Black Fox’s Buick Drive For Your Students postponed to Sept. 19

By CHRISTY ARMSTRONG Staff Writer
Posted 9/10/17

The date for the upcoming Buick Drive For Your Students event being hosted by Don Ledford Automotive at Black Fox Elementary School has been changed.

The event is now scheduled to happen …

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Black Fox’s Buick Drive For Your Students postponed to Sept. 19

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The date for the upcoming Buick Drive For Your Students event being hosted by Don Ledford Automotive at Black Fox Elementary School has been changed.

The event is now scheduled to happen Tuesday, Sept. 19, at the school beginning at 7:30 a.m. It had been scheduled for this coming Tuesday, but rain resulting from the landfall of Hurricane Irma is being predicted for that day.

“We want to make sure the weather is nice enough for everyone to come out and help us test-drive cars,” said Dr. Kim Fisher, principal of Black Fox. “They’re predicting a pretty high chance of rain.” 

Fisher is asking everyone to mark their calendars for Sept. 19, which may help the school receive a donation of $10,000.

Buick Drive For Your Students events, hosted by car dealerships across the country, allow schools to “earn” up to $10,000 by having people test-drive cars. These drives are most often held at the schools themselves.

Cleveland’s Don Ledford Automotive has so far held three events which have allowed local schools to receive $10,000 — Bradley Central High, Cleveland High and Walker Valley High.

“This is part of our core values, which include ‘a heart of service’ to the community,” said Debbie Melton, general manager of Don Ledford Automotive. “Our soft spot is education. We realize that is where we get our future employees, so we want to support our schools all we can.” 

During the past three high school events, representatives of other schools were invited to see who could send the most drivers. The winner, Black Fox, got the chance to host an event of its own.

A sum of $10 is donated for every test driver at these events. If there are 100 or more drivers, Buick doubles all the donations to $20 per driver. If a school is able to get 500 drivers to participate, it receives a total donation of $10,000.

“It’s going to be a fun day, and it will be really exciting for us if we earn the $10,000,” Fisher said. “That’s roughly the amount we need to complete our current one-to-one initiative for technology.” 

Black Fox has been raising money to purchase Chromebook laptop computers, to make sure the school has one electronic device for every student in the fifth grade to use.

Fisher explained the school has already purchased 20 Chromebooks, which teachers “test-drove” this past summer. The school has also bought laptop storage carts which will serve as “mobile computer labs.” 

Funds for this effort have so far come from a federal Title 1 grant and fundraising efforts by the school and its parent-teacher organization.

Fisher said this test drive event could be the “big boost” needed to help the school reach its goal.

Melton said it is “a pleasure” to be hosting the event and she enjoys seeing the staff and families of Black Fox “so fired up” about it.

All community members — especially those affiliated with Cleveland or Bradley County schools — are being urged to attend the event. Don Ledford Automotive is once again hosting a contest to see which school will get to host next.

“This is a really neat thing they are doing; it’s very generous,” Fisher said. “They could have just done the three high schools and called it quits, but they wanted to keep going.” 

To take a test drive, one must be 21 years or older and have a valid driver’s license. No prior reservations are needed.

The event will go from 7:30 a.m. until 500 drivers have had their test drives, Fisher said. The event will likely run until at least lunchtime, ending before students are dismissed for the day.

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