Bartow, FL- May 13, 2014DFE Opening doorBartow Ford Co. celebrated 21 years of Drive for Excellence by honoring 20 Polk County Junior and Senior finalists for their educational excellence on May 10, 2014.

This year’s winner Jacqueline Sullivan, a senior at Lake Region High School, waited a suspenseful 19th in line to try her chances at unlocking the grand prize, a 2014 Ford Mustang. As one of the few students in Drive for Excellence history to be selected two years in a row as a qualifier, Jacqueline was no stranger to the anticipation.

“Since I was 19th and there were 18 kids ahead of me I didn’t think my odds were good for winning but I apparently was wrong,” explained the 12th grader. “Now I feel really good. It was a huge shock I felt like I was dreaming was, my first thought,” she continued.

The Bartow Ford Drive for Excellence program was established to encourage Teacher of the Yearexcellence in education among Polk County Juniors and Seniors. For over two decades, it has offered local students, who achieve A’s, B’s and perfect attendance, the chance to be drawn as a top qualifier for the opportunity to win a new Ford vehicle.

“We think of our community as our customers and as family; Drive for Excellence is our chance to bring everyone together. It gives us the opportunity to give back to the students who have worked hard; this is their reward,” concluded Benny Robles, Jr., Partner and Pre-Owned Director.

This year’s special guests included the 2014 Polk County Teacher of the Year and former Drive for Excellence participant, Christie Bassett. “This is such a festive day for everyone! Bartow Ford is giving back and is encouraging students to make good gradeBartow Ford and WPCV shots and have good attendance with this program.”

Qualifiers and guests of the event were treated to a photo prop booth, refreshments, and live music and raffles, courtesy of 97 Country/WPCV.

The Drive for Excellence Event was sponsored by 97 Country/WPCV and Deli Delicacies.

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Founded in 1948, Bartow Ford Company is a privately held company providing new and used vehicles, and automotive services. The Central Florida facility, located on 30 acres of property in Polk County, with over 200 employees, includes a service and parts department, collision center, rental vehicles, commercial services and a quick-lane. Bartow Ford has achieved Ford Motor Company’s prestigious President’s Award 16 times. For more info on Bartow Ford Company, please visit www.BartowFord.com.

If you would like more information about this topic or to schedule an interview with Benny Robles Jr., please contact Kimberly Vigil at 800-533-0425 ext. 239 or email kimberlyv@bartowford.com.