The Pacer Spirit Committee will hold its second event Monday with Winter Pacer Fest, a rally designed to show support for students involved in the district’s winter activities.
Pacer Fest was the first event of its kind from the committee and was held in August to celebrate the fall sports season. The rally included introductions of each fall sports team as well as the Hayes High School Grand Pacer Marching Band.
Winter Pacer Fest will be held at 7 p.m. Nov. 21. Organizers said while the doors to the Hayes gym won’t open until 6:45 p.m., there will be other activities beginning at 6 p.m.
Tracy Cinereski, choir/drama director at Hayes and one of the organizers of the event, said the committee saw the positive response to Pacer Fest and wanted to hold another event.
“In August, after much time and effort, we finally hosted our first ever Pacer Fest,” Cinereski said. “The event was well attended and seemed well received by students, staff and community members. We gained momentum after the first event and began planning for round two. Here we are, a week out, ready to show up and celebrate our students involved in DCS winter activities.”
Sixth grade teacher Brooke Brenner, another member of the committee responsible for planning the event, said the organizers used a survey to gather feedback ahead of the second Pacer Fest.
“We truly believe Pacer Fest and our group’s efforts have made a positive impact on school spirit and created a stronger sense of community within Delaware,” Brenner said. “We want to provide our winter athletes and student leaders with the same experience.”
Hayes senior Cassie Klumpp, one of the committee’s founders, said she hopes Winter Pacer Fest will form new connections within the community.
“It’s an awesome opportunity to get younger families into the high school supporting these athletes, further building a community and districtwide connection,” Klumpp said. “I am so excited to see these talented student-athletes be recognized for their talent, hard work, and also feel supported and uplifted by our community. I’m also very much looking forward to recognizing our music programs by having a small group of the Hayes Players play music for the pre-event festivities in the main cafeteria, (having) the Hayes Singers sing the national anthem and alma mater, and (having) the pep band play their stand tunes at this event!”
Cinereski said the event is more than a pep rally.
“Many of the booster and PTO organizations will be setting up booths, handing out information, selling Pacer gear, and some will be raffling off items,” Cinereski said. “It’s a time to come together and celebrate the hard work our kids put in every day, both during and after school. It’s also a fun, free, evening for families looking to get out of the house for a bit and have some fun. We do encourage families to bring a little pocket cash if they’re interested in the 50/50 raffle or purchasing any items from the concession stand.”
Cinereski said she’s looking forward to “any opportunity” to celebrate the work and success of students.
“The upcoming Winter Pacer Fest is particularly special to me because we are able to include our elementary students this time,” Cinereski said. “We plan to highlight all of our elementary students of the month, and I couldn’t be more pleased to add them to the mix. The Spirit Committee is passionate about involving all families, K-12, in our events. We want to recognize and celebrate our older kids while giving the younger ones something to look forward to. We’re all about creating lasting traditions, leaving a legacy. I think the Pacer Fest is a tradition worth keeping.”
Likewise, Brenner said she’s looking forward to the event and said the committee is already planning events for next year.
“I am excited to see our community come together again to support and celebrate our amazing winter student-athletes and musicians,” Brenner said. “I am also looking forward to recognizing some of our younger Pacers. … We will begin planning our Spring Pacer Fest after the holidays. In addition, we are hoping to build on our success and create a memorable homecoming week next year for the entire community.”
Klumpp said the work of the committee will continue, and she’s already looking forward to the next Pacer Fest in the spring.
“At this time, our committee continues to work together to further accomplish our goals of uplifting student leaders, elevating school spirit, building community, honoring tradition, and connecting all Pacers of the past, present and future,” Klumpp said. “We plan to continue the Pacer Fest tradition for our spring student-athletes as well to further recognize their talent and commitment.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.