90th birthday surprise for Elk River High School superfan, silent donor Fae Jacobs

For decades, she has been a proud supporter and silent donor of the Elk River High School Athletics Department, and Thursday, Fae Jacobs got the recognition she has long deserved.

The Elk River community honored Jacobs during halftime of the varsity girls’ basketball game. With her 90th birthday next week, the entire crowd sang her happy birthday and Mayor John Dietz declared Dec. 30 Fae Jacobs Day.

Jacobs, along with her two friends who have now passed, have been buying team dinners and handing out scholarships for decades.

“I just love to watch these girls,” she said. “They don’t take all the risks and slam each other around  [like the boys].”

Former Elk River High School Athletic Director John Barth coached at the school for 35 years and says he can’t remember a time without Jacobs and her two friends. For several years they were football fans, but once they discovered girls softball, they were hooked.

“We have three red swivel chairs in the front row of the bleachers for them. They would be there every game with their score books,” he said. “They would come early, stay late, weather didn’t matter.”

Barth said the threesome would often pay for team dinners after a win and would give college scholarship money to every senior player. Although many in the community were aware of their generosity, the ladies always asked to remain anonymous.

“They would call at the end of the year and say how many girls?” said Barth. “They wrote a check pretty sizable to the families.”

Thursday, the girls' softball coach surprised Jacobs with flowers and balloons as Barth and Dietz talked about her tremendous contributions to the community.

“We have a saying around here, it’s great to be an Elk and she demonstrates that,” said Barth.