The drivers’ seats of Hillsboro Ford cars and trucks will turn into booster seats Saturday, as every test drive nets $20 for Hillsboro High School’s athletic booster club fund.
If 300 drivers take test drives, the athletic boosters will get the maximum $6,000 from Hillsboro Ford and Ford Motor Company.
“It could be phenomenal if we have the right amount of participation,” booster club vice president Kathy Klein said.
Terry Hagen of Hillsboro Ford said the program has netted more than $22,000 for the club since 2005, and he would like to see that go well above $25,000 with the take from this year’s event.
“It’s the largest event that draws in dollars for the booster club; it’s terribly important,” Hagen said. “They’ve never hit the full maximum number. We have seen it anywhere from $2,200 to a little over $5,000.”
Klein said athletes will be washing cars for free Saturday, and there will be free hot dogs and popcorn.
The booster club spends the money on more expensive items that USD 410 can’t afford to get from its athletic budget, Klein said. Funds have been used for such things as a ball machine for the tennis team, wrestling dummies, helmets and bats, and an end zone camera.
“We use it to benefit all the athletic programs at Hillsboro High,” she said.
Since the charitable event is also a promotion for Ford products, Hagen said participants should expect to fill out some paperwork and sign a waiver before they test drive a vehicle.
No sales pitch is made during the event, but Hagen said Ford follows up with drivers by mail, including information about rebates and incentives, and a “private certificate” offer.
“People go, ‘Well, I don’t want to get anything, receive anything,’” Hagen said. “This is about marketing, and there has to be something in it for Ford. That’s how the game works. Like I tell people, if you don’t want it, throw it in the trash.”
Klein said test driving, even with the follow up, is easier than many of the school’s fundraisers.
“Think about all the fundraisers that these kids at HHS put so much effort into and ask so much of the community,” she said. “Moneywise, it’s great to have the opportunity to team up with Ford for a super short survey.”
The $20 donation is limited to one driver per household, Klein said.
The Drive 4UR School event will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Hillsboro Ford.