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March 25, 2014 - 3:50pm

Parents band together to make up for Lottery kicking City Schools out of video contest

posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, music, schools, education, City Schools.

After the Batavia City Schools entry into a NYS Lottery contest was disqualified, a group of parents were sharing their disappointment on Facebook when some suggested maybe there should be a local fundraiser for the music department.

Allison Chua said, "I can do that."

She's set up a fundraising page at First Giving.

While the page shows no funds raised yet, Chua said she has received $300 in checks and some parents have said they will donate when they get back from Spring Break vacation.

The NYS Lottery contest involved schools making a video of students singing "Thank You for Being a Friend." 

Students were very upset, Chua said, when the lottery disqualified their video after it had already been selected as a finalist and was leading, by a slim margin, in votes.

"This is a way for us to show them we do appreciate what they do," Chua said.

The grand prize for the contest was $10,000, but Chua said the parents are setting a modest goal of $2,500 for their fundraiser, which is equivalent to the third place prize in the contest.

To donate, visit the First Giving Web page. To donate by check, mail your check to Batavia City Schools Parent-Teacher Coalition, attention Allison Chua, 260 State St., Batavia, NY 14020. All donations will go to the music programs of the school district.

Christopher Putnam
Christopher Putnam's picture
Last seen: 1 month 4 days ago
Joined: Oct 11 2012 - 1:05pm

Why was their video disqualified? Anyone know?

Howard B. Owens
Howard B. Owens's picture
Last seen: 19 hours 3 min ago
Joined: Apr 23 2008 - 3:05pm

Sorry, I should have included that in the story ... meant to ... the video apparently contained a template for the layout, which is not considered an original work, and the video must be 100 percent original.

donna waldron
donna waldron's picture
Last seen: 5 months 2 days ago
Joined: Jul 20 2011 - 8:46am

I'm not sure if I support collecting money to award the kids. In one thought, they ( unwittingly) broke the rules, they were disqualified and that should be it; lesson learned. I think the lesson that could be taught is worth more than the donation to the music program. I am not a fan of " every kid gets a trophy"; I think disappointment teaches important life lessons and rewarding every hand washing leads to less of a chance to develop character and discipline and learn important life lessons; my boss never gave me a raise or promotion based on " you gave it your best and failed". I think people wimp out and reward the kids because it is SO much harder to see them sad now and not think of the life lesson. It IS hard to watch a kid loose, but that is what build character. WE need to suck it up and deal with OUR feelings about kids not "winning" everything and let them learn important life lessons. ( could someone help me down off my soapbox now?)

Allison Chua
Allison Chua's picture
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 21 2008 - 9:21am

It should have been disqualified before BECOMING A FINALIST in the contest. We spent hours promoting something that could have been avoided. It is not the same as rewarding every kid. These kids have known disappointment. Believe me. You gave it your best and failed is not the campaign but thanks for your thoughts. Please understand this a response to parents wanting to let the kids know the music program's value. The kids made NO error. The community voting wants to support them and the awesome teachers...Disappointment came to them several times with loss funding from the state....with a loss of the early orchestra program and funding....These teachers work from 6:50 in the a.m. til 10:00 at night sometimes...for the kids. SO, lack of funds doesn't make the kids suffer. They are amazing! They offer so much to our kids...BATAVIA KIDS! THIS IS NOT AN AWARD OR A PRIZE more like JUSTICE.

Carl Schoonover
Carl Schoonover's picture
Last seen: 11 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Oct 3 2008 - 10:09pm

I would sincerely like to know who reported the violation. If it was the judging organization for the contest, then I have no problem with the disqualification. However, if it was reported by one of the other finalists, then I feel that group was even more guilty of underhanded tactics and should be subject to disqualification on moral and ethical grounds.

Allison Chua
Allison Chua's picture
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 21 2008 - 9:21am

I don't think any one knows. We were chosen by the judging organization to be a finalist though.

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