The Delaware community gathered at Hayes High School Monday to cheer on and support the district’s spring athletic teams as part of Spring Pacer Fest.
The event was the third pep rally of its kind organized by the Pacer Spirit Committee.
Fifth grade teacher and committee co-founder Brooke Brenner said Tuesday the entire evening was “filled with smiles and Pacer pride,” and at least 1,200 people attended the event.
“The gym was totally packed, and we even ran out of room in the bleachers while we were introducing the athletes,” Brenner said. “Spring Pacer Fest was a huge success! The teams and clubs had fantastic booths with great items to purchase and engaging activities. The performances were excellent, and our community was very supportive of our athletes and their programs.”
As for the event’s emcee, Brenner said Bob Klumpp was “incredible and brought a ton of energy to the evening.”
During the event, Brenner said she was glad her young children were able to connect with other students.
“My daughters are ages 4 and 7, and they had the best evening celebrating everything Delaware,” Brenner said. “They learned about new programs in the community, won some prizes, ate Kona Ice, and most importantly, bonded with some high school athletes and student leaders. I love connecting my girls with my current and former students because I know our DCS students are excellent role models!”
Brenner said after the Winter Pacer Fest, the committee heard from the community that there was a desire for more activities for younger Pacers, so the committee added face painting, the Pacer mascot, a photo booth, a relay race, and games to meet that need.
“It seems like those activities were very successful and fun for our little Pacers,” Brenner said. “I saw a lot of happy elementary students last night.”
Cassie Klumpp, a senior at Hayes and the committee’s co-founder, said she was glad the event had something for every age group.
“We really tried our best to ensure everyone would have a great time and experience,” Klumpp said. “I think students really enjoyed themselves by either being recognized and supported by their community or simply coming to support their classmates. I know the younger families really enjoyed seeing what they could be involved in at the schools in the future, as well as getting their kids signed up for community activities and camps for this summer and upcoming school year.”
Klumpp said she believes the Pacer Fest events help to create “a greater sense of pride and investment in our communities” because the committee aims to involve so many groups. Klumpp said planning the pep rallies has been a fulfilling and worthwhile experience for her during her senior year at Hayes.
“I have always carried so much Pacer pride, whether it comes with supporting our sports teams, musical programs or fellow students,” Klumpp said. “We have so many talented students throughout our schools who deserve recognition and more support from our community, so to be able to put on an event to uplift my classmates and provide them a spotlight makes me so happy. It is also so amazing to watch the community gather together in support of our students who work tirelessly and love our town.”
Klumpp said she enjoys the pep rallies and is happy to spotlight athletes and organizations throughout the district.
“Through these pep rallies, we have been able to showcase and recognize all of our athletes, musicians, performers and local organizations,” Klumpp said. “Pacer Fest is also such a ‘feel good’ event. … knowing that you are supporting kids and providing them with community backing. I also love how the teams set up booths with interactive activities for kids, Pacer gear, and schedules so families can come out, be involved, and watch the events.”
Music teacher and committee member Tracy Cinereski said Tuesday her favorite part of the event was seeing the students support one another.
“The Hayes athletes waiting to be introduced were cheering loudly for the Dempsey students as they walked onto the court,” Cinereski said. “It put a huge smile on my face to see that kind of camaraderie between the teams. I also enjoyed having the band there. They really keep the level excitement up and make the team introductions very special.”
Cinereski said she received positive feedback about the event from people who attended.
“Families in attendance seemed to enjoy the booths and were grateful to learn more about the various school and community organizations we have here in Delaware,” Cinereski said. “Our spring coaches and activity advisors were thrilled to have the opportunity to recognize their students. Community members were more than happy to show up and cheer the kids on. It’s just nice to be able to have our Pacer families in the buildings for events like this.”
Cinereski said the committee will meet again soon to review feedback of the event and to discuss upcoming events and goals.
More information about the committee can be found at https://www.facebook.com/PacerSpiritCommittee/.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.