Team 61 Last year with FIRST

Team 61 has been in existence for the past 8 years. Unfortunately, this past year will be our last due to lack of funding necessary to compete. There are many teams in our area who begun because of our promotion that sponsorship is now at a premium.

If anyone would like to support our team, please consider our request. We have a solid group of engineers and full support of our school’s administration. The only thing we lack is the funding necessary to compete at regionals and ultimately the national level.

Please contact me if you are interested in keeping an enthusiastic and dedicated team going.

We went 8 years without a team because of losing a sponsor. And we were not a crummy team either. Back in the day we were the top team one year and the third place team the second year. This was back when FIRST was smaller and teams went one on one. We do have a FIRST Finalist trophy in our trophy case though. So it was rough losing the sponsor.
This year we had a principal sponsor and a great machine shop behind us but we still had to find money here and there. I’m not sure there is an easy answer to this problem. It does cost money to build a robot and get to Regionals etc. I’m not sure that the cost per student is all that much more than a football or hockey team (would be interesting to find out) but schools tend to be stretched thin for money. Our plan is to try and find several companies so we can afford to lose one if it happens.
I think that what we need most from FIRST is what Dean spends so much of his time on - trying to get companies to realize that an investment in a FIRST team is an investment in their future employees.

You can survive without a sponsor, and a lot of teams can tell you how they did it. If the kids want to be involved they have to raise their share of the entrance fees, travel, ect. (we had 8 kids on the team this year that split the cost, each finding their own small sponsors, you do the math) It will motivate kids to find the money if they want to continue in the program, and small sponsors add up. Team 31 has never had a large sponsor and every year we still manage to come up with the money, give it a shot, you’ll find it.


What kind of funding are you talking about? If its not way too much, I’m sure that a few Chairman’s thirsty teams might want to help you out.

We had our kids pay $425 this year. We get our money buy using alot of small donations. we never had a big company give us all our money. These company that were given us money has given new teams and other teams in our area. so we lose alot of money.

We are looking for $20,000 to run this program. the school give us all the support with teachers and Equipment.

This was my first year at nationals and I was amazed at the size of these teams. What was really staggering was the number of adults. On some teams the adults outnumbered the students! I am wondering if these large teams, with lots of money it seems, could share the wealth to teams that are in need. Money is the issue of this thread, but expertise was a huge need we were lacking till this year. We could still use some more in specific areas. I am wondering if these larger teams would be willing to lend or transfer some of their resources to more needy teams? Good luck Team 61 in your efforts to find funding. Try giving Jeff Bezos a call.

Team 61 continues to have strong robots every year. If you would like to see our past robots go to our website at then click on the photo gallery. Here you can check out our last 3 years of robots in action.

We just posted some new pictures showing the strength of our robot. Check them out at