Business group’s nationals lure LHS members
That's how much Lansing High School's Future Business Leaders of America came up short of their fund-raising goal for their trip this weekend to the national competition and leadership conference in Orlando, Fla.
But that isn't keeping the group from making the trip. FBLA sponsor Sue Lednicky and seven club members left Wednesday for Orlando.
The group managed to scrape together enough money to register for the conference by the June 1 early-bird deadline through fund-raisers, donations - including $500 from Lansing School Board - and a $500 loan from one student's parents. The goal was to raise money to cover the whole cost of the trip, $4,680, which included registration fees, airfare, hotel rooms and meals. Because of the shortfall, students will have to pay for their meals, Lednicky said.
Though they didn't raise as much money as they hoped, Lednicky said the group would still be able to pay back its loan. She said she would receive federal grant money for taking the trip, which will amount to about $570. She said she also would be reimbursed for her travel costs.
The group got into its fund-raising bind due to one group member's unexpected qualification for nationals in April. Stephen Fischer, who will be a senior, placed first at the state FBLA competition in business calculations. This came as a surprise because FBLA is a new club at LHS this year and competed only at the state competition. And Fischer has never taken a business math class, Lednicky said.
"He just likes math, and he's good at it," she said.
Fischer will compete Saturday against the top three qualifiers from each state, Lednicky said. The test consists of word problems with multiple-choice answers. She said she didn't know how many questions would be on the test, but two hours are allotted to take it. Fischer can use a calculator and scratch paper for the test, she said.
Though Fischer is the only Lansing student competing, the others won't be idle during the conference. All seven students attending the conference will attend leadership workshops, take part in a March of Dimes fund-raiser, observe competitions that involve presentations, such as public speaking, and they may participate in open competitions, Lednicky said.
"They're going to be busy," she said.
Of the students going to the conference, five - Fischer, Demarin Montgomery, Marcus Bean, Matt Humphreys and Samantha Mitchell - are officers. Lednicky said she expected Brittany Atchison, who will be a sophomore, to be a future officer. Ashley Kings, who graduated in May, will be a student adviser next year, Lednicky said.
Lednicky said the students were going to bring back ideas to help the club.
"I have high expectations," Lednicky said. "They know they're going down there to learn something. Knowing these kids, they can have fun while they're learning."
Throughout the conference, which runs Friday through Monday, the students must be dressed in business attire, Lednicky said. For the girls, that includes wearing pantyhose while competing. Lednicky said she would expect her girls to wear pantyhose throughout the conference.
"They have to dress like they're going on the job," she said.
At the awards presentation Monday night, Lednicky said the dress code was even more formal. Students are told to dress as though they are attending a business awards banquet, Lednicky said. She said Fischer had been told to wear a sports coat that night.
Before they get down to business this weekend, the group will visit Disney World's Magic Kingdom today, Lednicky said. The cost of the outing is on the students, she said.
The group will return from Orlando on Tuesday.