By: Kayla Merriweather
Even Winter Storm Helena couldn’t put a stop to the first annual International Jump-A-Thon Honoring Kenzie Ruston. Although the event was scheduled for Jan. 6 at University Mall, the mall’s closing prompted the Jump-A-Thon to be moved to the Bouncing Bulldogs’ gym in the Timberlyne Shopping Center. Despite this unforeseen mishap, the participants still managed to adjust.
“The Jump-A-Thon was absolutely a success,” describes senior Rebeccah Musson. “We succeeded in our goal of jumping for all 24 hours and did something Kenzie always wanted to do and would have been so proud of us for doing.”
Ruston, a passionate lover of aviation and jumping rope, passed away last January. A beloved member of the Bouncing Bulldogs, Ruston’s legacy was honored by friends and family not only in Chapel Hill, but across the world. Participants could go jump with the Bulldogs at their Gym or tune in to the Facebook for the live stream and jump where they were. Donations and contributions to the Jump-A-Thon went toward Ruston’s passions of jump rope and flying.
“Jump for one minute, jump for an hour; jump as Kenzie would to spread love, friendship, health, fitness, and to bring our world together,” said the event’s Facebook page.
While this first Jump-A-Thon can be considered a success, there is still room for improvement according to Musson.
“I do think the Jump-A-Thon can be improved mostly through just expanding it past the team and into the community of other people who loved Kenzie or who love jump rope,” Musson explained.
The Bulldogs hope to continue this annual event in order to come together and honor Ruston and her legacy.