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Test drives to raise funds for Shippensburg’s emergency services

9 May 2013 No Comment

By AMBER SOUTH
@ShipNewsGirl

SHIPPENSBURG — Shippensburg’s emergency service organizations will make money when people test drive a new Ford vehicle.

Parson’s Ford will host a Drive 4 UR Community fundraiser Saturday to benefit Shippensburg Fire Department, which includes Vigilant Hose Company No. 1, Cumberland Valley Hose Company, and West End Fire and Rescue. The event is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Weis Market, 1075 W. King St.

Ten new car, SUV and truck models will be available. For every person who takes one on the three-mile test drive, Ford will donate $20 to the fire department. The participant must fill out a survey and send it to the company in order to qualify.

Donations will benefit the department’s Fire Safety Program, said Fire Chief Randy O’Donnell. With about 50 events each year, the program includes educational programs in schools and throughout the community.

Neither organization has a defined fundraising goal, but the maximum Ford will donate is $6,000, per program guidelines. Three-hundred people would need to test drive vehicles and turn in the survey for that to be reached.

A sibling to Ford’s Drive 4 UR School program — Shippensburg Area School District first participated last fall — Drive 4 UR Community came about late last summer as a way for local Ford dealers to support nonprofit organizations in their communities, officials said.

Parson’s Ford already had plans to support the fire department, and the arrival of the new program made for the perfect opportunity, said Russell Cacciola, sales manager at the dealership.

“We appreciate Ford coming out and offering it to us. That’s unheard of today,” O’Donnell said.

By doing good for the fire department, Parson’s Ford is helping itself too by inciting the public’s interest for its vehicles without putting on the pressure to buy one, Cacciola said.

A person must be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license to test drive a vehicle. Only one person per household may do a test drive.

The first 100 participants will get a gift bag, Cacciola said. The event will also feature a display of firetrucks, a Mix 95.1 disc jockey from 9 to 11 a.m., and hot dogs, chips and soda for sale. All will be located in the parking lot at Weis Market, which has huge support for the program, Cacciola said.

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Amber South can be reached at asouth@publicopinionnews.com and 262-4771.

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