KANSAS CITY — FIRE was founded in 1996 by a group of parents who wanted their children with special needs to be able to attend their parish grade schools with their brothers and sisters and friends. It all started with two schools. The legacy of compassion, acceptance and learning continues today, with 10 partner grade schools and two partner high schools educating students with diagnosed special needs and students who need extra help alongside siblings and friends.
FIRE Foundation awards grants to partner schools to help pay the salaries and costs of paraprofessionals and special-ed teachers, as well as learning equipment. To fund those grants, FIRE Foundation hosts fundraisers several times each year with the main event occurring in the fall —BonFire FIRE Ball, to be held Nov. 1 at Starlight Theater.
Wanting to involve students as well as parents in the fun of FIRE Ball, the foundation has issued a challenge to many of the partner schools. That challenge: students compete in the first annual FIRE Ball cup contest! Through Oct. 27, students are challenged to sell as many tickets as they can to raffle off two cash prizes: $1,000 and $500. The school that sells the most tickets, based on a ticket/student ratio, will be declared the champion and will win prizes. The champion school will be awarded the FIRE Ball traveling trophy to display for a year, ice cream for all students and faculty and visits by Kansas City Chiefs and Sporting Kansas City players.
Each student in the participating schools was given a packet of raffle tickets to take home and sell to family, friends and neighbors. When the first packet is completely sold, students are encouraged to go to their school office and request more raffle tickets.
So, if a student from St. Thomas More, Presentation, St. Elizabeth, St. Peter’s, Visitation, Nativity of Mary, and St. Therese North elementary schools or Archbishop O’Hara or St. Pius X high schools, knocks on your door, the opportunity is there to help make their school the champion, and to support the legacy of inclusive Catholic education. o