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Students need funds to compete

By Staff | Apr 29, 2009

Students from Cape Elementary who are Odyssey of the Mind state champions learned this week that the funding needed to compete in Iowa’s world finals in May is no longer available.
Teresa Cato, parent and Odyssey of the Mind coach, said a miscommunication between the school’s parent-teacher organization and the team led the students to believe that their $10,000 trip to Iowa was covered.
But, according to Cato, the PTO is short on funds because of the economic downturn.
Now, the students are asking for donations to pay for the competition’s $2,500 registration fee. The deadline to pay the fee is Friday.
Seven students from the school — Conor Dougherty, Courtney Dougherty, David Cato, Emilee Cato, Gracie Fisher, Hailey Pearson and Sarah Kane — earned first place for “Classics … the Lost Labor of Heracles.”
Cape Elementary sent a total of 70 students to the state competition.
“It’s a huge accomplishment. It is one of two teams going to the competition out of Cape Coral,” said Cato.
Each parent has already purchased airfare to Iowa, but $2,500 still needs to be raised to pay Iowa State University for the students to participate. Some of the fee has been raised but more is needed.
“All of the parents have gotten our tickets and have been fund raising, but it has been slow to go,” Cato said.
Donations can be made payable to Cape Elementary PTO and earmarked for the Odyssey of the Mind. Contributions are tax deductible and all of the funds will benefit the team.
The team will set up donation tables at the Wal-Mart on Del Prado Boulevard from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. They will also host a pancake breakfast at Beef O’Brady’s, on the corner of Pine Island Road and Burnt Store Road, on May 16.
The Odyssey of the Mind competition includes five specific problems for students to solve — Earth Trek, Teach Yer Creature, The Lost Labor of Heracles, Shock Waves and Superstition, with Candy Factory for younger students.
Cape Elementary students had to create and present an original performance about Heracles. They re-enacted one of the 12 labors that King Eurytheus ordered Heracles to perform, and the team also created their own lost labor.
The competition in Iowa brings together students from across the United States and 20 other countries.