AlterFest built on tradition of service to community

KETTERING — Visitors to the Archbishop Alter High School’s annual AlterFest event on Saturday were not deterred by the day’s rainy, humid weather.

Conducted in the parking lot behind Alter High, AlterFest has been a staple in the Kettering community for more than four decades, says Alter High School Principal Lourdes Lambert.

“(AlterFest) really started about 41 years ago with a group of parents who wanted to raise funds to improve the facilities at the school,” Lambert said. “It started with a chicken dinner and it has grown each year into the great festival you see today.”

According to Lambert, the funds raised from the fest offset the school’s operating budget, which she says allows the Catholic private school to offer one of the lowest tuitions in the area.

“In the past, funds have also gone toward bathroom renovations, new windows, and the purchase of vans and a new bus,” Lambert said. “It really makes a huge impact on the school and has directly impacted all of the students.”

One way the school is able to maximize the fundraising potential of the fest is through the service of its many volunteers, which each year includes parents, students, and community members.

Lisa Hornick has volunteered at the festival for the past seven years. She is the parent of an Alter High School alum and current sophomore. She said the volunteer led effort to continue the AlterFest tradition is a testament to the Kettering and Alter High School community.

“Everybody likes to see everybody else thrive and they know this is the one event that spreads the wealth,” she said. “Normally, this is a parking lot full of cars, and once a year it transforms.”

As the largest fundraiser for the school, AlterFest serves an important purpose for Alter High School families. Held each year throughout Labor Day weekend, it has also become an end-of-summer tradition for many attendees, Lambert said.

“(AlterFest) really represents the goodness of the Kettering community,” she said. “It has become such a staple and, as the last big party of the summer, it’s a bonding activity that members of the community look forward to. Honestly, it’s really more of a ‘friend-raiser’ than a fundraiser.”

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