Students work to raise $20,000 to attend global competition

By: April Lehmbeck | Grosse Pointe Times | Published May 12, 2015


GROSSE POINTES —  Grosse Pointe students earned their spot at the Destination Imagination global competition, but they still need to raise the money to make the trip.

Two teams from Pierce Middle School and one team from Trombly Elementary School ranked in the top three of their categories in the state competition last month. Destination Imagination, a problem-solving and creative-thinking program, will host the global competition from May 20-23 in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The only thing standing in their way is the funds needed to send the three teams and their coaches to the competition. Of the $20,000 needed, they had raised almost $5,000 by early this week.

“We leave on the 20th, so not much more time to fundraise,” Christine Gallagher, a mother of one of the team members, said in an email. “But we haven’t given up!”

To help with the fundraising effort, they teamed up with the Grosse Pointe Foundation for Public Education. Anyone who wants to give can do so with tax-free donations.

Through their participation in Destination Imagination, Gallagher said she believes the children grow in their confidence and compassion while getting some competitive experience.

“They find their own voices while encouraging others to be decisive, supportive and creative,” she said. “As members of the global competitors, they will experience dozens of hands-on exhibits from NASA, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, National Geographic, Oracle Academy and many others all focused on enhancing aptitude in analytical thinking, leadership, quantitative reasoning, problem-solving, risk taking, collaboration and quick thinking!”     

The competitions allow the students to use science, technology, engineering and math skills.

The activities incorporate a number of other skills, such as teamwork, project management, communication and community service.

The students involved in the program and their parents are working hard to raise the needed money.

“They have gained community collaboration and beam with every dollar raised through bake sales, lemonade stands, ice cream stands, pasta sales and returnable drives,” Gallagher said. “And they are beyond grateful for the support of their fellow students, PTO, Which Wich and Cornwall Bakery, who have all contributed with such initiatives as Hat Day, homemade bracelet sales and cash donations.”

Christine’s daughter, Paulina Gallagher, is the only fourth-grade student on the Trombly team and the youngest from the Grosse Pointe Destination Imagination program to qualify for the global competition.

She is among the group of 19 students from the three teams gearing up for the big competition.

“I am extremely excited to go to Global DI competition because not a lot of people get to go, and it is a great opportunity to express myself in a creative learning way,” she said in an email. “I like DI because it is very interactive, we get to travel, meet new people, and fundraising is really fun. The problem-solving is challenging, but it is a great brain exercise!”

To find out more about donating to the fundraising efforts, visit the group’s Facebook page by searching for Grosse Pointe Destination Imagination.