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Team Tiki Raises $2,300

On Monday, Nov. 6, Team Tiki, a FIRST Lego League (FLL) Robotics Team (www.first.org) from McLean, held a fund-raiser at the Old Firehouse for the National Rehabilitation Center. Members of Team Tiki are Amelia, Leah and Gene Gonzalez, Heather Harper, Brian Reimer and Clint Johnson.

The team has been participating in an 8-week FIRST Lego League challenge in which they built and programmed a robot to complete 9 obstacles in two and a half minutes at a Regional Tournament held at Eagle Ridge Middle School in Ashburn. In addition, the team prepared a science project on Nanotechnology for the competition.

The competition required the team to educate a group about their project prior to the regional tournament. However, Team Tiki took this requirement one step further and turned the educational process into a fund-raiser, inviting more than 80 friends to a two-hour "birthday" party where they accepted donations in lieu of gifts. A silent auction which included a trip for two to the fall 2007 Miami premiere of Dwayne Johnson's — aka "The Rock" — movie "The Game Plan," was also held.

Team Tiki was able to get everything donated for the evening fund-raiser — the Old Firehouse venue, DJ Jenny from Basement Media Productions, and the food and silent auction items from local vendors. The team raised $2,300, which will be given by Team Tiki and the Rock Foundation, to the National Rehabilitation Center in Washington, D.C. The money will be used for children whose parents cannot afford operations or prosthetic devices.

Team Tiki also did well at the Nov. 26 Regional Tournament at Eagle Ridge Middle School in Ashburn. The team was given the highest award in Division 2, "The Champion’s Award," and was also awarded the "Robot Performance Award" for having the highest score on the competition table that day in Division 2. The team will next compete in the State Tournament on Dec. 3 in Blacksburg.