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Sponsors Wanted for CaroMont Community Challenge


All sponsorship dollars support the Robotics Program through Gaston County Schools

Student robotics teams will descend on the field at Stuart W. Cramer High School at the third annual CaroMont Community Challenge on Saturday, May 14. For the past two years, CaroMont has partnered with Gastonia East Rotary to support Gaston County Schools’ Robotics Program – a program that combines science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to teach students critical thinking and creative skills. Proceeds from the CaroMont Community Challenge are matched up to $15,000 by the Rotary International Foundation in support of the robotics program.

“The skills students gain from the robotics program, including teamwork, collaboration and problem solving, are going to make them well prepared for a future where more processes are going to be mechanized,” said Doug Luckett, President and CEO at CaroMont Health. “Gaston County Schools is doing so much to give students a robust and diverse educational experience, and we are proud to partner with the Gastonia East Rotary to support this program. Our sponsors are not only using the CaroMont Community Challenge to share their messages and services with our event participants, but all of their sponsorship dollars go directly to support this program.”

In April, students from Hawks Nest Intermediate School presented their FIRST Lego League project to the Gastonia East Rotary Club. Hawks Nest students won first place for their project presentation at the FIRST Lego League regional competition and second place at the RoboGaston tournament. The student team spent about eight months researching and designing an innovative solution around this year’s theme “Trash Trek.” Students also built and programmed a Lego Mindstorms EV-3 robot to complete specific missions related to the theme.

“We are excited to partner with CaroMont Health again this year in support of our club’s primary fundraising project, the Gaston County Schools’ Robotics Program,” said Bill Moore, President, Gastonia East Rotary Club. “There is a lot of research and evidence to support the importance of robotics in schools and how students respond to learning and developing skills that are critical to their future. I can’t think of a better way to support the Rotarian mission to ‘be a gift to the world’ than through this collaborative endeavor.”

Nearly 500 students have participated in the STEM-based program since it was introduced in the school system five years ago. The program is open to rising fourth and fifth graders, as well as middle and high school students. Students meet after school to construct the robots and prepare for competitions based around a theme and challenge that teaches problem-solving and critical thinking skills and teambuilding exercises.

“Students are fascinated by robots, and we are seeing how the experience gained from the program is finding its way in the classroom on so many different levels,” said Dr. Shelly Bullard, Executive Director for K-6 Instruction, Eastern Community for Gaston County Schools. “Robotics isn’t just for students who have engineering skills or are mathematically inclined. It is a great all-around program in motivating students to want to learn about math, science, mechanics, teamwork, public speaking and so much more. The great thing is that the program is relevant to every student in teaching both hard and soft skills and every student is an active participant.”

Students interested in the robotics program have to go through an extensive application and interview process. Only eight members are chosen each year from fourth and fifth grades and 10 students at the high school level. It costs about $2,000 to fund a team each year. Sponsorship funding goes to support the entire robotics program including the robots, training for students and staff and materials needed for projects throughout the school year.

“We are so thankful for the money we receive through sponsorships and we are pleased that the community has embraced the robotics program the way it has, which has allowed us continue to provide the program to our students,” said Dr. Bullard. “The more we can open up the program, the more kids we can touch and the more students we can impact in a positive way.”

Interested in sponsoring the event?
There is still time to be a sponsor! Details about sponsorship packages are available at Sponsorship packages include: Challenge Supporters Sponsorship ($1,000); Community Leader Sponsorship ($500); Community Friends Sponsorship ($250) and Individual Supporter ($100). All sponsors receive up to four 5k race registrations and their name on event signage. Additionally, sponsors at the $500 or more level receive inclusion in the virtual goodie bag, an exhibitor tent, as well as other extras.

For information about CaroMont Community Challenge, visit

Categories: Health