FCCLA earns awards at Nationals

Callan Garner, Staff Writer

Music drifted between bars as the girls walked down the “strip” in Nashville, Tenn. Knowing that they weren’t allowed in them, they smiled and laughed as they continued to walk. Dani Stark, the advisor for Family, Career and Community Leaders of America also known as FCCLA, helped fundraise for a trip to Nashville for the National FCCLA conference during the first week of July.

High school students Cassidy and Kylie Burtsfield, Caitlyn Ekberg and Madison Dube, participated at the state level FCCLA conference. Cassidy and Kylie collectively worked in food innovations, Ekberg competed in interior design and Dube competed in fashion construction. Placing either first or second in each of the events, the girls qualified for nationals, allowing them to experience the seven-day trip. Having to fundraise like crazy, Stark helped by making and selling pumpkin bread daily in the hallways of CMR., yet once the students reached their goal, it became more fun and games.

After two long days of traveling, Stark and the students stayed in a hotel downtown. Getting to experience downtown Nashville was one of her favorite things.

“Listening to people play music from the street was really cool” Stark said.

Luckily, all girls competed on Monday, which allowed for everyone to explore the town on Tuesday. The competition consisted of the contestants waiting until their turn, going into a private room with three judges, presenting their ideas and then answering questions based on their projects. Results were only posted for the top three in the nation, but all four girls earned medals which was really amazing”, Stark said.

Stark and the girls did a multitude of things while in downtown Nashville. Going to the Grand Ole’ Opry and the wax museum was just two of the adventures the group embarked on. As Thursday rolled around, the girls waited for their results. Being the final day with regional results, rewards and closing the ceremony, the girls had a blast. There was a gala Thursday night that consisted of food, dancing, and laughing.

Finally, heading home, Stark and the girls reminisced on their trip. Between the numerous fundraising opportunities and music on the street, everyone had a fun trip.

“It was fun to see them have so much fun and just be excited,” Stark said.