GARDINER — It was a unanimous decision of the Gardiner Democratic Committee to support the efforts of the robotics team in town. The Gardiner Area High School’s robotics team, known as the Iron Tigers, has been in existence for the past eight years, and they are a vital group that helps STEM inclined students, both boys and girls, find a place and purpose in the challenging event of high school. Each year they build a robot; last year’s robot shot balls, carried gear and climbed a rope, according to a news release from Gardiner’s Democratic Committee.

“Every year the team spends at least a third of its time raising money,” said Paul Seed, the team’s lead mentor, according to the release. “We do bake sales, bottle drives, even sell sausages at the Brunswick Air Show to compliment the dollars we receive from our major sponsors.”

This year the Gardiner Democratic Committee held a yard sale Sept. 23 and several committee members worked side by side with the robotics team selling items that were contributed by local residents. At the end of the day, the Democrats raised nearly $1,000 to help promote the robotics team.

Jon Ault, chairman of the Democratic Committee said, “it was an easy decision to support the Iron Tigers. We, as a committee, understand the importance of STEM programs and want to support both students and eventually local businesses through a workforce equipped to meet technology demands,” according to the release.

Gardiner’s Iron Tigers is a group of a dozen high school students. This year the team is set to expand to its largest team ever of 16 students. It’s more than building the robot: it’s about team spirit, working together, and even supporting their competition.

“It is overwhelming and heartwarming to have the support of the community. Financial support through efforts like the yard sale, allows our team to exist,” said Seed, according to the release.

Ault responded by saying, “our local Democratic Committee chose the Iron Tigers to support this year because of the impact the students will have on our future. In the past, we put on a bean supper to support the backpack program providing meals to low income students. We are committed to our community and look forward to continuing to make Gardiner the special place it is to live,” according to the release.

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