Firebirds tally tenth straight Spirit Chain victory


Photo: Jeff Allen

Fairmont United Student Body celebrates their 10th straight victory over Centerville in the annual Spirit Chain competition.

The Spirit Chain rivalry between Fairmont and Centerville has been going on for 32 years. For the last 10 years in a row, Fairmont has finished on top. The constant need for monetary donations amongst charities and the eagerness of Firebird students to give back to their community, has made the outcome overwhelming.

This year, Fairmont’s spirit chain charities were the following: BOGG Ministries, a food pantry on wheels. Kettering Backpack Program which supplies food to kids in Kettering who may need some extra help over the weekend. Kettering Supplies takes care of Kettering students who may need help with everyday hygiene supplies. William Wynn’s Liters for Learning was created by a Fairmont grad which builds schools in Guatemala out of litter.

Fairmont won in an overwhelming fashion, raising $90,620.49. Centerville raised around $60,000.

Activities Director, Corey Miller, oversees the entire production. The amount of money Fairmont raises may seem difficult, but with the number of fundraisers Miller has in place, it proves to be manageable.

“We do a better job involving all the schools in the district and doing little things like spirit shirts,” Miller said.

The Spirit Walk this year took place on a Sunday in October. All members of class council went door-to-door asking for donations for the spirit chain charities.

“Fairmont high school as a whole seemed to be doing a little extra. Also, the Kettering community really supported spirit chain. The spirit walk was bigger this year,” Miller said.

The money from spirit chain isn’t equally divided between the charities. One charity could get $5,000 and another could get $50,000. The amount of money is decided on by The United Student Body. However, if someone writes a check to a specific organization, that money is separated and donated to that organization only.

Even though Kettering raised $90,620.49, it was the 3rd highest in Fairmont history. The record year was in 2014 where Fairmont raised about $93,000. The second highest year was when Jenny Borchers, current West Unit principal, was the Activities Director. They raised around $92,000.

Also during Spirit Chain, the four classes of students compete to raise the most money. While the seniors used to lead the way, the underclassmen are now fighting for the victory. 

“It’s traditionally been seniors in the past, but we’ve had a little shake up the past few years. Last year juniors won, this year sophomores won. So it seems now, it could be anybody’s game,” Miller said.

Not only does Spirit Chain get kids excited about spirit days and competition, it makes the charities overwhelmingly happy.

“One of the representatives from BOGG was on the field,” Miller said. “I saw him tear up and get really emotional. They said it’s amazing how kids can be doing such good things.”