Media contact: CeCe Todd, (480) 461-4032
Last year, Luke Shaffer had perfect attendance at the East Valley
Institute of Technology, earning the right for a chance to win a car. As
the cameras rolled, he and five other students drew keys to try and
start the car. But Shaffer never got to try his key in the ignition,
because another lucky EVIT student with perfect attendance drew the
winning key and started the car before it was his turn.
So this year, when once again, Shaffer, an EVIT pharmacy technician
student, had perfect attendance and won a drawing for a chance to win
the car – he decided not to get his hopes up. During Monday’s car
giveaway, he waited for his turn and then put his key in the ignition of
the 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier donated by Thorobred Chevrolet.
And nothing happened.
Shaffer thought he had lost again. Worse, the key was stuck in the
ignition. So he got out of the car, and EVIT radio instructor Steve
Grosz slid behind the wheel to see if he could get the key out.
And the car started. “You won the car!” Grosz said to a disbelieving
Shaffer. Turned out: The Gilbert High School senior forgot to push in
“It’s more than I could hope for,” Shaffer, 18, said. It’s also more
than his 14-year-old brother could hope for because Shaffer, who already
owns a car, plans to give his little brother the car he won at EVIT.
For eight years, EVIT has given away a donated car to a student with
perfect attendance. At the end of the school year, all students with
perfect attendance enter a drawing – and then six are selected to
participate in the car giveaway. Each student selects a key, and then
the one whose key starts the ignition, wins the car.
This year, 281 students had perfect attendance.
“We train our young people to go into the workforce,” said Sally
Downey, superintendent of EVIT, a career and technical school offering
more than 30 occupational training programs for high school students and
adults. “So we put a lot of emphasis on going to school every day, just
like you would be going to work every day.”