Last Minute emergency with team

So I have never been with a team where we had this happen to us, or ever thought would have to reach to get help figuring this out.
But our team, which we are getting ready to go to Orlando this week to compete, was told today by the principal that the team would not be allowed to go to competition now. The school has already donated to support the team, and when faced with last minute rush to find funds the team went and talked to him at which point he informed the instructor in charge that now because the funds are not there the team is not allowed to go. So I guess in short what I am here for is to ask, have any teams faced this and what did they do to overcome it? And also if anyone in South Florida knows of someone looking to help a team last minute we could use any help possible. Thank you for any advice or input, we are in desperate need for help and I hate to see the team not get to go because of it.

Just out of curiosity, what kind of funds were you needing to raise last minute? I assume that you already had hotel and transportation set up, so what I’m asking is what were you missing that you needed more funds for?

This information might help in finding people who can lend a hand

If you have a mentor or associated adult that is so inclined they could spot the team the funds they need for the event and be paid back/reimbursed later after the team fund-raises the money they need. Given the last-minute nature of your situation this is one of maybe a few methods that will get you the money you need in time.

Side note: this can be a good way to rack up frequent flyer miles or other credit card rewards! :slight_smile:

Unfortunately this tends to happen, it happened to me in 2005. Luckily two nervous days later, emergency funds were found saving our season.

Get in contact with the regional director immediately, they will be able to help.

After that have a team meeting and look for every sponsorship leads at all levels, have one group look at small local businesses, have a second group focus on corporate sponsorships in the area. You have a robot an you are allowed to do demo’s with it, provided you follow the guidance in the manual.

Make sure that the money is the only reason the principal will not allow you to go. If the only problem is money, create a letter explaining your situation, and go around to local businesses and ask for donations. Our team did this last year with a week before we left to worlds.I also agree with the find a mentor to loan you some money.

I presume that you have already paid the entry fee.

At this point, it is transportation and lodging.

For our team, it is primarily the kid’s responsibility to raise funds for transportation and lodging.

I’d make a short list of who has to go, and see if you can raise enough money (or parent’s cover the cost) to cover those people.

If you tell the school that you have already paid the $5,000 entry fee, they might be able to come up with $1,000 to get a core team to the competition.

It is regarding our hotel and transportation fees.
Basically what happened is we had a deal with the school where they would front the money with the stipulation the students would fund raise and pay the money back after competition. But what happened was the kids went to the principal directly, who had already gave the money for registration, so to him this made it look like financially we were worse off then we really were so he pulled the plug on the previously set agreement.

Thank you all for your input on how to fix the situation, there were definitely things said that going forward the team can use and in the future prevent this from happening.
But at this time luckily thanks to one of our few sponsors came through and after some pleading, the only other mentor on the team works for them so that helped, they graciously came through and helped us with the money so that we can still go to competition this week.

Just a suggestion or 2 to make that money stretch a bit further. Glad to see that a sponsor helped you out…Phwew! Good Luck in Orlando.

As for lodging though…Contact a church locally (or a group of them…the internet really can be your friend there), in the area of the Regional Competition, many will, for a simple asking, allow your group to use their facilities for a small donation, a lot of cleanliness and care for their place, and some really good respectful GROUP behavior by your team (tell them what our FIRST encouraged “gracious professionalism” is all about as an ice breaker).

Many large churches have sleeping areas (yes, sleeping bags, air mattresses, and cot type places…they are not hotels, bu they are actually better for larger and louder groups), where genders may be separated into like groups away from each other for sleeping and bathroom duties, kitchens (we buy our own food and use theirlicensed facility to prepare it, and clean up after ourselves + pay a small cleaning fee or leave a large tip also usually for their janitorial staff), and they usually have adequate male/female separate bathroom & shower facilities.

We used to use hotels only, but we have a standing agreement w/ a church in each of our Regional Competition areas that we normally attend now, and only use hotels for the Industry Mentors & the upper aged Volunteers working the event for FIRST that must be early/late at the competition facility. (We book that facility in each place now as soon as the Regional is completed each year, and of course by then we know they are happy w/ how we left their facility in good order, as good guests always should!)

The students and all of the Education Related Mentors (as they are ultimately the responsible parties for the Students), stay as a group at the church site together. We do stay in a hotel situation at Championships though…And that does get very expensive annually. We have that Breakfast for the entire team done in a hotel room suite in shifts (and the tailgate lunch), both down to a science by now.

The really great part about the church facility is there is usually enough group room, that we can either invite a Rookie team, or have an Alliance group pizza party…Or both…Try doing that in a group of hotel rooms, not quite as easy unless staying at that same hotel.

As soon as we qualify for the Championships…We also begin right away to ask private community clubs throughout our state (Frat. Order of Eagles actually…There are Eagles Aeries in your area…Locate them via then look for the “locate an Aerie” link there, call them early and ask for them to help in fundraising), to help w/ that “Feeding the Team at Championships Bill” before we go to Championships now, and they have always responded quite great! And, of course…we add their names to all banners and PR. (Proper Thanks are always key to successful Past & Future fundraising!)

Sure helps w/ that huge grocery bill… Eating out is usually out of pocket unless it is a celebratory team expense once in a great while. Students need to bring pocket $$$$, and contribute a bit toward the food & drinks fund for the travel trip too.

Glad you’ll be joining us at UCF!

Write this down and stick it in your handbook, tell it to your freshmen next fall, emphasize why You Do Not Want This To Happen Again. That almost became a very expensive lesson, and expensive lessons are the kind you only want to pay for once.