For the past twelve years, Beehive Drive has offered high school students from across the state the chance to attend an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. NS has sent students every year for the past five years and this year juniors Alex Larsen and Mackensie Blackhurst will get to go on the week-long trip to the nation’s capital.
“I’m pretty excited to go,” junior Alex Larsen said. “It’s obviously a once-in-a-lifetime experience to go take a fully-paid trip to D.C. and tour everything. It’s pretty exciting.”
Beehive Drive is a nonprofit charity event that has many different goals. These goals include honoring heroes in the highway patrol, giving scholarships to students in the communities, as well as taking 32 students on an a tour of the nation’s capital.
“It’s a four-day event, where it brings together exotic car owners from around the United States and they donate money to our communities,” said History and Education Coordinator, Angie Lavender. “We want to give back to Utah.”
The late Larry H. Miller and his wife started the event with the hopes of earning money to give back to the state in not only helping students and highway patrol but also in helping to create and maintain parks and to better help the communities throughout Utah.
“We spent a full week doing everything, everything there is to do in Washington,” senior Abraham Bunting said. “I can honestly say that it was probably the best experiences that I’ve had in all of high school.”
Bunting attended the event last year with junior Allyssa Ericksen. Senior Lydia Madsen went to D.C. her sophomore year.
“I got my calculator taken out of my wallet that was sown in when we went to congress,” Madsen said. “Apparently you can’t have a calculator, they get mad at you. I never got it back and she ripped my wallet.”
While Madsen ended up without a calculator, she overall enjoyed the whole experience.
“We went to every memorial there was,” Madsen said. “It was just really cool.”
What makes this program different than just another tour of Washington is that the students are to fill out booklets and reflect on how the ideals of early founding fathers affect them currently in their lives.
“They’re kind of souped-up history lessons with purpose in the place where it all happened,” counselor Ben Cox said. “It can be pretty powerful.”
Cox had the opportunity to go back with a group of students as a chaperone a couple of years ago and thinks highly of the charity.
“I love the program; I think it’s incredible,” Cox said. “It really is a great opportunity to go spend time in the nation’s capital and learn about the ideals of government and being a good citizen.”
Many students that are selected to attend haven’t traveled much or haven’t flown in an airplane.
“I’m scared” Blackhurst said. “I’ve never been on an airplane before but neither has Alex so we’re going to do it together.”
Bunting had never been on an airplane until his trip last year and is grateful for the opportunity to travel.
“I think it’s a really good program, especially for kids in a place like this,” Bunting said. “Here in Sanpete, there are people who never leave Sanpete, they don’t ever leave Utah.”
Lavender agrees with Bunting and is thrilled that the organization offers that opportunity.
“Some may never have the chance to travel out of their own little city or any of that,” Lavender said.
There is a lot of heart that goes into the charity event from the participants of the drive itself to those that are in charge of the event.
“I’ve intermixed with the participants at the galas on the last nights for the last six years and they are an amazing, wonderful group of people who love Utah.” Lavender said. “Everyone that is involved loves and feels for this program, the love of Utah and the love of the kids and the love of the highway patrol. It’s an amazing, amazing thing.”