From Dream to Reality
In September 2007, Vic High Mechanics teacher Mike Grew approached the Vic High Environment Club with a proposal. He was getting an F-150 truck donated with a blown engine. Would the Environment Club like to fund raise and convert the truck to a full electric vehicle? “Yes!” club members said enthusiastically. “It will take about $15,000 to do it,” said Mr. Grew. “Oh no” sighed the members, but they agreed to try and see it through. From that moment of commitment, the dream started to materialize and the community rallied around the Environment Club.
The club initially directed their energies to writing letters to banks, politicians, the Vic High Alumni and PAC and anyone they thought might be interested. They held a bottle drive where local MLA’s Rob Fleming and Carol James matched our collection money with a $500 doantion. They had bake sales and sponsored a dance and talent night. When individual donors heard about the project through a story in the Fernwood Village Vibe, small donations began to come in. When Mr. Grew wrote to the Premier about the project, the provincial government responded with a cheque for $15,000. The Vic High Alumni also played a pivotal role, donating $1,000 and facilitated a grant from Telus for $18,000. The Vic High PAC gave us $1700 and even a local coffee shop The Parsonage gave us a couple of hundred dollars.
By the Spring of 2008, there was sufficient money to begin work on the project. With the assistance of his mechanics students, Mr. Grew removed the old engine and began the laborious task of conversion. Despite working for many hours on his own time, the truck was not finished by his June 2009 retirement. Starting in September 2009, the whole shops department stepped up and committed to finishing the truck by April 2011. Mr. Blecic’s autobody students have done a superb job of body work and painting and negotiations are in place to finish the electrical controls. The truck will soon be rolling and proudly displaying the Vic High black and gold colours.
When students and staff decide to act collectively and with conviction and dedication, miracles can happen. Congratulations to the Vic High staff, students and parents for turning this dream into a reality. Yes we can!!