By Caleb Slinkard
The Commerce Journal
Drive 4 UR Community, an event scheduled for Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Commerce City Park, is the result of a partnership between the Commerce Auto Group and the Commerce Parks Foundation. Individuals can test drive a new Ford car, and for every test drive the Ford Motor Company will donate $20 to the Commerce Parks Foundation, up to $6,000.
But the event, which will feature live music, entertainment, a SKATE competition, refreshments and prize drawings, will also benefit the Commerce Public Library.
The auto group has been holding a fund-raiser on their Facebook page since the beginning of September. For every “like” the page gets until the end of they year, Commerce Auto Group will donate $1 to the library.
“We’ve been trying to build community involvement with the dealership,” Internet Sales Manager Christine Powell said. “I feel like that’s really important. We contacted the Chamber of Commerce, and they told us the Commerce Parks Foundation was in need of some assistance. The project touched me, because I think it is important for our youth to have a place to go and develop a sense of belonging.”
The decision to raise funds for the library was also motivated by a desire to help Commerce youth.
“Raising money for the library helps the children, and adults as well,” Powell said. “Through these projects, we’re getting our name out there as well as helping the community. The library has a great facility that needs some tender, loving care.”
Gayle Gordon, director of the Commerce Public Library, said the funds will probably be used in the library’s restoration effort, a five-phase project that would restore the 95-year-old building to its 1972 condition, as well as make it handicap accessible. The library has been raising money for the restoration since the spring.
The library will have a booth at the Drive 4 UR Community event with used books, raffle tickets for a large quilt and other items for sale.
“Dr. James Conrad, who is on both the library board and the skatepark board, contacted us and asked if we wanted to participate in the event,” Gordon said. “I thought it was a good idea, and John Lenington of the parks foundation made a presentation to our board and they liked it as well. It’s a reciprocal event, where we go out there and drive cars and spread news of the event and they help us raise money.”
The Commerce Parks Foundation is dedicated to building a concrete, durable skatepark at Centennial Park in Commerce. The foundation has been actively planning the park and collecting donations for more than a year, and has held four SKATE competition fundraisers at the City Park.
The foundation has begun two sponsoring programs at the beginning of the year to both promote donations and honor donors. The corporate donor recognition program allows companies and organizations to donate either cash or in-kind donations to the Parks Foundation and receive an engraved marble tile that will be permanently mounted and displayed at the skatepark.
The Commerce Parks Foundation recently received a $5,000 donation from the prestigious Tony Hawk Foundation, the city of Commerce, and the First United Methodist Church of Commerce.
For individual or smaller donations, the Parks Foundation began a engraved brick paver program. The pavers will be engraved as well and featured in one of the walkways leading to the skatepark. All donations are tax deductible as the Parks Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity.
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 organizations’ Facebook pages.