Ford Motor Co. made a hefty deposit of $14,500 into s bank account today thanks to a successful community effort, and a group of talented student filmmakers.
Teacher Michael Conrad's video production students learned on May 25 that they had edged out West Jessamine High School (KY), Caddo Mills High School (TX), and Kewanee High School (IL) to earn top honors in a Drive One 4 UR School video contest that began with 64 entries from across the country.
Program HQ (which ran the online contest) and Ford selected Royal Oak based on the overall message strength of their submission.
Kelley Waterfall and Mac Gorney shot and edited the winning entry, which starred Emily Lam, to earn the high school the top prize of $10,000.
"In our video we tried to show that even though $10,000 may not go that far in lots of other world issues, it does do a lot for us here," Lam said.
Lam said she cried when Conrad told the class they had won.
"I've already figured out how we are going to spend the money in the classroom," Conrad said. He plans to upgrade all the video editing software and purchase a MacBook, items necessary for students to be competitive in the industry.
"They are still talking about it," Conrad said. "I like to watch their faces every time they talk about it. They are so proud of their accomplishment."
Test drives earn another $4,500 for athletics
In addition, the dealership partnered with the school athletic department in May to offer test drives of nearly 20 Ford vehicles to the community for which the school earned $20 per test drive.
Ford Hall, the commercial truck manager at Royal Oak Ford, organized the Drive One 4 UR School event with the help of an army of parents, students and school volunteers.
Students and administrators gathered in the school’s courtyard Tuesday morning cheered as Hall, along with Eddy Hall III of Royal Oak Ford, presented a large ceremonial check for $14,500 to Conrad and Athletic Director Brian Gordon.
"We're very excited to be here," said Hall. "We appreciate the community shopping with us and we wanted to give something back."