California Team Mentor admits to spending over $8,600 on cheesecake

A mentor of a California-based FRC team on Sunday acknowledged a report that he spent more than $8,600 on cheesecake in less than 10 years, saying it is his “guilty pleasure” and that he frequently rewards alliance partners with gifts.

Confirming earlier reporting by the StudentBuilt blog, MentorBuilt's analysis of the California team's tax filings between 2009 and 2016 revealed that the mentor’s team purchased "hook and loop fasteners" from industrial parts supplier McMaster-Carr in amounts ranging from $46 to $516.

In total the team spent $8,638.85 on cheesecake during this period.

During a news conference in California on Sunday, the mentor addressed the reporting about his team’s sweet tooth for blue banners and shared his love for the dessert.  “I give them as gifts. I use them for bets, you know when someone wants to bet something, you know for a NorCal thing versus a SoCal thing,” the mentor said as he held up a copy of the news report from StudentBuilt and a platter of cheesecake offerings. “So I say to the StudentBuilt blog and others, guilty as charged. I love cheesecake. It’s the best. And it’s not like we have district points so we have to do it to win!” The mentor said he’d been a fan of cheesecake since he was a young boy and teams shouldn’t be ashamed to like it.

“It’s my guilty pleasure,” the mentor said before he shared some hook and loop samples with reporters from MentorBuilt.

The team’s student press secretary on Sunday confirmed they have brought cheesecake to competitions over the past decade and told MentorBuilt that the mentor “likes any flavor, but 3M’s hook and loop fastener really helps get teams attached.” The team told MentorBuilt that the money used to pay for the cheesecake did not come from sponsors.

McMaster-Carr, which has proclaimed itself “The Amazon of Industrial supply warehouses” was founded in 1901.

This story has been updated to add additional comment from the team.