11/20/2015 - The smell of new books mixed in with the slight scent of the holiday spiced drinks makes Barnes and Noble the perfect place to look for a book.and to support our annual fundraiser. On Friday night, the 20th, the Hammerheads of team 226 made a partnership with the Barnes and Noble book store as a fundraiser to help support our team and spread the message of FIRST. Barnes and Nobles is our team’s largest fundraising event of the year. The way we obtain the funds is by getting a percentage of the sales if the customer uses our code when they purchase their item(s). So it is important for us to get the message across to the customers and that’s why we are stationed across the front of the store, ready to tell customers what we do and why FIRST is important if they ask. So to be able to catch their attention, we have numerous activities to lure them in.
First of all, we have our mascot Sharkie roaming around the store with a swim buddy tagging along. Our mascot goes around the store bringing a cheerful and fun aspect of our team to the store and also gets huge attractions from kids, who are the most attracted to people in costumes, i mean sharks. Then if the parents question our costume, Sharkie’s swim buddies can explain the reason and spread the word of FIRST. Holidays are coming up, so gift wrapping is in season. We place two of our members at a gift-wrapping table and have a huge banner essentially shouting who we are and what we represent. We gift wrap free of charge to spread holiday cheers and usually, they would ask us why we are here and that is an perfect opportunity to spread FIRST. We also have cheesecake samples, which seem like the most popular (I wonder why), because it is to let them know we hold a cheesecake raffle; This also goes toward our fundraising. Our team members sell tickets to friends, family, and basically everyone to raise money and give people a chance to win a giant cheesecake.
The biggest part, however, is our robot demonstration in the children’s section. We have a pit crew stationed there, and they show off our Aerial Ace robot. The kids love the robot so they are always interested. Then, dragged by the kids, the parents take interest and ask us about the robot and what we do. The experience was wonderful and this fundraiser was a success.