Council gives $2,500 to help BHS team go to Destination Imagination

By Barbara Tetreault

BERLIN — The city council approved appropriating $2,500 to help Berlin High’s Destination Imagination team go to Tennessee to compete in the 2017 global finals.

Team Co-Manager David Griffin explained that the Berlin High team came in second in the state competition, securing it an invitation to the finals taking place May 24-27 in Knoxville. He said the five-day program attracts students from 48 states and 15 countries.

This is the second time a Berlin High team has made the finals. Griffin said a team went back in 2014 and it was a great opportunity.

“It’s kind of a once in a lifetime experience,” Griffin said, explaining that the students meet kids from all over the world.

According to it website, Destination Imagination “is a fun, hands-on system of learning that fosters students’ creativity, courage and curiosity through open-ended academic challenges in the fields of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), fine arts and service learning.”

Griffin said the students are now faced with raising about $13,000 to cover the cost of plane tickets, room and board, and transporting their project props in about six weeks. A team from Ed Fenn is also going to the Destination Imagination finals and is fund raising as well.

To raise funds, Griffin said the students are raffling off Red Sox tickets, selling Krispy Kream doughnuts and coffee, and will be holding a road toll and spaghetti dinner. He said the students have been able to raise the money in the past and noted two years ago the council did provide a $2,500 donation.

One of the seven students on the team, Briana Bergeron said the team has put together a skit and made its own props. She said she is looking forward to the finals.

It’s going to be amazing,” Bergeron said.

She said she was inspired to get involved with Destination Imagination because of the success of the earlier team. Bergeron said she hopes this year’s team will inspire younger students.

Mayor Paul Grenier said the council has $9,600 in its contingency account and said it is set up for expenses like this.

Councilor Diana Nelson moved to give the team $2,000 but on a motion by Councilor Roland Theberge, the amount was increased to $2,500 and approved.