Thank you team 558 from our hearts!

After my son found himself in need of a team in week 3, I sent out a request in the CD forum. In no time at all I received many replies from other teams. Unfortunately many of the teams required that members go to their High School. In the process I was directed to Team 558 in New Haven CT. Denise Smoker contacted me and was very happy to have my son as a team programmer and myself as a mentor with no questions asked. Over the following weeks the Smokers have treated my son with the respect and equality as with all the other members team. The Smokers have not only come to the rescue to team 558 three years ago, but have come to the rescue to all who are willing to listen and learn. This is not just about the Smokers but the entire Robo Squad team. The Smokers and team 558 are what “Gracious Professionalism” is all about! I have not seen a more dedicated group as team 558 . All great teams need a great leader or leaders in this case. I truly believe that the Smokers have made a “VERY” positive difference in these students lives. I can see it in the kid’s eyes, its magic!

Norman Plude
Team 558

I met Pat in the 558 pit and had no idea your son wasn’t a born and bred member of the 558 team.
He obviously belonged.

His love of programming and limitless optimism carried him right through various problems. Just wait to see the IR he has running for the off-season competitions!

558 is a great team with a great Woodie Flowers mentor in Ernie (with no small support from Denise as well :slight_smile: ).

Thank you Norm and Mark for your kind words. Norm, it was a pleasure having you, Pat and Darlene all become such valued members of our team (watching Darlene spray paint the kids hair purple and yellow was priceless!!) I’m so glad you all have decided to stick with us for the next few years. Mark, a lot of what we learned about teamwork and gracious professionalism we learned from you and your team in 2006, when we were lucky enough to be your alliance partners all the way up to the finals at the CT Regional. If it wasn’t for you folks, we wouldn’t have the scouting program we do. Best of luck to 358 in Long Island and GA; we’ll be rooting for you!

Who would have thought a chance discussion with a parent while waiting for our daughters to get out of ballet class (her husband was a mentor with 558 at the time) would have led us this far!! But the accolades really belong to our great, dedicated and diverse group of kids. We love working with them, and look forward to doing some off season events this year as well as our upcoming showcase at the Bruce Museum. Stop by and see us on April 20 (for you folks who aren’t going to GA).

Congratulations on your awards!

Best of luck in the future team 558,

Team Apple Pi, 2067:D