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Marlbots fundraise for robotics team affected by the Thomas Fire

The Spudnik and Spudbot robotics teams from Ojai Valley School received devastating news when they found that their lab had burned in the Thomas Fire. The FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) community raised over $1,400 in donations for the Ojai Valley School through a pizza and ice cream fundraiser on Jan. 20. The fundraiser took place after the last meet at Marlborough.

Robotics Instructor Andrew Witman said that he was confident that the A1 League would want to help the Ojai Valley School after the fires.

“I was very sad to hear about Ojai Valley’s situation. I know the incredibly hard work that students put into a competition like this, and to have it destroyed in an instant would be devastating. I knew right away that the League would want to do something to help them get back on their feet. I was also glad that everyone at OVS was safe,”  Witman said.

Marlborough robotics team members sent out flyers to all the other teams advertising the fundraising event, which sold two slices of pizza, a drink, and an ice cream for $10. All proceeds went to the Ojai Valley Fire Recovery Fund. 

Robotics team member Amanda ’18 said that the fundraising event was a great learning experience. 

“I think it’s great that that our whole league came together to support our fellow FTC teams in need. Organizing the event took effort, and really was a learning  experience about budgeting an event, but it ultimately paid off,” Yuen said. 

Witman explained how supportive the robotics and A1 League community are.

“The other teams in our league were incredibly supportive. In addition to attending the fundraiser, some of the other teams gave substantial cash donations. It is a very supportive community,” Witman said.

Amanda said that the fundraiser was much more successful than their league expected it to be. 

“We were hoping that a hundred people would turn out, but double that amount came, and many more donated to the fire relief fund; the $1,400 raised was way above our original estimates of $600. It was very exciting,” Amanda said.