May 9, 2018
Members of the Jersey Village High School Air Force JROTC received World Series replica championship rings after helping distribute the promotional item to fans April 6. The unit is the only high school group in Texas to receive the replica rings, which loosely resemble the Houston Astros’ actual championship rings. Front row: Montsserat Schnur, Karissa Medina, Sayra Rodriguez, Mayra Garnica. Middle row: Tech. Sgt. Joe Campbell, aerospace science instructor, Stefanie Ruiz, Scott Huynh, Daniela Luna, Major Dennis Martinez, senior aerospace science instructor. Back row: Dominick Mears, Jacob Bierwagen, Alejandro Hernandez, Enrique Guerra, Osiel Contreras.
By Mariela Vargas, Jersey Village HS
May 9, 2018—Members of the Jersey Village High School Air Force JROTC unit earned the distinction of being the only high school organization in Texas to receive 2017 World Series replica championship rings.
The cadets helped hand out the promotional replica rings, which loosely resemble the actual World Series rings presented to Houston Astros players and staff following their victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in November. The AFJROTC members worked at Minute Maid Park, a continuation of the unit’s service that dates back 15 years. The rings were handed out to the first 10,000 fans who attended the Astros’ game April 6. Fans began getting in line at the stadium in the morning hours for the 7:10 p.m. contest.
Members of the Jersey Village High School Air Force JROTC received World Series replica championship rings after helping distribute the promotional item to fans April 6. The unit has worked with the Houston Astros in handing out promotional items since 2003, using the time as not only community service but also as a fundraiser. Small perks include every participant who helps also receiving the promotional item as well as possibly earning tickets. (Photo by Joelyn Laughlin, Jersey Village HS)
Due to popular demand, the Astros will offer replica rings to every fan in attendance against the Tampa Bay Rays on June 20.
But thanks to their service, 17 Jersey Village AFJROTC cadets and two instructors already have the current must-have item for many Houston sports fans. Members of the school’s AFJROTC unit who helped hand out the replica championship rings received their own, as rings were picked up April 12.
“We were able to experience the amount of excitement and joy on people’s faces due to our win at the World Series Championship,” senior Karissa Medina said.
The AFJROTC unit started helping with handing out promotional items 15 years ago as a way for cadets to fundraise and perform community service. Tech. Sgt. Joe Campbell, a Jersey Village aerospace science instructor, was asked to help the cheerleaders with a handout. And he accepted.
“I then realized they did not get paid but were able to get a free ticket and stay and watch the game,” Campbell said. “I then asked the cheer sponsor if my JROTC group could do one of those handouts. In 2003, we officially started doing the promotional handouts.”
As a small perk for their work, every participant who helps also gets the promotional item. Throughout the years, cadets have handed out and received bobblehead figures of Astros’ players, bags and hats. In addition to the replica rings, some also helped hand out and received small replicas of the World Series Championship trophy.
“I absolutely love how it helps us fundraise money by getting paid for doing these handouts,” senior Sayra Rodriguez said. “We aren’t like any other JROTC group. It was really nice being able to work with such an important team.”
For the unit’s effort in helping hand out the replica rings, cadets and instructors raised $400 in addition to receiving tickets for that night’s game.
The experience and opportunity to help the city’s baseball team is memorable enough for most of the cadets, but the Astros coming off a championship made it even more exciting.
Within a matter of days, many replica rings found their way on eBay.com, an e-commerce company that facilitates consumer-to-consumer sales. Hundreds of listings are still available a month later.
“People were going crazy, they were willing to buy tickets for their kids in order to get one, even though it was just one ring per purchase of a ticket,” junior Mayra Garnica. “It was just such an amazing experience.”