Time seemed to stand still as the students and teachers gathered to watch the official Carrabelle Hulas Hooping record be smashed to pieces by second grader Marilynn Hartsfield.

She dazzled all with her uncanny ability to dodge kick balls and even caught fly balls from a nearby kick ball game! Nothing seemed like it would ever stop her, as she went on to hoop for 29 minutes and 40 seconds. The nearest runner up, with 17 minutes and 3 seconds, was Cason Dupriest, a sixth grader.

Both broke the old record held by sixth grader Remi Turner who hula hooped for over 15 minutes.

The feat was timed and witnessed by Pastor Torey Blackman of Fellowship Baptist Church who also works as a teacher for the Carrabelle Nest. Other witnesses were myself, Ms. Jensen, Ms. Sherrie, and Ms. Prince, as well as fellow students such as Aubrey.

After the hoop finally fell to the ground, Marilyn took a victory lap around the playground and even hula hooped across the balance beam. She received kudos from Police Chief Gary Hunnings who also took a picture with her. She and Cason both gave hula hooping demonstrations to Carrabelle Mayor Brenda La Paz and the city staff. La Paz also took up the hula hoop and showed the two what she could do!

After taking photos with the two “hooping champs,” the mayor commented that it was “Good clean fun!” and encouraged the two to keep up all the good hard work at the Nest.

When asked for a comment, Marilynn, excited to meet the mayor and the police chief, said triumphantly, “I have never done anything like that before! I even got a popsicle!”

The Nest is a 21st Century Community Learning Center administered by the Franklin County School District and open to students from Pre-K-8th grade. For more information about The Nest, contact Eastpoint site director Jeana Crozier at 670-2820 or Carrabelle site director Rachel Benjamin at 697-2177.

Franklin County School teacher Russell Elser worked this summer at the Carrabelle Nest, at the former Carrabelle High School