Spirit Week brings out the pride and generosity of Fairmont

Members+of+the+2012+United+Student+Body+celebrate+Fairmont%27s+victory+against+Centerville+in+the+Spirit+Chain+competition.+

Photo: Rachel Sheidler

Members of the 2012 United Student Body celebrate Fairmont’s victory against Centerville in the Spirit Chain competition.

Spirit Week is a time of excitement and school pride at Fairmont High School. It’s a week of goofy outfits, special events, and the well-known fundraising competition between Fairmont and its longtime rival, Centerville. This year, Spirit Week falls on Sept. 30 through Oct. 4.

But planning Spirit Week isn’t an easy task. Simply deciding the dress-up day themes, one way to unify the school for a week, can be a challenge.

“We try to do things we haven’t done. I go with things that are easy to shop for,” said United Student Body Commissioner of Spirit Cori Campbell. “We try to pick themes that we think are funny enough for people to dress up for.”

This year, the dress-up themes are:

Monday: Pajama Day

Tuesday: Tacky Tuesday

Wednesday: Where’s Waldo Wednesday

Thursday: Disney Day

Friday: Spirit Day

Ideas for the theme days come and go, but even teachers have their overall favorites. “I’m happy with the creative and original ideas,” said new Student Activities Coordinator Corey Miller. “I think I and many others are glad to see Pajama Day has stayed around.”

But dress-up days aren’t nearly the biggest part of Spirit Week. In addition to boosting school spirit, a huge part of Spirit Week is raising funds for Fairmont’s Spirit Chain competition against Centerville High School.

But the competition against Centerville isn’t just for bragging rights. Each year, Fairmont and Centerville choose their own charities to support through Spirit Chain, then the schools compete to see who can raise the most funds for its charities. Fairmont has won eight of the past 10 years. Last year, Fairmont raised $83,915.33 for its charities, beating its own record the year before by more than $25,000.

This year, Fairmont’s charities include the Kettering Backpack Program, which provides bags of nutritious food to needy Kettering schoolchildren on Fridays during the school year. The other charities are Crayons to Classrooms, a Dayton charity that gives free school supplies to area children who cannot afford them, and United Rehabilitation Services, a local organization whose mission is to enhance the quality of life for children and adults with disabilities or other special needs.

“I love all the charities,” said USB President Alex Brandt. “I’ve been to the Kettering Backpack program and URS already; they’re fantastic.”

The USB and Class Councils are already raising funds for the Spirit Chain competition by selling products such as buttons and T-shirts. And the groups didn’t even wait for the school year to start, sponsoring a mass garage sale this summer.

One special addition to the fundraising efforts this year is a concert by Justin Hines in the FHS auditorium on Saturday, Sept. 28. Hines is a singer who suffers from Larsen Syndrome, a joint dislocation condition that has him permanently using a wheelchair. Hines sings songs of inspiration, hope and overcoming odds. Tickets for the concert are $10 and all of the proceeds from the concert will go toward URS, at Hines’ request.

The winner of Spirit Chain is announced before the Fairmont-Centerville football game, which takes place this year on Friday, Oct. 4, at Centerville High School. “As a Fairmont grad, I always want to see us beat Centerville,” said Miller. “I think Spirit Chain is the most important thing to win.”

With all the excitement, pride and competition that go into Spirit Week, many say nothing beats the enjoyment of helping the charities. “I think that it’s a good thing that we center on supporting charities,” said Brandt. “It’s a cool thing to say that you helped out with so many different charities as a teenager.”