foundation has created an image that can be scanned using a smartphone app that will direct the individual to the Commerce Auto Group’s Facebook page.
“This is the first time in two years that all three of these organizations have come together,” Lenington said. “This is truly a community event.”
In order to test-drive one of the six to eight new Fords, individuals must be 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license. Only one individual per household can test drive.
The event will also feature live music by Pearl Street Riot, the Tambourine Machine and Brack Key. Kappa Alpha Psi, Phi Beta Sigma, and Alpha Phi Alpha will perform a step show in the early afternoon, and Cricket City Improv will perform from 2 to 3 p.m. The Parks Foundation will be selling hotdogs, chips and drinks throughout Drive 4 UR Community.
“We’ve been impressed with the response from the city of Commerce,” Lenington said. “Mayor Dr. John Ballotti and Parks and Recreation Director Ricky Harris have both been big supporters so far.”
Trinity Lutheran Church, Pi Kappa Alpha, Sigma Alpha Pi and LuLu’s Burgers are all sponsoring the event.
The first 200 test drivers will receive a free T-shirt from the Parks Foundation, and the first 50 children at the event will receive a free goodie bag. Individuals who test-drive a Ford will also be entered into prize drawings for gift certificates and other prizes. Prize drawings will be conducted at the top of the hour every hour, according to Lenington.
Individuals who test-drive cars will also receive a coupon for $100 off if they decide to purchase a Ford. The Commerce Parks Foundation will also receive $100 for every car purchased by an attendee.
For more information on the event, call the Commerce Parks Foundation at 903-886-7697 or the Commerce Auto Group at 903-886-4014, email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. More information can also be found on the two organization’s Facebook page.