Ford ‘Drive 4 UR School’ campaign impacts PSH

Despite the odd spelling, Ford’s Drive 4 UR School campaign had a great impact on Palmetto Senior High School.

Last month Gus Machado Ford of Kendall (15551 S. Dixie Hwy.) hosted the PTSA and students, parents and community supporters who turned out to take test drives in a new Ford vehicle. The program, sponsored nationally by Ford Motor Company, provided $20 to the school for every driver that got behind the wheel.

Gus and Lilliam Machado were all smiles as lines formed at their dealership. Anna Hochkammer, president of the Palmetto High PTSA, was in constant motion making sure everything was just perfect.

“I’m so excited to see that the whole community has come out to support us,” she said. “We are very appreciative of Ford, Gus Machado and all of the participants for today’s event.”

Lines weaved throughout the showroom as the high school band performed, cheerleaders cheered and the Panther mascots strolled the grounds., “We’ve done this for about four years now and it’s our first one with Palmetto Senior High,” said Lilliam Machado. “This is the largest and most energetic one yet. We are very happy to be a part of our community and to donate to our schools.”

Gus Machado was very excited all day. He danced on the driveway and drove a Ford convertible filled with the Palmetto Panthers and cheerleaders.

Ford ‘Drive 4 UR School’ campaign impacts PSH
Palmetto parent Susan Rolnick is one of the hundreds of parents who took a test-drive.

“I love that we are supporting our school and kids” he said. “We host lots of events throughout the year, but this is the most interesting and fun.

Ford gives the school money for each test drive and provides incentives to people who buy a vehicle through this program. It’s a win-win.”

Ford limits the program to 300 testdrives, but Gus Machado Ford pledged to donate $10 per driver beyond that limit. In the end, there were 340 registered testdrives. That translates to $6,400 raised. “We had an incredibly successful day,” said Hochkammer.

And what can it do to help me in real estate? Well, I’m glad you asked because I have been geocaching (yes, it’s a verb) for years and let me tell you about the real estate benefits.

First, let’s explain geocaching. Geocaching is a (mostly) adult game devised to use handheld GPS devices and have fun. Think of it as a global (yes, global) game of hide and seek where someone hides a cache (pronounced ‘cash’) and posts its GPS coordinates online. It is then other people’s mission to find the cache.

While the GPS coordinates get you close, the actual cache can be tricky to find. Many caches are cleverly hidden and some are puzzles leading to secondary caches.

This global game started around 2000 as portable GPS devices started to be sold to the masses. It was a way for manufacturers to bolster sales, but now it has grown into a cult-like passion with lots of sub-games and benefits. Inside the caches are “treasure” items. Originally,

Ford ‘Drive 4 UR School’ campaign impacts PSH
A geocache can be large or small, but always hidden.

A geocache can be large or small, but always hidden.

GPS and movie companies placed interesting trinkets inside caches to provide rewards for find. These early giveaway treasures gave way to lots of creative innovation. Now, there are uniquely numbered geo-coins and items called “travel bugs” that allow players to move items to and from destinations based on a posted desired route.

Geocaching is also a way to get geeks like me out of their computer chair and into the great outdoors where they get exercise and tech at the same time. Nowadays, anyone can be a geek and geocache because GPS is built into smartphones.

I find geocaching a great way to see things from the eyes of a local. Let me explain. Players who hide geocaches must choose a location where they can regularly maintain it. This means they are usually hidden within the neighborhoods where they live. Also, they are usually hidden in interesting areas in an attempt to share that area with other game players. During vacations, I often use geocaching as a way to get out of touristy areas and into the “real world” of locals. In Alaska, I discovered more beautiful and poignant points of interest than the ones suggested by my tour guide. It made my trip much more enjoyable and educational.

Geocaching can definitely have impact in real estate. I have three caches hidden around South Florida. Each brings visitors into my personal view of the neighborhood. I use the locations of my geocaches to highlight the parts of my world that I love.

If you want to get involved in geocaching, go to for a free account. Get outside and have some fun searching for your new home and neighborhood in a unique and powerful way.