Athletic Club Gala raises thousands


Fairborn Daily Herald

FAIRBORN — The first ever Skyhawk Athletic Club Gala raised more than $16,000 for the Skyhawk Athletic Club, which supports all teams at Baker Middle School and Fairborn High School with the purchase of uniforms, equipment and other needs.

Two individuals were honored during the event, including Ron Nischwitz and Jack Gayheart.

Nischwitz attended The Ohio State University, where he received his bachelors degree in electrical engineering and played baseball. He was selected as a Baseball All-American while at OSU and went on to pitch in the Major Leagues with the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians. Nischwitz was also a player/coach for the New York Mets organization. After his playing career, he served as the head baseball coach at Wright State University from 1974-2004.

In 2013, he was also the pitching coach for the Dayton Doc’s Baseball team, which played in the Great Lakes Collegiate League. In accordance with his illustrious career, he has been voted into the Wright State Athletic Hall of Fame, the Ohio State Hall of Fame and the American Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame. Much to the benefit of the Fairborn High School baseball team, for the last 11 years he has served as a volunteer coach for the Skyhawks.

Additionally, Nishwitz has mentored many students and held free baseball camps for youth, and has worked with the Ohio Business Week “Building Ohio’s Future” program. He is an elder at the Fairborn United Methodist Church. In his lifetime, he has donated over 1 million dollars to the renovation of the Wright State baseball field and has donated equipment to the Fairborn High School program.

Gayheart was a standout athlete who returned to his hometown, Fairborn, and has spent his life giving back to the community. He earned 11 varsity letters as a student-athlete at Fairborn High School in football, basketball and baseball. His senior year he also received the Scholar-Athlete award, an honor given to the senior athlete with the highest GPA. Jack was first Team All-League at Fairborn and was Honorable Mention All-Ohio in football and was a National Prep All-American.

Gayheart is the only athlete in school history selected to play in the East-West State All-Star baseball and North-South State All-Star football games. Jack attended Miami University on a full football scholarship to play quarterback for four years, earned three varsity letters and served as a co-captain his senior year. While at Miami, he also was a pitcher on the Miami baseball team.

He returned to Fairborn as a teacher and basketball coach from 1962-1968. During that time, he coached the basketball team that still has the highest winning percentage in school history. Gayheart has given significant athletic contributions to Fairborn High School on many levels. He has continued to perform meritorious service on behalf of Fairborn Athletics and the Fairborn City Schools, contributing $300,000 over the years.

These funds were primarily raised through his sponsorship of the “Whitey Liane Open,” an annual golf outing in honor of his step father, Dale “Whitey” Liane, who was also a huge supporter of Fairborn Athletics. Along with personal donations, Jack has spearheaded fundraising for the press box at Fairborn Memorial Stadium, the archways to the soccer complex, the FHS baseball dugouts, a shooting machine for the basketball program, a sprinkling system for the football practice field and many more athletic facility upgrades and equipment.

Submitted photos Jack Gayheart and Ron Nischwitz were honored for their service. photos Jack Gayheart and Ron Nischwitz were honored for their service.

Aaron Chivington address crowd at the gala. Chivington address crowd at the gala.

A Fairborn High School senior varsity cheerleader sings ‘Traveling Soldier’ by the Dixie Chicks. Fairborn High School senior varsity cheerleader sings ‘Traveling Soldier’ by the Dixie Chicks.

Story courtesy of Fairborn City Schools.

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