We’ve got spirit, how ‘bout you?!
Every now and then, I get a little misty-eyed and swell-headed when I think about how blessed my family is to live in this place, where a sense of community and neighborliness are still evident almost every day. The Mister and I are grateful to be living and raising children in a community of fund-raisers, of do-gooders, of volunteers, and, no matter whether one is motivated by a sense of civic pride, of noblesse oblige, of Christ-like service or by some combination of the three, the end result benefits everyone.
This week has offered the wonderful opportunity to see our high school kids come together in a thrilling fund-raising competition that will culminate tonight in The Big Game between GHS and long-time rival, J. L. Mann High School.
Called simply Spirit Week, this seven-day event banks on the friendly and fierce competition between two schools to raise money for charities, chosen by the student council of each school. Local businesses get involved by contributing to silent auctions and by donating a percentage of sales to the schools. Students plan car washes and bake sales, dodge ball tournaments, and other fun activities to raise money. To make it even more fun, each school day is a “dress-up” day, and there are numerous events planned each night. It. is. exhausting. Yes, the downside is that academics are slighted this week, but the upside is that important lessons like teamwork and generosity are learned!
Here is an excerpt from a letter from our school’s student body president (she lives around the corner from us, so we’re pretty proud),
“There is one week in the school year that stands out above all others, one week that defines the tradition of GHS… one week that unites students, teachers, faculty, and community members, one that sets the tone for the rest of the year. It is [our] Annual Spirit Week! . . . We have the privilege to support Camp Spearhead and A Van for Tyler. All the money raised during Spirit Week will be divided between these wonderful charities.
Located in the foothills of upstate SC, Camp Spearhead is a summer camp for children and adults with special needs. Camp Spearhead has been serving our community for many years, and needs our help to fund and furnish their new facility, as well as for camper-ships.
Fourteen-year-old Tyler is a very special member of the GHS family. Serving as the Honorary Motivation Coach for the Red Raider football team, Tyler has brittle bone disease. He has broken over 140 bones in his body, yet he possesses an indomitable spirit that is inspiring to all who meet him. Tyler recently received an electric wheelchair that is very helpful, but the family car will not accommodate his chair. We will use a portion of our Spirit Week funds to buy Tyler an accessible van for his wheelchair. . . .”
Last year, GHS raised $100,410; our rivals raised $93, 150!
Perhaps I’m simply uninformed, and Spirit Weeks are as common as ragweed allergies this time of year. If that’s the case, I’d love to hear about your Spirit Week traditions. If the Spirit Week concept is new to you, I’d encourage you to consider bringing it to your community because, seriously, no matter the score of the game tonight and no matter which school raises the most money, this time, everyone really does win!