World championship cancelled

Dear Family, Friends, Team Sponsors and Community Supporters,

We are disappointed to announce that the FIRST LEGO League World Championship has been cancelled in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is not surprising. We understand that it’s in everyone’s best interests to help slow the spread and protect our vulnerable populations. At this time, we’d like to be transparent with our generous donors and community, and let you know our current position and intention.

To date we’ve raised about $13,500 to make this trip happen. Here’s where we are at this exact moment. Our airline tickets are non-refundable, under Delta’s COVID-19 policy we are eligible for an itinerary change or a credit. I have filed an appeal, to see if we can instead get a refund. I have filed a similar appeal with AirBnB, if denied we lose half of our lodging expenses. I am waiting for responses from both of those companies. We will get our $1,000 tournament registration refunded. There are expenses/items that we cannot recover/return including our team banners, signs, buttons, swaps, team uniforms, some of our display hardware, tablecloths that have been laundered and several other small things that all add up. The team uniforms with our new team sponsor logos will be used all next season, and we will make good on our sponsor obligations to the best of our ability.

The girls have worked very hard and through no fault of their own find themselves in this incredibly disappointing situation. Whether we get a credit or full refund from Delta, after the pandemic has passed, we would like to plan an alternative educational trip. It may even still be to Houston to go to NASA Johnson Space Center. We would plan for this summer.

Aside from that, any remaining funds would be used to support the team in their upcoming robotics season 2020-2021, which starts August 1st. Added together, our expenses for FIRST LEGO LEAGUE and the NASA robotics challenge are over $3,000 per year with our current team headcount.

We have been reaching out to each of our amazing donors individually to inform them of the situation. Many of you have heard from us already, if you haven’t, you will shortly. We just started making contact this weekend. We understand that the funds you generously provided would no longer be going toward their original intended purpose. We can assure you that they would be used similarly to provide an extraordinary STEM based educational experience for these hard-working young ladies and support their STEM and leadership skill building in the coming robotics season. If you would rather withdraw your donation based on this unfortunate change in circumstance, please let us know.

We intend to proceed with MacKenzie River Pizza Community Day, if you’d like to go out for pizza and support the team’s ongoing mission, we’d be thankful. I have spoken with MacKenzie River and they are happy to support us with this event.

We will persevere and make the best of this situation. We will continue to do incredible things for girls in STEM in our community. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions. Thank you all for your ongoing support.

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