Test drive at Bayou Ford, raise money for Rotary Club of LaPlace outreach

Published 12:13 am Wednesday, March 13, 2019

LAPLACE — Bayou Ford and Rotary Club of LaPlace are joining forces to raise money for charitable work one test drive at a time.

Volunteers are key to community impact, as Bayou Ford pledges to donate $20 to Rotary Club for each person who test drives a vehicle along a marked course between 7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. March 23 at 555 Belle Terre Blvd. in LaPlace.

Through the fundraiser, Rotary Club can receive up to $6,000 to fund scholarships, academic awards and a number of humanitarian and service projects.

Participants must be at least 18 years old with a valid driver’s license. Bayou Ford outside sales manager Robert Tamplain Jr. said complimentary breakfast will be offered onsite, and a jambalaya lunch will be available.

Rotary Club president Poonam Oberoi said members are “beyond excited” for a chance to expand service campaigns.

“Hopefully, this fundraiser will give us an opportunity to enroll more members and get into more projects,” Oberoi said. “It gives us a chance to do more good for the community. Being a Rotarian is a really prestigious thing, because we all get so lost in our lives that we overlook the big population of needy people out there. If everybody wants to do something above and beyond what their needs are, I really think this world can be a better place.”

Oberoi said the partnership with Bayou Ford “means volumes” because Rotary Club of LaPlace faces the challenge of a smaller membership pool and fewer funds than clubs in larger metropolitan cities.

Driven by the motto “service above self,” Rotary Club extends scholarships to students, awards students and teachers of the year, joins seniors for bingo, donates sweatshirts to local schools and brings holiday baskets to the needy.

The LaPlace group also participates in national Rotary Club initiatives, including donating to a fund for polio eradication.

Rotary Club meets at noon every Tuesday at Sicily’s Italian Buffet at 214 Belle Terre Blvd., and Oberoi said members are also planning raffle fundraisers to benefit the group. For more information, message Rotary Club of LaPlace on Facebook.

According to Tamplain, the test drive event is part of a national Ford campaign to raise money for communities surrounding dealerships.

“Ford Motor Company has programs called Drive for Your Community and Drive For Your School that have been in place for a few years,” Tamplain said. “Since Ford started this, they have donated $40 million.”

Tamplain said this is the first test drive event at Bayou Ford, which opened under new management in early 2018 at the site previously known as Supreme Ford. He hopes it will set a precedent for community involvement.

“I would like to invite other organizations and schools to come look at this event,” Tamplain said. “If they would like us to do the same for them, they can contact me, Robert Tamplain, at Bayou Ford.”

For more information, call 225-603-4824.