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Simply through the sale of T-shirts, the Knights of the Round Table has found a way to infuse the school with all kinds of spirit -- both Christmas and team.
This year marks the third KoRT -- a student leadership council whose goal is to promote good sportsmanship and spirit in their own high school and provide a line of good will between the schools in the Ohio Cardinal Conference -- is selling T-shirts to benefit Holmes County Share-A-Christmas, a local program that provides food and gifts to families throughout Holmes County each year.
"Our students really support this, they get very excited about the Share-A-Christmas shirt," said KoRT adviser Gretchen Acker.
This year, the 12 members of KoRT designed the logo themselves.
"It's old school in grey and red," said Acker.
With West Holmes emblazoned across the top, the shirt is stamped with a large circled "Super K," meaning Super Knight, in a nod to the Superman logo.
The shirts, which are sponsored by Rodhe's, Metlife, Killbuck Savings Bank and HC Sports & Apparel, are sold to students for $5 -- at cost.
The initiative has three benefits, said Acker -- to help the Share-A-Christmas program, to jump-start team spirit and as another of KoRT's sportsmanship initiatives.
"That money goes straight to Share-A-Christmas," said Acker. "One of the bi-products is that we get more students in the student section showing their school spirit.
"We tried to come up with a way to help support our winter sports teams by having more student participation and it helps us with our Harold A. Meyer Spirit Award as a student participation initiative," said Acker, adding KoRT received the award for the ninth time. "We're one out of 24 schools in Ohio (to receive the award), it's a huge honor."
To win the Harold A. Meyer Spirit Award, KoRT must present a 20-minute speech detailing its eight-part program that promotes sportsmanship, ethics and integrity in the schools and communities to the Sportsmanship Council at Ohio State University and members of the Ohio High School Athletic Association staff.
"We give the money as cash to the Share-A-Christmas organization. I understand the value of that. As a teacher and as a previous coach, we have accessed that throughout the year, not just at Christmastime, for students who have had extended needs during the school year. Share-A-Christmas has given us the materials that they needed," said Acker. "And with the cash donation, Share-A-Christmas can use that to fill voids that may not have been previously donated."
This year, KoRT hopes to beat last year's sales -- $800 -- and reach the goal of $1,000 to give to Share-A-Christmas.
"We still have some shirts for sale, so if anyone wants one they can contact me at school," said Acker.
Acker can be reached at 330-674-6085, Ext.3308.
Reporter Kelley Mohr can be reached at 330-674-5676 or firstname.lastname@example.org.