2018-04-12 / Scene

Drive 4 UR community fireworks fund raiser returns to Spring Expo

LAPEER — Milnes Ford of Lapeer will hold a Drive 4 UR Community event at the Lapeer Community Spring Expo, set for Sunday, April 22 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Center for Innovation-West Campus. Proceeds from the event help to fund the Lapeer Area Chamber of Commerce Fourth of July fireworks each year.

The overwhelming success of Drive 4 UR School inspired Ford Motor Company to widen its scope and create Drive 4 UR Community. Local Ford dealerships and community organizations have been partnering since 2012 to generate $20-donations per valid test-drive (one licensed driver per household) up to $6,000. The Lapeer Community Spring Expo is excited to announce that they’ll host the fundraising program again this year.

Members of the Milnes team will be on hand with several Ford vehicles for expo guests to test drive. It’s easy and takes only about 20 minutes. This is a great way for residents to help the Chamber of Commerce raise fund for the annual fireworks show while also giving them the chance to get behind the wheel of a new Ford. Many residents think the funding for the fireworks comes from tax dollars but all of the fundraising and coordination of the fireworks display is done through the Chamber of Commerce.

Milnes Ford of Lapeer will match the donation amount from Ford Motor Company after the test drives are tallied at the end of the event. Last year at the Spring Expo, the program raised nearly one third of the $15,000 needed for the Fourth of July celebration. In 2016, $4,100 was raised and last year the event brought in $4,260. Meijer of Lapeer and Milnes Ford are the two main sources of funding for the fireworks, providing 50 percent of the cost. Generous donations from local businesses make up the difference, allowing the Chamber to continue to produce the annual display.

“We were very excited when we received word that Ford Motor Company approved the test drive event again this year,” said Neda Payne, executive director of the Lapeer Area Chamber of Commerce. “We are so very grateful for Milnes Ford for their effort on our behalf to make this happen. They are instrumental in the selection process. It’s a great partnership of the two events.

“We would love to be able to increase the size of the show from $15,000 to $20,000 and have the sky bursting with spectacular color for a full 30 minutes, but we’ve never quite been able to get above the $15,000 amount. Maybe this will be the year. We’re always hopeful and always grateful for the support of the community.”

The Lapeer Community Spring Expo is a joint collaboration between the Lapeer Area Chamber of Commerce and Lapeer Community Schools.

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