It's a picture-perfect spring Saturday to test drive one of 18 Ford vehicles at to help the school raise up to $8,000.
The "" event kicked off at 8 this morning and runs through 6 p.m.
Eileen Jakubiac, who has two daughters who atttend Royal Oak High School, took a spin in two vehicles this morning. Her daughter Cory is the yearbook editor, and daughter Megan is on the swim and basketball teams.
"I got to drive the F-150. which is a fabulous truck," Jakubiac said. "I also drove the Fusion around the block. If I had a choice, I'd go with the F-150."
Ford Hall, the commercial truck manager at Royal Oak Ford and event organizer, expects a good turnout. "Sports events at the high school today are expected to draw 1,200-1,500 people," Hall said. "We only need 300 of them to come over and test drive a Ford."
All vehicles in Ford's lineup are available to take for a spin, including the Mustang, Explorer, F-150 pickup and Focus. Test drives start on Royal Oak Ford Way (just north of the tennis courts off Crooks Road) and do a seven-minute loop: Crooks to Normandy to Main Street to 13 Mile Road to Crooks and back.
The school needs 300 licensed drivers, 18 years and older, to show up for a test drive. For each driver, Ford Motor Co. will donate $20 – up to $6,000 total. In addition, drivers who test drive a Ford Focus can earn the school another $10 for another $2,000 donation from Ford.
The school could use $8,000, Athletic Director Brian Gordon said. "Like all school districts, we are struggling with finances," he said. "We really appreciate Ford giving us this opportunity to raise much needed funds."
ROHS senior Bill LeAnnais, 18, showed up at 7:30 a.m. to set up signs around the school property. "I am here as a class officer to help support the school in any way I can," he said. He planned to test drive a Ford Fiesta the first chance he got.
Royal Oak Ford has a history with and of supporting the high school. Last fall, the dealership donated $5,000 to the school’s music program. Karen Kline, president of the ROHS Band and Orchestra Boosters, said the partnership with the dealership has “proven to be a successful and positive experience. We’re excited to work with them again.”
The boosters will host a tailgate-style party at the event, serving free hot dogs, potato chips and bottled water, courtesy of the dealership, beginning at 8 a.m. The school pep band will play throughout the day, too.