Chelsea Robotics kicks off the perfect, cool fundraiser for the season.
It’s called Wrap-A-Palooza and it happens from 3:30pm-7pm on Friday, December 9th, then on Saturday, December 10th from 10am-noon and 1pm-4pm and on Sunday, December. 11, again from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
To find out more about the event, Sun Times News reached out to Chelsea Robotics and reached out to Jay Zatkovich, parent and chair of the Chelsea Robotics Fundraising Subcommittee, and two students.
Zatkovic said “This is the first of what we hope will become an annual event and tradition for Chelsea Robotics. A kind of ‘come home’ where anyone who has been involved with robotics is welcome to come back to take part in this awareness event and help build a fun festive environment for the community to enjoy.”
“I think it would be a great way to spread some holiday cheer and show everyone a different side of robotics. I encourage everyone who is available to come to this event because we are working hard to make this happen and we hope to see you all there,” said Peyton Kiefer, a student in the robotics program.
Explaining how the idea for the fundraiser came about, Zatkovic said the bot program has grown exponentially in the past several years. He said that through the efforts of many donors, sponsors, advocates and community members as well as the 2019 Chelsea School District Bond, they have a “world-class robotics hub where students from all Chelsea School District K-12 teams meet and collaborate in their respective competitions.”
“We wanted to thank the community by adding more festivities around the holidays and making things a little easier for people,” Zatkovic said. “The Wrap-A-Palooza was envisioned as a way for our young engineers to engage with the people in the city they live in and show appreciation for the community for their support.”
He said, “The young mentors really took to the idea, and I hope everyone will enjoy the festive environment they’re going to create.”
A three-day fundraiser will see the Chelsea Robotics Center open to the public where there will be gift wrapping and celebrations (think fun decorations, hot cocoa while it lasts, and the accompanying merriment) for the crowd.
There is no cost for packaging, but donations to Chelsea Robotics Boosters are appreciated.
Zatkovich said non-profit CRB (Chelsea Robotic Boosters, a 501-C3) is the supporting arm of Chelsea’s K-12 Robotics program, which aims to engage the community, promote STEM programs such as FIRST Robotics, fundraise and provide support for young engineers and mentors as they continue to build A world class robotics program.
For background on the program, Zatkovic said Chelsea Robotics is in its 14th year and “in that time has firmly established itself on the world map — being one of only six teams to win a GM-sponsored industrial design award at last year’s global competition in Houston, Texas.” .
“To put that into perspective, there were 3,225 teams from 26 countries registered for the FRC ‘Rapid React’ competition in 2022,” he said. On a local level, we have recently expanded the program to include all age levels, and we have more than 120 young engineers participating in the program which has opportunities from Kindergarten to Grade 12.”
Zatkovich said he graduated from the Humanities College in 1999 and that program did not exist.
“Through my son’s participation, I saw how much it grew and affected children in the community, providing a very positive experience,” he said. “I hope people can learn more about what Chelsea Robotics is, and what it has to offer during the event.”
The event will be in the 400 Building, at 500 Washington Street in Chelsea.
People must bring their gifts within the specified times which you can see on Chelseamich.com (https://chelseamich.com/events/hth-wrap-a-poolza/ ), park in front of the Robotics Center, and enter Building 400 where the greeter will help them present and wrap their gifts.
“We hope this event will become a staple in our community to help round out the end of the year,” said Emilie Gagnon, a student of robotics at Chelsea.
“We encourage visitors to explore the Robotics Center while they wait and to take part in the holiday festivities,” said Zatkovic.
To learn more about Chelsea Robotics and its various programs, go to https://www.chelsearobotics.org/.
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