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Now that’s wheels up!

POSTED: December 20, 2012 8:45 p.m.
Photo by Paul Floeckher/

Tyler Fernengel of the “Rise Above” BMX Bike Team executes a 360-degree flip over Blandford Elementary principal Harriett Snooks.

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For raking in the dough, students at Blandford Elementary School were treated to a high-flying show.

As a reward for Blandford exceeding its goal for its fall fundraiser, the “Rise Above” BMX Bike Team put on a stunt show Monday in the school’s gym. BES students in all grades combined to raise more than $15,000 through sales of gift wrap and cookie dough.

“The kids worked hard,” said Blandford PTO president Jodi McIntosh. “This (show) was a lot of fun.”

The Detroit-based bike team of Cory Yarbrough, 23, Eric Trombley, 17, and Tyler Fernengel, 16, performed stunts from a ramp set up in the middle of the gym. They drew cheers and oohs and aahs with every trick, ranging from no-hands jumps to 360-degree flips.

 “The students at BES did an outstanding job supporting our fall fundraiser. I am very proud of them,” said Blandford Elementary principal Harriett Snooks.

“The show was interactive and certainly kept everyone on the edge of their seat,” Snooks added. “The students had fun, and it is important to remember that working hard can also be balanced with engaging and exciting activities and experiences."

While wowing the students with their show, the stuntmen also stressed safety. Yarbrough told the children not to try any of the stunts at home, and he reminded them to wear the proper safety equipment anytime they ride a bicycle.

“What’s the most important piece of equipment I’m wearing?” he asked the packed house of students.

“Helmet!” many of them yelled, and he told them they were correct.

Yarbrough also told the students he has been riding bikes for 13 years and he practices five hours a day. He encouraged them to find a pursuit they are passionate about, and to work hard and be dedicated to accomplish their goal.

To the students’ delight, the team incorporated Snooks into the show’s grand finale. The team escorted her to the top of the launch ramp, where she sat on a bicycle.

Fernengel gained a full head of steam, riding his bike down a hallway, through the lobby and into the gym. He launched the bike from the ramp, turned a flip high in the air and easily cleared Snooks as the crowd roared.

 “It is my pleasure to be a part of activities that our students enjoy and makes them laugh,” Snooks said. “Several students asked me if I was scared and I my answer to them was … maybe a little!”


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