The rivalry between Pasco and Zephyrhills high schools was put to good use last week during a competition that raised $6,000 for the schools.
“Pasco was just a shade ahead of Zephyrhills,” said Cliff Martin, general manager and vice president of Jarrett Ford Lincoln, after the Drive One 4 UR School event held Friday and Saturday at the dealership in Dade City.
Nearly 350 people visited the dealership to test drive a vehicle to help raise money for either Pasco High School or Zephyrhills High School.
Drive One 4 UR School is a program offered by Ford Motor Co. to help raise money for local schools. For each qualified person that comes in and takes a test drive, Ford donates $20 to the school, up to $6,000 or 300 drivers.
The rival schools treat the fundraisers as another friendly competition.
“What a great program it is,” Martin said. “It doesn’t cost the school any money. There are no cookies and candy. They don’t have to sell anything. It’s 100 percent profit for the school just to come in and set up.”
The principals of the schools agree.
“It’s good for Ford to do this for both schools on this side of the county,” said Zephyrhills Principal Andy Frelick. “It benefits all the students so a lot of parents come out as well as former students. It’s a great (public relations) piece for them and it helps us out.”
Pasco Principal Kari Kadlub said “The Drive One program is a phenomenal program for any school. It’s basically free money. It’s a great fundraiser, its good for the community, it gets people out and about and it’s also nice to have a little friendly competition with your neighboring school.”
That competition really gets intense in the fall, Martin said, when another Drive One is held close to the rival football game between the Zephyrhills Bulldogs and the Pasco Pirates, dubbed the “Nine-Mile War.” Rotary Clubs from both cities put up $1,500 each to pay for drivers that exceed the top number paid by Ford, upping the ante to $9,000.
Martin was glad to have enough to get the top dollar amount from Ford. It enabled him to stay number one nationwide for dealerships giving away money through the program. Jarrett Ford first earned that position in 2010.
“The reason is that no one can knock us off until we go under 300 drivers,” Martin said.
He attributed the success to involvement from the schools’ administration and community loyalty.