If Activities Director Jenny Borchers knows the key to Fairmont High School’s success in beating Centerville High School in the annual Spirit Chain competition, she’s not talking – at least not on the worldwide web.
“I cannot reveal the secret to Fairmont’s victory,” said Borchers, who hopes the Firebirds can beat the Elks again this year. Last year, Fairmont set a contest record by raising $83,915 for charity, compared to just $45,000 from Centerville. Since 1985, the competition between the two schools has raised about $1.4 million.
Each year, the student government at each school selects which charities to help through Spirit Chain fundraising. For 2011, Fairmont chose the Kettering Backpack Program, Goodwill/Easter Seals and We Care Arts.
The 2011 Spirit Chain winner will be announced at the Fairmont-Centerville football game on Friday, Sept. 30. But for Fairmont, the Spirit Chain fundraising began at the end of the summer with a Community Garage Sale sponsored by all of the student councils.
The fundraising has continued with a variety of events and projects through the start of the school year. Events are as simple as advisory donation drives and as complex as when restaurants donate part of a night’s profits in dine-to-donates.
In fact, Borchers says community involvement is a large part of Spirit Chain. Area businesses such as Rollandia, Buffalo Wild Wings and BD’s Mongolian Grill have participated this year. “We work really hard to involve the community,” said Borchers. “They really stay involved in what the students are doing.”
Many of the other events take place at the high school, especially during Spirit Week, which is the week leading up to the big announcement at the football game. Not all of the events, however, are strictly related to fundraising.
To help get students spirited, special clothing days are announced for Spirit Week. Monday was Pajama Day, and Tuesday was Monochromatic Day. On Wednesday, students dressed as their favorite superhero for Superhero Day, and on Thursday, they’ll dress like their grandparents for Respect Your Elders Day. Friday, per tradition, is Spirit Day, when students dress in Firebird attire, paint their faces or dye their hair blue and/or silver.
“Spirit Week is a time when we hope the Fairmont students are united,” Borchers said.
On Monday, Fairmont students went on their annual Spirit Walk through Kettering to ask for donations from citizens. Other events this week include the Powder Puff football game for junior and senior girls on Thursday; events taking place the same evening include Pie-a-Teacher and a car bash.
The advisories at Fairmont compete against each other for raising money, and the winning advisory gets a donut breakfast, courtesy of the Freshman Class Council. Each grade also competes to see which can raise the most money overall. The students use their competitive edge to encourage raising money for the charities.
During pre-game of the Fairmont vs. Centerville football game, the winner is announced. The two schools go out on the field with paper chains they have made to see which one is longest; the chains represent how much money each school has raised.
Anyone interested in making a donation to Spirit Chain should contact Jenny Borchers email@example.com.