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Jumping into Fun and Fitness at Memorial School

Janelle Scirocco (age 6) is all smiles as she poses with her new bike that her family won during the 5th annual Memorial Basket Raffle Fundraiser.

It was an evening filled with heart-pumping, thrilling fun at Memorial Elementary School's Family Fun Night and annual Basket Raffle on April 27.

Thanks to a grant by the Upton Cultural Council, performer Mark Rothstein came to Memorial during the day of the Family Fun Night to demonstrate his "unforgettable" jump roping skills and to speak to the entire student body about the importance of physical fitness as well as having good character. Rothstein, a 2011 National Fitness Hall of Fame Inductee and Guinness World Book of Records holder for rope jumping gave a 50 minute show that morning on special jump roping tricks while focusing on the message of always trying to do your best. He also spent time in the student's individual gym classes promoting "heart-healthy" activities.

That evening, Rothstein captivated his audience of over 300 students and their families by demonstrating more jump roping moves while getting the kids moving by showing them how to perform supersonics, crossovers, and atomic one-leg split jumps. With the help of the Miscoe Hill Skippers, a Miscoe and Nipmuc student competitive jump roping team, students were judged in a "Memorial World Jump Roping Competition" for the honor of being titled "World Champion" and a copy of Rothstein's DVD.

Out in the hallway, the Memorial PTO was hard at work selling raffle tickets for the chance to win one of 22 baskets for the 5th annual Basket Raffle Fundraiser. Each of the classrooms worked together to donate items to put together a "basket" to raffle off where all of the proceeds go to support the Memorial students by bringing Cultural Arts Programs and technology into the classrooms.

Some of the prizes that were raffled off at this year's event included Red Sox tickets, an iPod Touch with music selection gift cards; a Barnes and Noble Nook; a brand new girls and boys bike; a kayak; a boys and girls complete Lego set; and much more.

The Basket Raffle this year was coordinated by Memorial's PTO Fundraising members Shannon Palinkas, Judy Gronda, Shaughna Giracca, and Renee Pond. Palinkas said after the event that the raffle made over $5,000 in profit, which she called a "great success." "We appreciate the generous donations made by parents, teachers, and staff. Without their help we would not have been able to make this a successful event," she said.

Memorial Principal Debra Swain was "thrilled" with the evening event as well as the message that Rothstein brought to her students. "(Rothstein's) performance this morning was great. He epitomizes kindness and compassion which has been our focus in this school all year," Swain said. "And tonight.....what a great community event," she said. "I don't think it gets better than this.

Over 300 students and their families attended the April 27 Memorial Family Fun Night and Basket Raffle to learn some jump roping tricks from 2011 National Fitness Hall of Fame Inductee and Guinness World Book of Records holder Mark Rothstein.


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