DECA changes due to COVID-19


Jake Conz

The BlockOut Cancer football game was smaller scale than usual but DECA managed to raise money for the cause.

Like many other activities, many things revolving around DECA have had drastic changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“DECA will look very different this year, everything has been more of a challenge due to the circumstances that we’re in but there’s nothing we can do about that besides taking things day by day,” DECA instructor Elissa Cumiskey said.
In normal years, projects are assigned to students the previous year after the international competition; however, that was canceled this year so many students never got assigned their projects.
“Our district conference in December will be completely virtual, and I think that the DECA people are waiting to see how that goes before they decide to schedule States and Nationals, just in case it ends up being a trainwreck,” Cumiskey said.
Cumiskey believes that competing virtually will take some getting used to, but she has faith that the Wyandotte chapter will come out on top.
“One good thing is that roleplays will be completely the same except for being virtual,” Cumiskey said.
Having the roleplay mostly the same is a benefit because students will not feel completely lost at districts this year, as they’re not changing the content, just the way it is presented.
One of the most well-known DECA projects in Wyandotte is the Block Out Cancer project which is being run by seniors Hannah Exner and Reilly Gomez, the campaign raises funds to go to C.S. Mott’s Children’s Hospital for childhood cancer. This year, the project has had to undergo many changes to allow it to still happen as planned.
One of the main differences relating to Block Out Cancer is how funds are being raised this year, starting with Miracle Minutes. They had to be much smaller this year, only allowed in the high school, and it had to be completely contactless so many teachers just set a bucket in their classroom and allowed for students to walk up and donate.
“We usually earn a couple of thousand dollars in Miracle Minutes during the school day and that wasn’t possible this year because we were not able to go to all of the schools in the district due to the restrictions under the pandemic,” Cumiskey said.
Miracle Minutes are not the only way that funds are being lost this year; the T-shirt order was much smaller and made later because Block Out organizers like Gomez were unsure of whether they would even get a football game or not.
“We didn’t order many shirts this year because it was a very last-minute thing, which makes it harder to advertise and get the word out to everyone,” Gomez said.
In years past, the Block Out team would travel to C. S. Mott Hospital and get paired up with a family; however this year, there are many restrictions on hospital visitations so that was not a possibility. Nonetheless, there is a local family that the team is considering to sponsor.
“We know of a local family and their son, Brady Butterfield, is in the childhood care center in our district and he has unfortunately been recently diagnosed with some type of cancer,” Exner said.
Everyone was unsure for weeks leading up to the Block Out game of whether or not it would happen, this period of uncertainty also played a role in why the fundraiser was smaller this year.
“We honestly didn’t know until a few days before the game whether we were good to go or not because of the football team having to quarantine,” Gomez said.
The Block out cancer game overlapped with the homecoming game because the latter date was pushed back due to the football team’s quarantine. Cumiskey got in touch with the coaches and they decided that the Block Out game could be the same day as the Homecoming game, seeing as there were only so many games left in the season. The game was held on Friday, October 23, and although the project was not nearly as big as previous years, it was still a success.