Online donors provide $621 to support travel and competition expenses for Central High Debate Team

Online donors have provided $621 to help Central High School raise money to cover travel and competition expenses to provide educational opportunities for the Debate Team, which has seen remarkable growth and success the last couple of years.

Original Goal: $5,500   •   Amount raised (after fees): $621   •   School: Central High School   •   Sponsor Name: Benjamin Hamburger


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About My Project: The La Crosse Central Debate team has a long and proud history of competition in Wisconsin and regional debate. Central Debate has seen remarkable growth and success the last couple of years! We had the largest novice debate team in several years in 2019-2020! However, rising costs, stagnant activities budgets, and a decline in nearby tournaments have put a difficult cost burden on the existing budget to provide educational opportunities for Central’s debaters. Central is the only traveling debate team in western Wisconsin, so competition now often includes hotel costs, vehicle rentals, or bus trips.

Policy debate is perhaps the most transformational extra-curricular activity schools can offer — students research topics deeply, develop critical thinking necessary to argue on your feet, and advocate for their passionately held beliefs as public speakers. Debaters this season have researched the ins and outs of the U.S.’s arms sales policy, and we’ve been fascinated by this niche area in foreign policy that has grown in importance and controversy in the Trump Administration. The National Federation of State High School Associations has just announced that next year’s topic will be criminal justice reform, which is going to be even more fascinating as we get into the specifics of sentencing, policing, and forensic science reforms!

Where Your Donation Goes: Educational opportunities for Central debaters! Entry fees for debate tournaments, travel expenses including hotel, car rentals, bus fees, fuel expenses, for travel to local, regional (Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois), and national competitions.

We anticipate making this an annual fundraising drive — as Central Debate has become larger and more competitive, we have to travel farther and stay longer to find competition! This year, in addition to local and statewide competitions in Wisconsin, Central competed in Cedar Rapids, and West Des Moines, Iowa, and there are lots of regional and nationwide competitions in Minneapolis and Chicago that we’d love to add. These costs far outstrip what the district can fund for the debate team, and will require regular fundraising. Many will remember our fundraising effort last spring when Central debaters qualified to the National Speech and Debate Association National Tournament, but we plan to make this winter period that coincides with the Wisconsin State Debate Tournament our regular fundraising drive going forward.

All donations to LPEF are tax-deductible and will be acknowledged via letter. LPEF adds a small surcharge to offset credit card processing fees and related expenses. For more details, go to our About Support-a-School page.

  • If fundraising falls short of the goal, money will be used to fulfill as much of the project as feasible.
  • If fundraising exceeds the goal, the project will be expanded or money will go to a similar purpose at the same school.