Drive for Schools Raised $702,000 for Local Schools this Year

Drive for Schools, the largest school fundraiser in Santa Cruz County, raised $702,000 for local schools this year. Sponsored by the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Subaru of Santa Cruz and Toyota of Santa Cruz, Drive for Schools has raised over $6.1 million for Santa Cruz County schools since the program started in 2005.

In addition to the significant money raised, 100 donated prizes were awarded to parents and community members who purchased tickets to support a school.

This year’s Grand Prize winner, selected during a ticket drawing at the Boardwalk on October 28, was Hilario Gonzalez of Watsonville. The Gonzalez family’s two daughters attend Rolling Hills Middle School in Watsonville. Given the choice of a new Subaru Crosstrek, Toyota Prius or $25,000 cash, the family chose the cash. Hilario is a farm worker who plans to use the money to start savings accounts for his daughters.

In addition to the Grand Prize, 100 other ticket holders also won valuable prizes donated by local businesses, including ten $1,000 cash prizes, a $1,000 gift certificate from Dell Williams Jewelers; overnight stays at Santa Cruz Dream Inn, Best Western Seacliff Inn, and Coastanoa; plus dozens of other valuable gift certificates for dining, sailing, and merchandise. A complete list of all prizes and winners can be found at

Drive for Schools runs for five weeks every fall. Toyota of Santa Cruz, Subaru of Santa Cruz and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk share the cost of the car and cash prizes as well as donate staff time to organize and run the fundraiser. Hundreds of school volunteers coordinate their school’s ticket sales. Dozens of local businesses donate additional prizes for the event. Tickets and posters are printed by Mission Printers. Each participating school keeps all of the money they raise, with no overhead costs. Local schools report using the money raised for valuable art, music, science, and sports programs, classroom reading aids and computers. For a complete list of prizes and winners visit

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