Thornton students seek community's help to attend Destination Imagination competition



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Five fifth grade students from Thornton Central School have worked hard to earn the chance to represent New Hampshire in the Global Destination Imagination competition in Knoxville, Tenn., and now they are working even harder to fund that once in a lifetime opportunity. The members of the "Magical Mishmoshers" team are (front row) Reannen and Lilah and (back row) Sabina, Violet and Lilly. (Photo by Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
April 19, 2017
THORNTON — Once again, a group of students from Thornton Central School are headed to Knoxville, Tenn. for the Global Destination Imagination competition, and they are seeking support from the community to make their trip possible.

Second grade teacher Amy Gagnon is the team manager for the five fifth grade girls who wowed judges in first the regional and then the state competitions, which ultimately earned them the chance to advance to Globals.

"They're a great group who put a lot of time and energy into the competition this year," she said.

Lilly explained that last fall their team, dubbed the "Magical Mishmoshers," met and selected Fine Arts, in the category of "Vanished," for the 2017 Destination Imagination competition. As part of their eight minute presentation they were challenged to choose a color, then show how its disappearance would change the world or someone personally.

It was not an easy challenge, but the girls felt it could be a lot of fun at the same time so they got to work on it right away.

Gagnon said they started out by studying a color wheel and discussing what would happen if two primary colors didn't get along.

"They realized that if red and blue don't get along you can't have the color purple," she said.

That idea soon became the premise of their entire skit.

The girls chose the color purple as their disappearing factor and Violet said she ironically was selected to be "Iris," the purple figure in their presentation. Other girls became representatives of the primary colors of red, yellow and blue. The narrator was designated to be the color black, which they explained is a combination of all colors.

Lilah and Sabina said they also had to include a technical component for their challenge that can be found in theater. To accomplish that, they brought in a heat lamp and some "solar dust" that has been previously used in their school plays to make things change colors. As a prop the girls painted a flower with the solar dust that, once placed under the heat lamp, would magically transform from purple to blue, making the color purple "vanish."

Lilly added that they also learned the DI judges like to see music used in a presentation so for their team choice element they wrote a few quick songs for their skit.

Their clever presentation won them first place in their category at the regional Destination Imagination competition on March 11 in Berlin. "Magical Mishmosers" then moved on to the state level in Bedford on April 2 where they held their breath as they awaited the final scores.

"The first two teams in each category and age level get to go to Globals, but if we had come in second we knew we wouldn't be able to go because of our school's budget," said Violet. "We got first place though and now we're going to Knoxville!"

Reannen said she is really looking forward to the trip because it will give them all the opportunity to meet other like-minded competitors from not only all 50 states, but from around the world, too.

The girls will take special New Hampshire "DI" pins along with them so they can swap their pins for those of their fellow competitors as memorable souvenirs.

"This is the opportunity of a lifetime," said Violet, while Lilly chimed in by saying, "I want to take the chance to do this because we might never get to do it again."

The competition will take place from May 23 through May 27 and the team will spend two additional days traveling to and from Tennessee. All that comes with a price tag though so they are working hard to raise funds for the trip.

Gagnon said she and the team have set a goal of $9,000 to cover their expenses, while parents travelling with them will pay their own way.

To help raise the money the girls have organized a spaghetti dinner at Thornton Central School on Thursday, April 20, and they will also host a special breakfast on Sunday, April 23, at Benton's Sugar Shack from 9 a.m. until noon. In addition to all of that, they have started a Go Fund Me page on the Internet where people can contribute to their trip. The page is established under the name "TCS Mishmoshers."

Donations by cash or check may also be sent to the school.

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