Student members of Sandusky High School's Save Our School committee had two victories in mind Thursday as they marched in the homecoming parade.
They hoped for a Blue Streak win against Columbus St. Charles, but were also marching to show their support for the 5.4-mill operating levy on the November ballot.
"SOS, please vote Yes!" the blue-and-white-clad students chanted continuously during the stretch from Camp Street to the Strobel Field parking lot.
Their efforts earned the SOS committee the Sandusky Blue Streak Spirit Award. Many of the students strained their voices to the point where they couldn't utter another syllable afterward.
About a month ago the student levy committee was formed at Sandusky High with the help of business instructor Lani Jensen. SOS is made up of about 55 students who have shown interest in getting the word out about the importance of the levy.
"They're a wonderful, amazing group of kids," Jensen said, "They've been making signs and volunteering to go door to door. They're doing an amazing job. They all want to be part of the success."
"I think it's important for people to vote for our schools," said Danyale Payton, 16. "I know there is strength in numbers, so I've asked others to join, too. Chanting in the parade was fun, and hopefully we got the message across."
The students have been attending levy meetings and volunteering for various fundraisers, wanting to do their part for the levy campaign.
"As the adult in charge," Jensen said, "I can tell you this group is compassionately committed to this levy campaign. The students involved are athletes, AP students, foreign language students, musicians, career tech students, and students who want to be involved with the excitement."
They are fully aware of the significant impact a failed levy would have on the district. More teachers would be cut, and students would have to pay to participate in activities that are now district-funded.
"As a junior, I know the importance of sports and how it gives students productive extracurricular activities," Kristy Gilbert, 16, said.
Amber Richter, 14, said as a freshman she wants to continue to have elective classes.
The SOS committee plans to paint car windows Oct. 1 in front of the high school. Students, faculty and the community will be invited to have their windows decorated with slogans supporting the levy.
After Thursday's parade, 70 volunteers served a spaghetti dinner to support the district. Treasurer Troy Bouts said the event was very successful, raising $1,400 for the levy campaign.
According to Tom Frietas, Food Service director, 500 dinners were sold at $3 a plate for children and $5 for adults.
Scott Matheny, principal of Jackson Junior High and co-chairman of staff activities for the levy campaign, said many individuals bought tickets just to support the cause.
Although the Blue Streak football team came up short in the game against St. Charles, the amount of support shown by the community left many in high spirits.
Overall, including the spaghetti dinner, the district has raised more than $13,000 through donations and fundraisers. Bouts said in earlier meetings a ballpark figure of about $15,000 would be needed to cover levy expenditure costs.