NASHUA — Youths from all over the state are preparing for a trip to Missouri to compete in the Destination Imagination global finals, but the unique competition comes at a price.
“We are the only Nashua team participating, which I am extremely proud about, but it does cost money,” said MaryAnn Pinto, team manager for Bicentennial Elementary School’s Creative Minds team.
“The registration fee alone is $5,500 per team, which is the heaviest burden.”
In addition, participants must pay for hotel rooms and airfare at an estimated total cost of up to $1,400, explained Pinto. Her team is one of about 30 teams from New Hampshire competing at the global finals in Kansas City, Mo., at the end of May.
Many of the teams have started various fundraising initiatives to help offset the cost of the trip.
In Bedford, four teams will be competing at the event, and organizers say that fundraising is vital to make it a success.
“Bedford is sending four teams to compete in the Destination Imagination global finals in Kansas City next month. We need lots of fundraising to make this happen,” Kelly Chausovsky of Bedford wrote in an online statement.
The first fundraiser in Bedford will take place at 6 p.m. today Thursday at Peter Woodbury Elementary School. A bake sale will occur during the school’s art show to help raise money for the four teams.
All schools in Bedford are hosting an EcoSmith shoe drive for the DI teams, with each pair of shoes giving the teams credit for the trip. A 50/50 raffle is also being organized by Deanna Andree; tickets are $5 each and can be purchased by contacting Andree at email@example.com.
In Nashua, Pinto said a gofundme page has been set up to collect donations.
“We are crossing our fingers and hoping to raise more money. We will take whatever we can get,” she said.
The Nashua School District’s Parent Teacher Organization has offered to give the Nashua team $1,200, and the school district is providing an additional $1,000, according to Pinto.
“We are so grateful, because that is a decent chunk off our list,” she said, adding more money is still needed to make the trip financially feasible.
Team Creative Minds will also be fundraising at Chuck E. Cheese in Manchester from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on April 25 and 26.
Twenty percent of all purchases will be donated to the PTO when the school’s name is mentioned at checkout, which will then be transferred to the team.
“The kids are extremely excited about the opportunity to go to globals. Any help is appreciated,” said Pinto.
Destination Imagination teams are charged with solving different challenges, each with its own educational focus that requires improvisation and well-rehearsed solutions to complex challenges designed to encourage creative and critical thinking, develop teamwork, apply leadership skills and work within a budget and time frame, say team managers.