It’s official: Principal is roof bound

Boomer at the stadium.

Boomer at the stadium.

By DARRELL HENRY
Boomer’s Book Club program coordinator,
York Revolution

(Wrightsville, Pa.): The final tallies are in, and it’s official: students at Wrightsville Elementary have established school records for reading this winter. The end result? Principal Don Gillett will make good on his promise.

York Revolution manager Mark Mason, mascot DownTown, and Boomer’s Book Club program coordinator Darrell Henry will make a special visit to Wrightsville Elementary to commemorate this great accomplishment in a school assembly on Monday, March 25.

The assembly will include congratulatory remarks from Mason, and a special presentation from the Revolution to students Maya Gohn, Eva Cox, and Victoria Zerbe for their outstanding leadership in attaining the school-wide reading goal, as they will each be honored by throwing out a ceremonial first pitch prior to the Revs’ Opening Night game at Sovereign Bank Stadium on Thursday, April 18. That also happens to be the date that Gillett begins his rooftop stay.

For years, Gillett and the students at Wrightsville Elementary have been enthusiastic participants in Boomer’s Book Club presented by Heritage Valley Federal Credit Union, a program that began with the Revs’ inception in 2007 and is designed to encourage students to read outside of school, helping to promote literacy at many elementary and intermediate schools throughout York and Adams counties. But Gillett and his students wanted to up the ante this year.

With the mastermind idea brainstormed by Gohn, Cox, and Zerbe, Gillett was ready to challenge his students when the Revs kicked off the 2013 Boomer’s Book Club tour with an Opening Day visit to Wrightsville on the morning of Jan. 7. With DownTown at his side and in front of the entire school body, Gillett and the Revs made Boomer’s Book Club history.

It was already a great lineup of incentives for all students participating this year. Students receive a free game ticket courtesy of Brain Balance for reading one book, a free kids meal courtesy of Community Courier for reading a second book, York Revolution CheerStix courtesy of WellSpan Health for reading a third book, and a grand prize of a Boomer’s Book Club drawstring bag courtesy of Heritage Valley Federal Credit Union for reading a fourth book outside of class. So it was explained that students would receive all of that for their efforts, and naturally, the excitement in the school gymnasium was palpable. But then, a new school-wide grand prize was unveiled.

Gillett took the microphone and made it official. If his students at Wrightsville Elementary could combine to read 2,000 books as he explained to them, he would sleep on the school roof beginning the night of the Revs’ season opener on April 18, and remaining there until the Revs suffer a loss. It is a challenge that the students have passed with flying colors, combining to read more than 3,000 books, far surpassing their goal.

“I hope the Revs open the season with about 17 consecutive wins,” said Gillett. “I have my grill ready and I’m set to go up there. I’ll come down for school days and Revolution games, and I’ll be there on Opening Night with an entire group from Wrightsville, but other than that, I’m planning on having a pretty good view of Wrightsville for a couple weeks.”

Mason hopes his team can help extend Gillett’s stay as long as possible.

“We’ll do everything we can to keep him up there for awhile,” said the Revs skipper. “His goals and our goals are the same. A winning streak to start the season would be great.”

Gillett is happy to carry out his end of the challenge, but even more proud of his students that have come through in the clutch.

“This is about them,” said the principal. “I’m really proud of Maya, Eva, and Victoria for their leadership in making this happen, and of all of our great students for their efforts with reading. They kept up their end of the deal, now it’s time for me to make good on mine.”

Boomer’s Book Club presented by Heritage Valley Federal Credit Union continued its trend of reaching more schools and more students each season, having set new franchise records this winter and spring. In total, nearly 50 schools and 20,000 students from York and Adams counties have participated, with the travelling party of DownTown and often times Boomer himself having visited close to 30 schools in-person for assemblies this season, with several still on-tap before the preseason tour concludes on April 5.

Students who have participated in the program can redeem their prizes at Sovereign Bank Stadium’s Apple Chevrolet Ticket Office anytime beginning on April 1, and can choose from four special Boomer’s Book Club game dates to attend: April 21, May 8, June 5, and June 19.

Full-season, partial-season, and individual tickets for the 2013 York Revolution season are on sale now at YorkRevolution.com, (717) 801-HITS, and in-person at the Apple Chevrolet Ticket Office.

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