Bowling for Bots: A FIRST Fundraiser

I want to begin by thanking everyone who helped make the first Bowling for Bots fundraiser a success! We raised over $2,500 to support FIRST programs that DISTek employees have a stake in.  Nate Wronski, DISTek Software Engineer, & I were looking for a way that we could engage DISTekians to help support a cause close to home. Alongside that mission, we wanted to provide a fun event that pulled us closer together as a company. I am happy to say that we accomplished both goals, thanks to the help of the DISTek community.

This project sprouted from an email that was sent out challenging the Milwaukee office to get together for a community service project. Nate & I responded with interest in helping to organize such a project. We ended up forming a community service project team called Unity in the Community. The mission of Unity in the Community is to promote our DISTek values to the public for the welfare of all. In our discussions, the need for an event like Bowling for Bots (B4B) became clear to us. We decided to support FIRST with the funds raised from the event, partly due to DISTek’s ongoing support of the organization, but also because FIRST promotes a brighter DISTekian future, through enhancing interest in the STEM fields.

FIRST stands for: “For Inspiration & Recognition of Science and Technology” and is a not-for-profit organization with the mission “to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.” This mission statement reflects the six core values we hold dear here at DISTek, with a strong connection to teamwork and stretching beyond ourselves. Not only does FIRST share a common mission, but we have many DISTekians that have active connections to FIRST teams, whether that be through coaching, mentoring, have a child participating, or even judging FIRST events. We structured the event to promote donations to these teams with active DISTek connections to allow the participants of B4B to have the satisfaction of knowing that their donations would affect a positive change in our local environment.

Along with the fundraiser aspect of the event, we desired to offer an event that everyone could participate in, despite their location. We succeeded in gaining DISTek participants at bowling alleys in the Twin Cities, Cedar Falls, Iowa, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin! Nate authored fun rules that we tried out at the Milwaukee location, including sabotages, which ended with tons of laughs, more donations, and luckily no broken fingers.

We are looking forward to more projects in the future that are designed to strengthen unity in the DISTek community and we hope you are too!