By Caleb Slinkard
The Commerce Journal
More than 300 people filled the Commerce City Park last Saturday for the “Drive 4 UR Community Event,” a fundraising event for the Commerce Parks Foundation and the Commerce Public Library made possible through a partnership with the Commerce Auto Group and the Ford Motor Company. The event featured a bounce house, refeshments, a SKATE comeptition, live bands and step shows from local Greek organizations. The Ford Motor Company donated $20 for every test drive of a new Ford or Lincoln, and more than 225 people test drove a vehicle during the event.
“It’s important that the community pull together in order to better itself, and it’s cool that we were able to do that this time,” Commerce Parks Foundation President Barbara Lenington said. “We had a diverse group of people, and we really want to thank the individuals who showed up. People that missed the event sure missed a great day.”
While the Parks Foundation is waiting on an official total from the Commerce Auto Group, fund raised at the event will push the foundation to almost $50,000 towards their goal of building a cement skating park in Commerce.
Billy Ebner of Greenville won the SKATE competition, with Justin Hall of Commerce coming in second. The library had a booth, where they sold tickets to a quilt they are auctioning off and encouraged people to like the Commerce Auto Group’s Facebook page. For every “like,” the auto group will donate $1 to the library’s rennovation efforts.
The Commerce Parks Foundation also collected canned food items for the Commerce Food Pantry throughout the event instead of charging for entertainment, which was provided by the Tambourine Machine, Pearl Street Riot, the Shadow Casters, Cricket City Improv, Alpha Phi Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi, Phi Beta Sigma and the Pi Kappa Alpha Bounce House.
East Texas Roller Massacre, a local roller derby team, was also at the event to test drive cars and raise awareness of their team.
The Commerce Parks Foundation is dedicated to building a concrete, durable skatepark at Centennial Park in Commerce. The foundation has been actively planning the park and collecting donations for more than a year, and has held five SKATE competition fundraisers at the City Park.
The foundation has begun two sponsoring programs at the beginning of the year to both promote donations and honor donors. The corporate donor recognition program allows companies and organizations to donate either cash or in-kind donations to the Parks Foundation and receive an engraved marble tile that will be permanently mounted and displayed at the skatepark.
The Commerce Parks Foundation recently received a $5,000 donation from the prestigious Tony Hawk Foundation, the city of Commerce, and the First United Methodist Church of Commerce.
For individual or smaller donations, the Parks Foundation began an engraved brick paver program. The pavers will be engraved as well and featured in one of the walkways leading to the skatepark. All donations are tax deductible as the Parks Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity.
For more information, call the Commerce Parks Foundation at 903-886-7697 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information can also be found on the organization’s Facebook page. To raise money for the Commerce Public Library, visit the Commerce Auto Group’s Facebook page and click “like.”