Madison team offers chance for kids to participate for freeBy MARGIE TRAX PAGE
MADISON - - Michele Radovanic is filled with pride every time she watches her daughters perform.
As Samantha Short, 13, and Alexandria Short, 10, twirl, toss, and catch their batons, their mother is busy organizing and paying for all those lessons, costumes, and competitions.
"Twirling can get very expensive, especially when the girls start competitions. I see so many kids who have to quit (twirling) because their parents can't afford it," Radovanic said.
Radovanic's children began twirling years ago. Their classes began with 30 girls. Only 12 have remained to go to competitions, largely because of the expense involved in the sport, Radovanic said.
"It is sad to see the girls drop out one by one," Radovanic said.
To open twirling to as many local children as possible, Radovanic and her friend, Melissa LinVille, founded Sgt. Twirlers, a free baton team open to children ages 6 to 18.
The baton team is open to 50 girls and boys this year. The group will appear in 10 parades this year and will begin competitions next year, Radovanic said. The baton team is open to children in Lake, Ashtabula and Geauga counties. Classes, competitions and costumes are all free, paid for by local businesses and group fundraising efforts.
"We have to limit (enrollment) to just 50 this year, but I m hoping Sgt. Twirlers gets bigger and bigger every year," Radovanic said. "I eventually hope to have hundreds of girls," she said.
Sgt. Twirlers is a non-profit organization. To twirl for free, the parents and children must help with the fundraising effort. Fundraising for the group is established through magazine subscriptions. The subscription program is available online at www.magfundraising.com/sgt_twirlers. The group is holding a Chinese auction Feb. 23 at Cornerstone Friends Church on Hubbard Road in Madison Township.
For more information on Sgt. Twirlers, or to donate to the group, call Radovanic at (440) 428-8875 or LinVille at (440) 428-4437.
Star Beacon Print Edition: 1/8/2007