ATLANTA (April 2, 2012) – Primrose Schools, The Leader in Educational Child Care®, announces the Peetz family of Charlotte, N.C. as the grand-prize winner of the third annual Family Dance-off video contest. The national contest encourages families to step up the fight against childhood obesity by dancing for healthy, active lifestyles.
“Primrose is committed to helping children learn healthy habits from an early age. It is our hope that the Family Dance-off not only provided a fun way for families to get moving, but encouraged them to make physical activity a priority in their everyday lives. All the families that participated in the contest have inspired us with their fantastic moves and passion for children’s health,” said Jo Kirchner, president and CEO of Primrose Schools. “We’re honored to donate a total of $81,000 to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across the country on behalf of our winning families.”
As the grand-prize winners, the Peetz family will receive a $30,000 donation to their Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, Levine Children’s Hospital, as well as a $5,000 cash prize. Lauren and Jason Peetz, who were also finalists in the 2011 Family Dance-off, climbed to the top this year with their “Shake That Peetz Family” video featuring their two sons, Tyler and Jonathan. As a personal trainer, Lauren knows that staying active and having fun together keeps her family strong in body and in spirit. Jonathan was born with multiple birth defects, including Encephalocele, and given a prognosis deemed “incompatible with life.” Choosing to proceed rather than terminate the pregnancy, Lauren gave birth to her second son last July.
“Jonathan’s strength continues to amaze us every day. He’s been through five surgeries and still has many more to come, but he smiles, eats well and is a very expressive baby,” said Jason Peetz, a triathlete and full-time police officer. “The doctors and nurses at Levine have treated Jonathan with such love and care. We are so thankful for them, and we are so thrilled to win the Family Dance-off so we can give other children like Jonathan a chance at life.”
The Pence family of Gainesville, Fla. won second prize in the contest, and will receive a $3,000 cash prize and a $20,000 donation to their Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, Shands Hospital for Children at the University of Florida. Dancing for Shands is a passion that runs deep in the Pence family. Mom Kelly, dad Nathan and children Austyn, Lauren, Stacy, Tyler and Amy are active in Dance Marathon at the University of Florida every year. The family’s winning video was inspired by the Brady Bunch, but the “Pence Bunch’s” true inspiration is 7-year-old Tyler, who was diagnosed with a cleft lip and possible cleft palate before birth.
“Tyler underwent surgery when he was only three months old, but thanks to Shands, we have a healthy, happy and active little boy today. We’re honored to be a Family Dance-off winner, and to give back to Shands just a little of everything they’ve given us,” said Kelly Pence.
The Froehlich family of Dayton, Ohio won third prize in the contest with their video and will receive a $1,500 cash prize and a $15,000 donation to their Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, The Children’s Medical Center of Dayton. The Froehlichs were Family Dance-off finalists last year, and are passionate about helping their children’s hospital. Parents Jim and Jan, along with children Maddy, Carrie, Ben and Ethan, re-enacted the “We’re All in This Together” musical scene from the “High School Musical” movie, complete with wigs, costumes and a basketball court backdrop.
The Froehlichs have worked hard to rally the vote in their community for the hospital, even helping another Dayton family, the Ballards, drum up enough votes to become a finalist and win an additional $1,000 donation. “Dayton Children’s is such a special place and through our work to involve the community in the contest, we’ve learned what it means to have such a valuable resource in our city. We’re proud to win this third prize donation for them,” said Jim Froehlich.
Overall, 117 families nationwide submitted 30-second home videos of their best dance moves to FamilyDanceoff.com as part of the contest, and more than 249,478 votes were cast. Each week from Feb. 25 to March 23, the four videos with the most votes were named finalists. All 16 finalists received a $1,000 donation to their Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, and competed in the finalist round from March 26-30 for the grand, second and third prizes. Winners were determined solely based on the number of online votes received during finalist week.
Primrose Schools has donated a total of $184,000 to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals since the Family Dance-off contest’s inception in 2010. The Family Dance-off is part of Primrose Schools’ commitment to fostering happy hearts and healthy bodies in each of its classrooms 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 and Prevention, one in three American children is overweight or obese, and leading experts now focus on age 2 as a “tipping point” for later obesity.
Celebrating 30 years of service in 2012, Primrose Schools is the nation’s leader in providing well-rounded early childhood education and nurturing child care services in more than 240 schools in 17 states. The foundation for Primrose Schools 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 Schools offers the Balanced Learning® curriculum, which 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 require all of its schools to become SACS CASI or NCA CASI accredited. Primrose Schools stands behind its commitment to deliver an exceptional early childhood experience with the Primrose Guarantee, a parent’s assurance of complete satisfaction. For more information, visit www.PrimroseSchools.com.
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, 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 the mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible. Learn more at www.CMNHospitals.org.