Hale and Fawn Kutuk invite the public to a Saturday, May 13 fund raiser at Crystal Lake Park in Gilmanton in support of the local middle school Destination Imagination team. (David Carkhuff/The Laconia Daily Sun)
By DAVID CARKHUFF/THE LACONIA DAILY SUN
GILMANTON — A Gilmanton School Destination Imagination team's push to raise money has cleared $6,000, or more than half of what they need for a trip to Global Finals in late May.
"We just breached over 50 percent, so we're now over $6,000, and if we keep the pace up we're on target to meet our goal," said Fawn Kutuk, parent of one of the team members.
The team has been invited to represent the town at Global Finals in Knoxville, Tenn., May 24-27, and coordinators have embarked on an aggressive fund-raising effort.
For the first time in Gilmanton's history, a Gilmanton School Destination Imagination team has advanced past both regional and state competitions to represent New Hampshire on the global stage.
Team members who will travel to Knoxville include Natalie Clay (age 10), Brady Gardner (age 10), Hale Kutuk (age 13), Jaime Waldron (age 10) and Zavien Whitmore (age 10).
The team, Spaghetti and The Meatballs, staged a Kids Fun Run Tuesday, April 25, hosted by Gilmanton Iron Works Market. Despite rain, the fun run helped the team raise $160, Kutuk said.
"It was another bonding experience for the kids," she said.
Hale Kutuk, Fawn's daughter and a seventh-grader at Gilmanton School, said the Destination Imagination experience started with uncertainty and unease.
"In the beginning, I didn't like DI at all," she said.
But during preparation of the skit for the competition, which emphasizes creativity and teamwork, Hale Kutuk said the team members began to form friendships.
"I learned to listen to others and over time your bonding will grow and make you into a family," she said.
"Now we're really, really close," Hale Kutuk said. "We found the things we do have in common."
Next, the students will host a fund raiser on Saturday, May 13, from 3 to 7 p.m. at Crystal Lake Park in Gilmanton.
"We're going to have carnival games, face painting, we have a professional tarot card reader coming to give fortunes," said Fawn Kutuk.
A raffle table, carnival food and drinks, a deejay with dancing and a photo booth are among the attractions. T-shirts have been made to support the team and will be for sale at the carnival.
"The bulk of the funds will be due when we leave for the trip, which is the 23rd of May," Fawn Kutuk said.
A GoFundMe page has been set up on the team's behalf to accept online donations at http://www.gofundme.com/gilmanton-destination-imagination-q.
According to the organization, the following teams have qualified to attend Destination Imagination Global Finals at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville: Bedford, Bedford Vanished!, Bedford 3-Peat, Mind Blowers, 5 Friends 1 Thought; Gilmanton School, Spaghetti and the Meatballs; Project EXTRA, Laconia Middle School; and Meredith's Inter-Lakes, The Destroyers, Omega.
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