A Very Rainy Spirit Day

In September, ASIJ celebrates homecoming with a week of community-building activities. The flurry of activities culminates in Spirit Day—a day dedicated to cheering on the Mustangs sports teams, playing games, student booths, eating delicious food and, for the second year running, sumo! Although the weather was uncooperative, the rain did not wash away our students’, parents’, faculty and friends’ Mustang Spirit, as we witnessed an amazing turnout.

Each year, Spirit Day is preceded by a medley of on-campus activities and themed days. The Early Learning Center also joined in the action for the second year running, participating in activities aimed at creating school unity and showing Mustang Pride.

Spirit Week is packed-full of dress-up days and give-a-ways for all of our students, which also helps to build up the excitement for Spirit Day. Students and faculty wore crazy hats/hair on Monday, showed their team pride on Tuesday, wore class colors on Wednesday, had a happinin’ Hawaii day on Thursday and repped their school colors on Friday for Black and Gold Day.

Spirit Day-goers this year also included special guests from both the classes of ’98 and ’88, who hosted their 20th and 30th reunions on campus during the festivities. They participated in a guided welcome-back tour of campus, photo-ops with the sumo wrestlers and historic gate, as well as all the usual Spirit Day activities. Despite the gray skies, the alumni did not let the day rain their parade. Together, the two classes also raised nearly ¥200,000 for the ASIJ Fund.

All of the fine cuisine at Spirit Day—hotdogs and hamburgers, Happy Wings, and hearty tacos—would not have been possible without Sanae Ishihara (Cafeteria Manager), Paula Reimers (Spirit Day Co-Chair),  parents Aki Harada, Curt and Miho Notter, Dao Van Der Sande, Nong Owens, Heidi and Cris Regent, Ray Kato, many of our cafeteria staff and dozens of additional parents that signed up for a shift or just offered to pitch in when they arrived to campus early.

Parents Vanessa Thomas, Jen Clark and Yuki Shamoto, plus many volunteers, sold Spirit Wear to keep everyone outfitted all year in ASIJ apparel.

As a silver lining the Spirit Day rain cloud we had ¥1.6 million in food sales this year (¥100,000 more than last year) and  Spirit Wear sold ¥1.5 million of merchandise, also surpassing last year’s sales. All proceeds circulate back into the PTA , supporting the school.

In total, our ASIJ Mustangs hosted three different sports during Spirit Day with the fourth, high school tennis, unable to go on due to the rain. The middle school volleyball  A Team beat Seisen with scores of 2-0 while the B Team took a loss at 0-2. Our JV volleyball team overtook Seisen as well, with a score of 2-0. The middle school Mustang soccer teams both went home with wins vs CAJ.

The varsity football game began with a coin toss by the visiting sumo wrestlers and our Mustangs played Humphreys, taking the victory 28-12. Both the boys’ and girls’ teams brought home the win.

Our cross-country teams competed at Tama Hills during Spirit Day and while all four of the high and middle school cross country teams went home soaking wet, they all also went home with wins for the Mustangs.

All of our teams were all blown away by the support, the stands full of cheering fans, and the opportunity to show younger students the fun that lies ahead in their ASIJ careers.

Thank you to everyone who bought tickets for the Winterfest Raffle at Spirit Day. There was a special early bird draw at half-time and Amy Dieffenbach was the lucky winner of the Tokyo Disney Resort tickets and plushie. If you bought tickets at Winterest or buy early, you’ll be eligible for the next pre-draw on Friday, Nov 16.

Many thanks as well to the Boosters and PTA for organizing this great event and for all the volunteers that made it run smoothly! We would also like to give a special shout-out to parents Heidi Regent (Booster chair), Amanda McCready (Spirit Day co-chair) and Paula Reimers (Spirit Day co-chair).

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