DAVISON — Area schools will continue to have an opportunity to earn up to $50,000 in 2011 through the Jim Waldron Buick GMC school challenge.
Motivated by declining Michigan per pupil funding, Jim Waldron began a school rewards program within his dealership almost a year ago. Customers who buy a new or used vehicle, get service done in the body shop or have their oil changed at the lube station earn money for a school of their choice.
Forty-six area schools were able to receive money in 2010, and school representatives arrived at the dealership for a Jan. 12 press conference where they were presented with checks.
“There’s nothing more important than education. Our business thrives on intelligent employees,” said Waldron. “Without communities that value strong education, we can’t have strong businesses.”
Waldron, with the help of his son Jim, handed out the first checks to ten area schools that received the most money. Grand Blanc, Davison, Bentley, Goodrich, Kearsley, Flint and Lapeer schools were all able to receive varying dollar amounts. Bentley Junior and Senior High School Principal reported receiving $559.60. He isn’t sure what the money will be used for yet.
“One of the thing we want to make sure is that it goes directly in to helping students. We might earmark it for a scholarship,” Cortez said.
Grand Blanc Superintendent Mike Newton said that he was going to discuss with the school cabinet how to best spend the $668.78 check written for Grand Blanc Schools.
Davison Schools was given a total of $10,362.25 which was presented by Waldron at a board meeting. Two thousand five hundred dollars from the funds will be used to help fund summer programming at the elementary level.
Superintendent Eric Lieske said a decision on how to use the remaining money will be made soon.
“It will be a topic of discussion in the coming weeks for us as we work to identify the best use for this money that will have the greatest impact on students,” he said. “We are certainly appreciative and grateful for community leaders such as Jim Waldron and his employees who support our school system and community.”
“Every little but helps,” said Waldron, who plans to launch a more “aggressive” 2011 $50,000 School Challenge program.