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Fund drive for Colonie Central High School robotics team

Dealership partners with school to raise money to help cover club’s expenses

Yogi Kanakamedala, left, and Steven Wolff, members of the CCHS Robotics team, stand with the robot made by the team at the Dodge Booster Club event on Thursday, May 15.

Yogi Kanakamedala, left, and Steven Wolff, members of the CCHS Robotics team, stand with the robot made by the team at the Dodge Booster Club event on Thursday, May 15. Photo by Billy DeLap.

A robotics team partnered with Dodge and Armory Garage to host a test drive in an effort to raise money for the Colonie Central High School Robotics Team.

For the second year in a row, Colonie Central participated in the Dodge Booster Club Initiative, a nationwide effort to support school-based activities on Thursday, May 15. For the event, Armory Garage supplied four 2014 Dodge vehicles — a Charger, Dart, Durango and Grand Caravan — to be test driven by licensed drivers 18 and over. For each test drive, Dodge donated $20 to the robotics team. Last year, they were able to raise over $4,000. The maximum amount donated cannot exceed $5,000.

“We had learned about this sort of fundraiser from some other teams that participate in First Robotics, which is the program we offer to our high school students here,” said team organizer Deb Saulsbery. “We’re very fortunate that Armory decided to partner with us because it is up to the dealership to decide whether or not they want to participate in this event.”

Capital Q BBQ was there to supply food, and for $12 a meal people could get pulled pork or pulled chicken sandwiches with a variety of sides, a drink and a dessert. People who test drove vehicles were given a coupon for $2 off their dinner.

Capital Region Robotics sponsors the CCHS Robotics Team. The team is recognized by the school as an academic team, and the participants are issued letters the same as athletic teams.

“Our kids work extremely hard when they are on a team. They are required to put in at least 55 hours of active, constructive participation, but the majority of them exceed 100 hours during the six-week build period,” said Saulsbery.

The money raised pays for a wide variety of expenses such as registration fees for competitions, parts for the robots, administrative costs and travel. The school does not cover any of the team’s expenses, but it does host the team and provide a teacher from the school to assist members. When budget cuts eliminated many of the clubs in the district, the robotics team and the ski club were the only clubs not cut because they do not cost the district money. Students are not required to pay to participate.

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