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Goodrich kicks off local school spirit food drive

Melyssa Moors, Goodrich class of 2011 president, and Marc Jacobson of ABC 12. Photo by Fiodor Kessler. (click for larger version)
September 15, 2010 - It's 4:30 a.m.on a school day and about 500 Goodrich High School students are packed into the gymnasium, but not for what one might think.

They aren't here for a sporting event, concert or even the completion of some obscure class assignment. Instead, for these Martians, school spirit at such early hours is not just about rooting for football teams—rather this first Friday of the new school year was all about giving back to the community and those in need.

The ABC-12 spirit squad kicked off the third annual competition at Goodrich High School, early in the morning on Sept. 10. Hundreds of dedicated students arrived early to show off the amount of food that they had gathered for the Eastern Michigan Food Bank.

"The idea of school spirit is to promote school and community pride," said Marc Jacobson, morning show reporter for ABC-12, who has hosted the School Spirit program since its conception about three years ago.

"A school's spirit is not all about sports—it's about giving back to the community, too."

The news team at ABC-12 has recognized this, creating a competition between all Mid-Michigan schools to be the best "giver backers" and raise the most pounds of food for the Eastern Michigan Foodbank.

Jacobson said the School Spirit competition idea came from Owosso High School in 2007, when the Owosso students challenged nearby rivals, Corunna High School, to a can drive. "I went out to Owosso High School in the morning and there were cans of food all over the floor in the gym," Jacobson said. "The Owosso kids were talking trash about the Corunna students—so when the show aired we had phone calls to come out so they could respond. The battle was on and both schools raised about 50,000 pounds of food that first year. It just took off from there. The first year 250,000 pounds of food (collected from all the schools) and last year 675,000 pounds." For the two years after, ABC-12 has hosted this "school spirit challenge" all over mid-Michigan, gaining more and more schools that participate within the competition each year. The rest is his Last year, Carman-Ainsworth high school stole the show by collecting more food than all the competing schools combined, winning the coveted School Spirit Cup. Goodrich Senior and President of the Student Council Melyssa Moors, said that Goodrich plans on taking back the cup, "which is rightfully ours," by combining the student council Toys for Tots program with this canned food drive.

Goodrich has started off the competition by donating more than they did the previous year, but "it's still not enough," Moors said. The district plans on continuing the drive all year long, fundraising harder than last year to take the School Spirit Cup from Carman-Ainsworth. "Overall it's going to be a far-fetched win against them [Carman-Ainsworth], but the school, and especially the senior class, is really eager to accomplish something big this year," added Moors.

Staff Writer Senior at Goodrich High, part of the marching band color guard, and excited to be a part of the Citizen Newspaper.
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