If anyone wants to donate a new vehicle to the Vermilion Parish School District to raffle it off, Superintendent Tommy Byler will be all for it.

At the grand open- ing of the new Mendoza Ford in Maurice, the fourth annual car give- away took place on Sat- urday.

For the last four years, the Mendoza family has donated a brand new Ford car to the Vermilion Parish public school system. A raffle has been held togive away the vehicle.

The money raised from selling the raffle tickets goes back to the school that sold them. The more tickets sold, the more money raised for the school that sold the tickets.

And to cap it off, the school board agreed to match up to $5,000 of ticket sales at each school. The money donated by the school board has to be used for technology.

Despite it being a COVID-19 school year, students sold a record amount of $131,000 worth of tickets. Not bad, considering when the schools started selling tickets in November, the goal was only $60,000, and then when that was reached, it increased to $75,000.

In the last month, for the final push, the students sold $55,000 worth of tickets. On the day of the event, school officials sold $11,000 worth of tickets.

The total raised for the car raffle was $141,000, all going to the Vermilion Parish School system.

Superintendent Tommy Byler was

thrilled to have a record year considering it was also a COVID-19 year.

“It has been a great partnership with the Mendoza family first at Acadiana Ford and now Mendoza Ford,” said Byler. “This is a great effort by all of the students, teachers, parents, and administrators to take advantage of a great opportunity to give back to our schools.”

Danielle Mendoza said, “Giving back is dear to our hearts. We had no idea when we started this where it would go. The school board jumped on board. Because of everyone’s dona- tion, it goes back to the schools and into the classrooms. Thank you, thank you, and thank you. We did it even in a pandemic.”

Each school is guaranteed $2,000 from ticket sales and a $2,000 match from the school board for a total of $4,000.

However, some schools sold more than $2,000 worth of tickets and could be getting thousands more from ticket sales.

Three schools reached the $15,000 plateau, but Byler did not provide the names of those schools. Byler said he wants to specially recognize each school.

By Chris Rosa. Originally published by Abbeville Meridional, 3/31/21