A Stone County student is the owner of a new 2006 Mustang courtesy of Freedom Ford in Melbourne. Lynsey Martin of Onia, Ark., won the Mustang May 27 by drawing the correct key.
The $21,000 Mustang was given away as part of Freedom Ford's "Strive to Drive" program, an effort to promote high standards in education. Graduating seniors with good grades and perfect attendance could enter the contest.
Over 4,800 tickets from 247 entrants were entered from Izard County and surrounding areas all the way to Kansas and Missouri, said David Miller, co-owner of Freedom Ford.
Martin, 18, a 2006 graduate of Timbo High School, drew the eighth key from a glass bowl full of keys, which started the car. She plans to attend the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing Technical Institute in North Carolina in the fall to become a certified automotive technician, she said.
Martin drove the Mustang off later that day. Co-owner Jack Yancey said Martin had entries for both good grades and perfect attendance.
"We've really enjoyed this all day. It was a fun thing and we will be doing this again next year. A few changes in the format may be made, but we will give away another car next year," he said. "It's expensive but some things can't be measured based on business if you think it was worth it. This certainly was."
Yancey says he's sure the car they'll give away next year will be another Mustang.
All of the contestants received a gift bag containing a $100 savings bond from First National Bank of Izard County, a $10 Sonic gift card, a 90-minute Alltel phone card, cups from Lexi's Home Sweet Home, mugs and pens from Ford Motor Company, drinks from Pepsi and Ruby Miller's homemade cookies.
The other 19 contestants were Eric Bekemeyer of Washington, Kan., Ryan Dust of Calico Rock, Ashley Russell of Highland, Andrew Keaster of Mountain Home; Lauren Chewning of Alton, Mo., Bailey Wagner of Salem, Tice Brown of Batesville, Maleca McKenzie of Cave City, Samantha Hardin of Salem, Brennan Cochran of Salem, Amber Watson of Hardy, Tabitha Hall of Salem, Nancy Barnett of Southside, Tess Harmon of Melbourne, Luke Haney of Melbourne, Rachel Johnson of Izard County, LaShelle Gray of Calico Rock, Corey Simpson of Mount Pleasant, and Chelsie Yancey of Izard County.