April 04, 2011 // Franchising.com // ATLANTA – Primrose Schools, The Leader in Educational Child Care®, announces the Gumz family of the Primrose School of Bear Creek in Lakewood, Co. as the grand prize winner of the Family Dance-off, a national video contest that encourages families to step up the fight against childhood obesity by dancing for healthy, active lifestyles. In honor of the Gumz family's victory, Primrose will donate $30,000 to their local Children's Miracle Network Hospital, The Children's Hospital, as well as award the family a $5,000 cash prize for their efforts. The Gumz family's win marks the second time a Colorado family has won the grand prize. Last year, the Lopez family of Colorado Springs won the Family Dance-off and a $30,000 donation to Children's.
"The Gumz family, and the hundreds of families across the country who participated in the Family Dance-off this year, have inspired us with their passion to support children's health," said Jo Kirchner, president and CEO of Primrose Schools. "It is our pleasure to make a second $30,000 donation to The Children's Hospital to honor their efforts."
Earlier this week, the Toregano family of the Primrose School of Smyrna West in Smyrna, Ga. was named the second prize winner, and received a $3,000 cash prize and $20,000 donation to their local Children's Miracle Network Hospital, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Third prize went to the Phayre family of the Primrose School at Lakewood Ranch Town Center in Bradenton, Fla., who won $1,500 and a $15,000 donation for All Children's Hospital.
Inspired by the amount of support voters gave to their favorite videos during finalist voting week (March 20-26), Primrose Schools decided to award two honorable mention prizes to the top two videos with the most votes: "The Payne Gang" by the Payne family of Oklahoma City, Okla., and "We Are Family!" by the VanWey family of Iowa City, Iowa. In honor of their efforts, Primrose Schools is giving each family a $200 American Express gift card and making a $3,000 donation to their local Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, Children's Hospital Foundation and University of Iowa Children's Hospital.
Overall, 185 families nationwide submitted 30-second home videos of their best dance moves to FamilyDanceoff.com as part of the contest, and more than 294,000 votes were cast. Each week from Feb. 1 to March 19, Primrose named two weekly finalists based on popular votes. An independent panel of judges then reviewed and rated the 14 finalist videos based on the creativity, originality and humor of the videos, and the number of votes received during finalist voting week. From these results, they chose a first-, second- and third-prize winning family.
The grand-prize-winning Gumz family won $5,000 in addition to the hospital donation. They first learned about the Family Dance-off from their son Aiden's school, and jumped at the chance to participate in the contest. "We're definitely not dancers, but we love to be active and have fun. The Family Dance-off seemed like a great way to help others and have fun as a family," said Rebekah Gumz.
Taking inspiration from her son's love of animals, Gumz spent three weeks hand-sewing costumes and writing a song about royal frogs dancing in the forest for four-year-old Aiden to sing. In their video, the crowned and frog-clad Gumz family (dog Sugar Bear included) hops, "ribbets" and dances through the snow to show how fun it is to play outside, even in cold and wintry weather. "My husband was unsure about dressing up as a frog, but was willing to help for a good cause," said Gumz.
"On behalf of The Children's Hospital, we would like to thank Primrose Schools and all participating families for their support of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals through the Family Dance-off," said Cary Larger, senior vice president of The Children's Hospital Foundation. "This contest provided a fantastic opportunity for families across the country to engage in fun and healthy physical activity while raising awareness about childhood obesity risk and pediatric health care."
The Children's Hospital was founded in 1908 and is dedicated to the belief that all children should have the opportunity for a bright and healthy future. Consistently ranked among the best hospitals for children by U.S. News & World Report and other publications, Children's is known throughout the mountain region for providing world-class patient care through a four-pronged commitment to family-centered care, advocacy, research and education.
The Family Dance-off is part of Primrose's commitment to happy hearts and healthy bodies in each of its schools and communities. Childhood obesity and the need for more physical activity are critical issues for young children in America. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the national childhood obesity rate has tripled in the last 30 years, and the American Journal of Health Promotion reports one in three children under two years old is overweight.
Founded in 1982, Primrose Schools is the nation's leader in providing consistent, accredited early childhood education and childcare services in more than 200 schools in 16 states. Primrose School's foundation is based on a dedicated and passionate group of early childhood professionals providing high quality education with a balance of learning, character development and play.
Primrose School's Balanced Learning® Curriculum blends teacher-directed and child-initiated activities and is consistently delivered in all Primrose Schools nationwide. This exclusive curriculum is standards-based and enables teachers to help children build a foundation of knowledge and skills that will enable them to move successfully from one level of development to the next. Primrose is the first preschool organization in the country to achieve the gold standard in educational accreditation from AdvancED and to require all of its schools to become SACS CASI or NCA CASI accredited.
Children's Miracle Network Hospitals® raises funds for 170 children's hospitals across North America, which, in turn, use the money where it's needed the most. When a donation is given it stays in the community, ensuring that every dollar is helping local kids. Since 1983, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals has raised more than $4 billion, most of it $1 at a time. These donations have gone to support research and training, purchase equipment and pay for uncompensated care, all in support of its mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible. Learn more at www.CMNHospitals.org.