Although thousands of students qualified, Joshua Campos, a freshman at Oñate High School, was the lucky student selected in a drawing for a 2019 Toyota Yaris iA at the 11th Annual Count Me In! Car Giveaway, Thursday, May 2, at the Field of Dreams Soccer Complex on Tashiro Road. The annual event represents the culmination of a year-long attendance initiative that awards one high school student with a car.

“As this giveaway heads into its second decade, the longevity of this very popular event is also a testament to the initiative’s effectiveness,” said Superintendent Greg Ewing. “Providing our students the opportunity to win a new car is certainly a great way to encourage them to maintain good attendance throughout the year. I’d like to once again thank all the LCPS staff who helped organize the event and the event sponsors for their ongoing support.”

In order to qualify for the car giveaway, students must have maintained a 90 percent attendance rate in every class in either the fall or spring semesters. Each semester, students can earn one raffle entry if they maintain a 90 percent attendance rate and two entries if they have perfect attendance.

The two-hour giveaway event featured free hot dogs and frozen custard, a rock wall, knocker balls, music and a wide variety of games. This year, students were also given the chance to dunk their principals in a dunking booth. The prizes given away at this year’s event included: an electric guitar and amplifier, $100 cash prizes, a $100 Organ Mountain Outfitters gift card, LCPS athletic event passes, a 32” television, laptop computers, and $100 gasoline gift certificates.

Additionally, high school seniors who maintained perfect attendance during both semesters were entered to win a $1,000 scholarship from BKY Memorial. Freshmen, sophomores and juniors who maintained perfect attendance during both semesters were eligible to win a $500 giveaway from Precision Mortgage Group.

All of the prizes were donated by the event sponsors, some of which also made financial contributions to help with the purchase of the car. The event was sponsored by: Vescovo ToyotaCaliche’s Frozen CustardPioneer BankOrgan Mountain Outfitters, Pic Quik, KidsKare P.C. Family Dentistry, Campos Creative School Portraits, BlueCross BlueShield of New Mexico, HUB International and the Las Cruces Public Schools Foundation. Support for the event was also provided by: Hubbard’s Music–N-More, D2 Designsthe New Mexico National Guard and Riverside Technologies Inc. (RTI).

The Count Me In! attendance initiative was created in 2009 to coincide with the school board policy and regulation that deals with compulsory student attendance and graduation requirements, said LCPS Community Outreach Liaison Brigitte Zigelhofer.

— Damien Willis, LCPS Director of Communications, 575-527-5811, dwillis@lcps.net