Members of the Mt. Vernon-Enola Robotics Team raised more than $980 during its fundraiser June 15 at Bob’s Grill in Conway.

This is the team’s first year at the school and was its first year to compete.

Sponsor Catherine Holland told the Log Cabin Democrat that the money collected will help go toward financing the upcoming season and will include buying parts and tools to construct its next robot for upcoming competitions as well as possible entrance fees for the regional competition; buildings starts in January and the actual event will be held in March.

“Due to the success of our first season, our team has grown from [eight] members to nearly 30 members,” Holland previously told the LCD.

Funds to keep that going, she said, were needed.

“We are a small, rural school and need all the help we can get,” she said.

Maddock Davis is an eighth grader on the team and was the human player, builder and coder this past year.

His dad, Kenneth Davis, reached out to Congressman French Hill to see if he’d be able to attend the fundraiser to talk with the young team and show his support.

Hill and his wife, Martha, both turned up at the event to support the team.

“That was amazing,” Holland said.

She said each took time to talk with the students and made the effort to talk with others present for the fundraiser as well.

“He was all on board and loved it,” Holland said.

She said team members were actually a bit starstruck, never thinking that they’d get to meet someone like Hill or be supported by someone so high up in the government.

Holland said it’s great to see the team get the recognition it did, especially being from a small time like Mt. Vernon and Enola and having Hill come out meant a lot to all fo them.

Proud of all their previous hard work — especially the new team members who came out to contribute — she said she is excited for the next year.

“It’s going to be fun this next season,” Holland said.

She said she’d also like to thank Bob’s Grill.

“Bob’s Grill is great,” Holland said. “They’re very generous.”