Mitchell Community, Castaic Middle and Saugus High roar toward the checkered flag with test drives.
Santa Clarita schools are driving their way toward thousands in prize money this month in the Santa Clarita Valley Auto Dealers Association’s “Be Cool to My School” Test-Drive Rally. Throughout the month of May, area schools will rack up points for every test-drive and vehicle purchase made at participating Valencia Auto Center dealers. The elementary, junior high and senior high schools with the most points at the end of the month will each be awarded $1,000.
At the halfway point, Mitchell Community Elementary School has roared into the lead with 2,300 points, Castaic Middle School leads the junior highs with 1,300 points, and Saugus High School heads off the senior pack at 2,000 points. A total of 19 schools have scored at least one test-drive, with two weeks left to go. Each test-drive is worth 100 points for the school of the test-driver’s choice, and each vehicle sale earns 1,000 points. Just one car sale could make the difference for local schools competing to win their share of the $3,000 pot.
In an informal poll, Santa Clarita Valley PTA presidents recently had no trouble imagining how $1,000 could help their schools. Meadows Elementary School is hoping to fund lighting at the rear of the school to protect families returning to their homes and cars after evening events. Pico Canyon Elementary needs to complete its funding of a track, set to begin construction next month. Two nurses cots are needed at Newhall Elementary. Other items on the wish list include emergency supplies, books, projectors, and by far the most in demand: SMART Boards, interactive whiteboards.
For Mitchell Elementary, that cash prize might provide a technology boost. “We definitely could upgrade our computer lab with $1,000,” said Sandy Bull, assistant principal. Mitchell Elementary didn’t have to wait long to jump into the competition.
The first car sale of the contest went to Galpin Saturn and Mitchell Elementary. After reading about the promotion in the newspaper, Rod and Connie Tripp of Canyon Country test-drove the Saturn VUE and liked the car so much they bought it and credited their points to their granddaughter Monica’s school. “Our customers do like to support their local schools and step up at the chance to help,” stated Tim Mendenhall, Saturn general sales manager. “This is a win-win for the schools, our community, customers and dealers all working together.”
For each automobile sold in Santa Clarita, 1 percent of the taxable sale goes to the City, according to the City’s Web site, providing an important source of revenue. Currently 41 percent of the City’s general fund comes from sales tax, with new motor vehicle sales accounting for more than $6 million in revenue for the City in 2006, according to City reports.
All test-drivers will receive a one-year subscription to The Signal and $10 toward an area restaurant. One lucky test-driver will win a trip for four to The Sanctuary Resort & Spa in Playa Azul, Guanacaste, Costa Rica. The resort offers spa treatments, two restaurants, an infinity pool with a swim-up bar, and a 1.2 mile beach with tide pools. Nearby attractions include volcanoes and rainforests, guided horseback rides into the jungle, kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, sport fishing, boating, and shopping. The foursome will stay in a two-bedroom seaside cottage with a private master suite upstairs with its own terrace as well as an outdoor, fully enclosed, private lava rock shower. (Note: Airfare and taxes are not included.)
School points can be tracked at www.shopvalenciaautocenter.com under the “Be Cool to My School” header.