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RHS Stages Successful Lip Sync Fundraiser
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Kicking off the fundraiser at Riverbank High of a very competitive Lip Sync Battle was Geometry, Algebra II teacher, Kevin Hejnal and his back up dancers who performed a very energetic Tina Turner song. VIRGINIA STILL/THE NEWS


The enthusiasm and energy could be felt in the Ray Fauria Gym and the hilarity along with applause could be heard on Thursday night during the first ever, Bruins Lip Sync Battle fundraiser for the Riverbank High School girls’ basketball team.

There were two teams battling, Maroon team versus the Silver team for top honors of a Lips Trophy which was fitting for a Lip Sync Battle.

The crowd hit the stands at 5 p.m. ready to be entertained by staff members like math teacher Kevin Hejnal, teacher Cassandra Ross, teacher Jon Gianelli, and English teacher Adam Erro along with RHS students including the girls and boys basketball teams.

There were three judges at the event, band/choir teacher Joey Aguilar, administrator Suzy Andalon, teacher Nancy Garcia, and math teacher Yolanda Vera whom had white boards with messages for the talent as they performed.

Coach Lupe Galindo assisted with the fundraiser that was organized by the girls basketball team and parents.

The team raised over $400 at the battle which was well attended. Although there were some last minute cancellations from performers and helpers, Galindo explained that other people stepped up and helped out.

“I was pleasantly surprised of the attendance,” said Galindo. “The boys’ soccer had a Section playoff match in Summerville and the Drama department had a mandatory rehearsal for their production of “Our Town,” so I thought that would affect our attendance but it didn’t so much.”

Hejnal, representing the Maroon team, hit the floor first in full costume with his kids as backup dancers performing to the sounds of Tina Turner with two high energy lip sync performances of “Proud Mary” and “What’s Love Got to do with it.” Cell phones were out pointed at Hejnal along with a lot of applause. He battled Ross, part of the Silver team, which included her students that quickly threw together a performance with glow sticks and another with flashlights to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

The crowd gave Hejnal a loud round of applause for enthusiastic participation in high heels, a skirt, and wig, getting his groove on to entertain the crowd.

Next up from the Maroon team was a group of four RHS students - Maria Quintero, Lilly Gallagher, Cristina Perez and Celina Ramirez that not only lip sync’d but also choreographed a dance routine. The challengers from the Silver team posing as the Spice girls were Ms. Alvarez, Ms. Tonarelli, Ms. Harrington, Mrs. Rathbun, and Mrs. Monyko.

Each group competed in two performances that were met with cheers, chants, laughter and applause.

Maroon team Gianelli battled Silver team Erro in an entertaining lip sync battle that had students and staff cheering with songs like Flashlight by Parliament and Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice.

“I was out there to support RHS and our Lady Bruins,” stated Erro. “Of course, I was a little nervous being out there in front of the crowd, but as long as everyone had fun, it was worth it to make an idiot out of myself.

“The other performances were great, especially Mr. Hejnal and the Spice Girls.”

The final battle was between the boys’ basketball team on the Maroon team and the girls’ basketball team on the Silver team which included dance moves and ambitious banter.

After the judges deliberated, they awarded the Maroon team with the honor of the Lips trophy that will be displayed in the front office with their names engraved on it.

Individual winners included the boys’ basketball team for Best Choreography, Gianelli for Best Lip Sync Accuracy, Hejnal for Best Costume and a tie for Most Creative between the Spice girls and Ross and her class.

“I thought the event was very successful. My objective was just for our basketball team to do something fun together before tryouts, but a lot of people were very excited to participate,” expressed Galindo. “I received a lot of positive feedback from the students and the teachers, so I do believe I will try and make this an annual event.”