The Mountain Pointe High School Band program can thank the community for the giant check it received on Monday.

In November, 185 people came out to the high school’s campus to test drive new Ford vehicles, as part of a program called Drive One 4 UR School. Ford Motor Company runs the program in which they donate $20 to the receiving organization for each person who test drives one of the company’s vehicles.

The local branch, Earnhardt Ford, collaborated with Mountain Pointe to bring the cars to the school and organize all the test drives.

“Mountain Pointe turned it into a pretty successful program,” said John Nissen, general manager for Earnhardt Ford. “The idea is to have Ford dealerships do some grassroots stuff with local high school organizations.”

In total, Earnhardt Ford has run four of these fundraisers since starting the program about two years ago. The Mountain Pointe Band has been the recipient once before and in total has accepted about $8,000 from Ford, Nissen said.

The other two organizations were from Corona del Sol and Chandler high schools, as the goal is to keep it within the area of the specific dealership.

Each event has the possibility to bring in up to $6,000 for the specific organization.

While the program sounds attractive to everyone involved, Nissen said it was difficult at first to bring in potential high schools. He went to several in the area, who actually turned him down before the Mountain Pointe Band program came to him.

“They had heard about it nationally and they were the ones to contact us,” he said. “When the program first came out, it was impossible to find someone who wanted to do it. I would go out and explain it, but no one wanted to do it. And here you have Mountain Pointe who wanted to do it right away.”

With the additional funding, the Mountain Pointe Band program has plans to buy several new instruments and repair others.

Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or troemhild@ahwatukee.com

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