AP NEWS

MCC’s state champion forensics team seeks sponsors, donors

April 24, 2019

In 2018, MCC beat the odds in dramatic fashion. The school’s forensics team, led by teacher and coach Tom Richert, competed with a field of larger and better funded schools to bring the state champion trophy home to Scottville. It was a first that Richert and the team hope to repeat in 2019.

The odds are good. The forensics team has more individual trophies this year than last at the same point in the season. Last weekend, the team won first place in Regionals, and will be competing in the State Championship with a very strong team.

The team has a detriment to overcome, however: a lack of funding. In order to compete in the Mackinac tournament, which takes place immediately after state finals, the team needs to raise $3,700 by the tournament’s opening day of May 17.

Each team member has already contributed a $100 entry fee, but must come up with an additional $245 per student in order to be allowed to compete. Many Michigan private schools and the larger public schools fund this trip out of their budget. MCC doesn’t have the resources.

“It’s like saying to the Michigan State basketball team, ‘Congratulations on making the Final Four. Now we need you kids to pay for your flights and hotel and food or you can’t play,’” Richert said. “The students on the forensics team benefit greatly from these competitions. The individual and team awards lead to scholarships in fields such as sales, drama, public relations and the arts. We want to give our kids every opportunity to succeed, not just while at MCC, but in life.”

Fundraising was also hampered by tragedy. On the way home from a tournament earlier this season, the bus carrying the forensics team crashed after hitting black ice.

Richert was badly injured and bedridden for weeks. Still, he did not give up on his team.

“Tom coached us via video chat every day after school from his bed while he was recovering,” said sophomore Ryland Gigante. “He is 100-percent dedicated to making MCC and his team the best in the state.”

“Please, if you are a lover of the arts and support our kids and believe a small Michigan school can do great things, help support us now,” says Richert. “Any contribution is greatly appreciated, and you can take pride in the fact you have helped make a child be the best he or she can be.

“And it’s tax deductible!”

Donations can be sent to the Mason County Central Forensics Team, via the school.

For more information, contact Richert at (231) 794-0008.