The 42nd annual Jamestown High School Battle of the Classes is set for Thursday.
The tradition began in 1980, and the only year the school has not had a battle was 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the pandemic, the way the battle has been held has changed slightly, being held outdoors at the end of the year. This year, the event returns to McElrath Gymnasium on the night before spring break, as it used to be.
Tony Dolce, Student Organization advisor, said the event is a competition between all four of the high school grades to encourage them to raise funds for charities throughout the year.
“The class that raises the most gets extra points,” Dolce said.
On Thursday, the classes will gather in the gym for fun events such as volleyball, tug of war, basketball shooting, relay runs, art competitions and dance competitions. Dolce said the fundraising is the biggest point-getter, and the winning class gets bragging rights for the year.
According to Dolce’s records, which date back to the early 2000s, Jamestown High School has raised more than $300,000 for different charities throughout the years. This year’s charity is the Mental Health Association.
“We tell the kids to research charities and go out and find a cause,” Dolce said. “The MHA is actively helping with the homeless situation right now, and that is something that is making a major impact. Homelessness is a big problem right now and it spoke to the kids and they decided they wanted to help.”
Dolce said the overall mission of Battle of the Classes is to get students involved and teach them the importance of giving back to the community. It has become not only a school event but a communitywide event over the past years.
“It’s also fun,” Dolce added. “The kids wear costumes and they run around. They get bragging rights. We have several staff members coming to chaperone and judge on the night. It’s a great tradition, and it’s fun to be able to get it back to what it was.”
Dolce said he was excited to be able to have the event back indoors as a kickoff to spring break. He said that while having it outdoors at the end of the year was nice, it was great to be able to return to the way it was in the past.
Battle of the Classes starts at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday. Tickets are $1 presale and can be bought from any class officers or advisors, or $2 at the door on the night of the event. All proceeds will go toward the Mental Health Association.