(1) As I look back on those early years it amazes me to remember just how humble the beginnings of FIRST were. Here we were in our third year as a team which would have been the 7th year of FIRST and there were “only” 5 regional events in the entire country (Houston, Chicago, New Brunswick, NJ, Detroit and Manchester, NH) … these were followed up by the national championship at Epcot Center, Disney World. In 2017, we have more competitions available in New England than existed in the entire country in 1998.
So here we are basically stuck with the knowledge that we love this program called FIRST (or, at minimum, can appreciate its value!) and we have just lost our sponsor. [and for those who don’t know, the program is expensive! – worthwhile, but expensive!]
Our QPS leader at the time was Dr. Angela Avery who coordinated all the chapter 74 programs for the Quincy Public Schools [automotive, carpentry, electrical, plumbing, culinary, etc.] and, as a result, she had contacts through the advisory committees of those programs. One of these contacts was with The Gillette Company, so she approached them and somehow convinced them that this FIRST program was a worthy investment of their resources. As a result, we managed to stay in the game for year three.