Team Duct Tape members had a fun and busy day yesterday, spending a couple of hours at Sunlake High School in Land O’ Lakes, where they introduced a couple of dozen students there to FIRST robotics, most for the first time. A number of students tried their hand at driving and shooting the robot, and one educator at the school came by to ask about starting a team there. TDT has pledged their support to Sunlake in helping them establish a program at the school. TDT is very grateful to Sunlake Media Specialist, Melodie Oleson, for being so supportive of one of our team member’s request to bring the team to his school for Teen Tech Week there, and for going to such great lengths to get word out about our visit and to bring so many students in to be part of the program.
The Tampa Tribune ran a front page story about our visit in today’s Pasco Tribune, as well – Aiming to Inspire – which includes some companion video footage.
The Sunlake event alone would have made for a full day, but after leaving the school, we headed over to The Breakfast Nook, to help set up for our Benefit Dinner there. What an absolutely wonderful experience the dinner was! Over 80 people turned out to support the team, and seating spilled out onto the patio. Fortunately, the weather was great, and the company was even better! The dinner brought in $800, and after helping defray food and other costs, we were able to add nearly $600 to our World Championship fund.
We were overwhelmed – once again – by the outpouring of support from neighbors, friends, co-workers and mentors. George
Schott, president of the IEEE-RAS, drove all the way from Dunedin to join us for dinner, and offered to mentor the team in programming next season, a great gift, as programming mentors are few and far between! Team members enjoyed showing him and Sean Denny, also of IEEE, the robot and Engineering Notebook. The Kappelers showed up, from FLL team Brick Buddies, and even got a little collaborative help for some homework in during dinner.
TDT members turned out to be pretty good at table service, too, busing tables, delivering entrees, refilling glasses and being gracious dinner hosts. The Team Duct Tape Signature Dessert made up for in tastiness what it probably lacked in elegance, suggesting that TDT members might want to stick to building robots rather than cake decorating, but everyone seemed to enjoy it just fine.
We also picked up another sponsor during dinner, Foliage Design Systems, of Clearwater, whom we’re delighted to welcome to our team of TDT supporters.
All in all, it was a terrifically fun and uplifting day of camaraderie, community outreach and community support. We want to give a very special thank you to The Breakfast Nook, for opening up after hours and devoting so much time and energy to the Benefit Dinner. TDT remains deeply humbled by all the individuals, organizations and locally businesses who show their confidence and trust in us in so many ways. We’re taking you all with us to Atlanta, in our hearts, minds, plastered all over the robot and firing our competitive spirit.
Thank you all!