Test drive for a cause

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September 15, 2015 8:15 AM

Jaime Polmateer Photo Bishop Lloyd Middle School is pairing up with Westridge Buick for a free test drive event to raise money for the school's breakfast program and beautification project. Pictured is principal Shawn Larson. - Jaime Polmateer

If you’ve ever wanted to drive a brand new Buick, but never had deep enough pockets to afford one, this month you can have your chance free of charge.

Westridge Buick GMC is partnering up with Bishop Lloyd Middle School for a test drive event that will allow members of the public to try out vehicles from a whole fleet of Buick and GMC products. The event, which also features two family barbecue fundraisers throughout the day, is being held to raise money for the LPSD school’s breakfast program and beautification project.

“We’ve partnered with Jason Mills and Westridge and Buick to run a fundraiser here at the school,” said Shawn Larson, principal at Bishop Lloyd. “(For) every person who comes in and does a test drive, GM and Westridge will provide us with $20 to a maximum of $10,000. We’re hoping to beat the record that day.”

The record for these events is 508 test drives and is held by a school in Ontario. There haven’t been many events like this in Western Canada so Larson and Mills want to beat the record and show the country that the west has just as much, if not more, spirit than its eastern counterparts. The main goal though is really about raising money for the school.

Bishop Lloyd Middle School plans to improve the look of the exterior of the building by adding benches, planter boxes and trees and will also use some of the funds to support the school’s breakfast program, which Larson says benefits every single student.

“We do not charge any of our students for the breakfast program,” said Larson.

“We offer a variety of nutritious foods for them to eat. We find that many of our students are utilizing this program and we know that when kids are fed, they typically do better in school.”

Mills, who is the general manager of Westridge Buick GMC, says they are allowed to do one event like this per year and picked Bishop Lloyd to set the standard.

“It’s really going to be a whole fun day. There’s a couple barbecues and it’s just going to be a fun day to come out and support the school. It’s a short test drive to raise money so we’re really excited about it. We’re happy to bring it to Bishop Lloyd and LPSD,” he said.

The event takes place at Bishop Lloyd on Sept. 17 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. with the barbecue fundraisers happening from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. It is requested that people book their test drives before the event to avoid overcrowding. Those interested can schedule a drive by calling Bishop Lloyd Middle School at 780-875-6239.

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