August 21, 2023
Contact: Superintendent Gene Lolli (937) 878-3961
Classmate: Mr. Craig Moore
Fairborn Flyer makes donation to Fairborn City Schools
In 2019, Fairborn graduate, Richard H. Helms contacted Fairborn City Schools to discuss how he could help to make a difference in the school system he graduated from. After several meetings with classmate, Craig Moore, Mr. Helms met with Superintendent, Gene Lolli, Treasurer, Kevin Philo and Director of Business Affairs and our construction projects, Mr. Jeff Patrick. Mr. Helms made a donation to purchase 86 acres of property along Commerce Center Blvd. for $2,500,000 for the construction of new schools and athletic facilities.
When the pandemic hit, Mr. Helms again stepped forward in 2020 with a donation of $750,000 for computer technology allowing FCS to provide all students with one-to-one technology which was critical to student education during the first part of the pandemic when students were home. Mr. Helms also provided a $253,000 match to the Turf Committee for field turf for the new stadium. An additional $106,000 was donated for a synthetic concussion pad under the turf. A group of community leaders/volunteers raised half of the funds and Mr. Helms graciously provided the match. With the turf fundraising drive and his donation, the funding was available for a turf band practice field and a turf baseball infield.
The total donation to Fairborn City Schools was $3,609,000 the single largest donation every received by Fairborn City Schools. The donation from Mr. Helms has been instrumental in the continued progress of the construction of the new high school and athletic facilities.
Helms graduated from Fairborn High School in 1968, where he was senior class president and a member of National Honor Society, student council and letterman’s club. He was a three year member and captain of the football team and when he was a senior, he was named outstanding offensive back and was selected as a member of the All-Western Ohio League. Helms earned a bachelor’s degree in International Relations with an Economic Development Policy minor in 1972 and a master’s degree in National security Policy in 1973 from American University, Washington D. C. He attended business seminars at Harvard University’s JFK School of Government in 1998 and served in the Naval Reserve, attaining the rank of Lt. Commander.
During his nearly 30 year career as a member of the CIA intelligence community, he served his country around the world, but was trained as an Arabist and served most of his career in the Middle East. He was Chief of Station in Latin America, Asia and Europe in addition to holding numerous assignments in the United States. His efforts were directed toward intelligence gathering, clandestine anti-terrorism intelligence programs, counter-terrorism programs during the Gulf War and development of counter-narcotics programs. He was active in the creation of the Director of Central Intelligence’s Counterintelligence Center and in the coordination of CIA European policy/programs with the State and Defense Departments, FBI, NSC, and Congress. Helms received numerous awards for his work including the Distinguished Intelligence Medal for sustained superior performance, CIA, 1999.
Following his career in the intelligence community, Helms founded Abraxas Corporation in McLean, Virginia after the 9/11 attacks in 2001. Abraxas is a risk mitigation technology company which focuses on developing technical solutions for national security problems. Abraxas Applications, a spin-off from Abraxas Corporation, is taking to market TrapWire, a software application designed to detest terrorists before they attack critical infrastructure. Helms served as a member of the Advisory Council of the Dean of the School of International Service at American University in Washington, D.C. and was an award-winning member of the Civil Air Patrol and began flying at Wright Field while he was still in high school.
Helms is currently the CEO of NTrepid, providing attribution technology for the national security community supporting online missions in the most demanding environments. NTrepid has aided more than 50 government clients who rely on their software in support of online operations.
Why did Mr. Helms make this amazing gift? “My first class moving to Fairborn High School was a summer school typing class before my sophomore year started. Of course, we used manual typewriters, something hard to find today. That one class ended up serving me well over the years as fast and accurate typing turned out to be critical in all my professional activity but is also symbolic of what my Fairborn experience provided. The teachers and coaches were fundamental guides to who I became, what I did and how I did it.” The Fairborn City School District is so grateful for this gift for the future of Fairborn City Schools and the Fairborn community. Mr. Helm’s generous donation has truly created a positive and life-changing trajectory for all of Fairborn’s children. We gratefully acknowledge this gift and FCS will have a special recognition for Mr. Helms in the new Fairborn High School.