Butler County Times Gazette
  • Grandview bringing RootBerry to town

  • It will be a performance of juggling, comedy and unbelievable stunts as Grandview Elementary School brings Team RootBerry to town Sept. 27.
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  • It will be a performance of juggling, comedy and unbelievable stunts as Grandview Elementary School brings Team RootBerry to town Sept. 27.
    They will be performing at 7 p.m. at the El Dorado High School Auditorium.
    "It was a new idea to try to raise funds instead of going around selling things," said Brance Crawford, head of the Grandview PTO fundraising committee. "We thought it would be great for the whole community to come as a family."
    He knew of the group from when he was in Salina.
    "I brought them to Salina and they were a huge hit," he said. "They are a great family fun act. They are very interactive with the crowd."
    RootBerry teamed up in 1998 and since then have been five time world champions and received three Guinness World Records. They have traveled to 65 countries and every state in the United States performing. They have appeared on ESPN, ESPN2, MTV, Speed Channel, Fox Sports, The History Channel and Fox Sports.
    "It's a comedy stunt show," said Jonathan Root. "We include juggling and very unique stunts. Bill is one of less than 100 sword swallowers in the world, so we do sword swallowing in a rare and unique way."
    They also are champion jugglers.
    They have been performing together for 15 years, having met in San Diego, Calif.
    Root was performing at kids birthday parties when Bill Berry approached the person booking Root's shows to do some shows of his own.
    "We eventually got together to hang out and juggle," Root said. "We became friends."
    Berry said he had learned to juggle in fifth or sixth grade. He had attended a show at his elementary school.
    "It was completely mind blowing and he was teaching all the kids how to juggle," Berry said. "The funny thing was I was too shy to talk to him or learn to juggle."
    They did have information sheets to order kits to learn to juggle and he got one of those from his teacher.
    He then taught himself to juggle over the course of the next week or two.
    "I kind of dabbled with it on and off the rest of my scholastic career," Berry said.
    He didn't consider it a career until he was out of high school and working three part-time jobs. When his mom moved to a retirement community he had to figure out what he was going to do. He quit his jobs and started practicing full-time.
    Berry and Root would practice for a minimum of four hours a day and sometimes as much as eight hours five days a week, with them performing on the weekends, making their dreams a reality.
    Page 2 of 2 - "We want them to be inspired to pursue their dreams," Root said. "That is the message of our show, to pursue your dreams and follow your goals. We have created a unique path for ourselves and we want to encourage people to figure out what they want to do in life and figure out how to make a life doing that."
    They enjoy performing for audiences and hope to make people laugh.
    Root said he enjoys being able to use words and fun comedy stunts to connect to people and make them laugh.
    "There's nothing quite as amazing as writing a joke you think is really awesome and getting out there and working that joke and getting the audience to laugh," Berry said. "I really love the unique and strange things and our show allows me to share this love."
    Their motto is "we love what we do and so will you."
    The event, which is sponsored by Spencer Wernli Wilson Advisors, will raise funds to help pay for field trips and other needs for the teachers to help enhance teaching in their classrooms. The funds also go toward the end-of-the-year playday and classroom parties. Because of the sponsorship, 100 percent of the ticket sales will benefit the school.
    Tickets purchased in advance are $7 for ages 2 to 12 and $9 for ages 13 and up. At the door, tickets are $8 for ages 2 to 12 and $10 for ages 13 and up. Tickets are available at Grandview Elementary or can be ordered by calling 322-4830.
    Crawford said if this goes over well, they hope to continue to bring different acts to town each year as their major fundraiser.
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