Epiphany Catholic School wins national Dole Fruit Flash Mob Video Contest

Filled with energy and fueled with fruit, Epiphany Catholic School, Coon Rapids, students and staff kicked up their heels and rapped up cravings for Dole Fruit Bowls one day back in late December 2011.

Filled with energy and fueled with fruit, Epiphany Catholic School, Coon Rapids, students and staff kicked up their heels and rapped up cravings for Dole Fruit Bowls one day back in late December 2011.

Filled with energy and fueled with fruit, Epiphany Catholic School, Coon Rapids, students and staff kicked up their heels and rapped up cravings for Dole Fruit Bowls one day back in late December 2011.

The school’s lunch room became an impromptu stage that day when the lunch ladies led a few dozen co-stars in a flash mob performance (a spontaneous song and dance which erupts among an unsuspecting crowd).

Soon enough, fellow students and staff put down their forks and spoons and rapped along with them.

“Apples, bananas, oranges and grapes. Peaches and pears and pineapple, too.”

The lively beat went on as children clapped to the rap, teachers stepped to the beat and lunch ladies used pots and pans as percussion instruments.

“I run a mile every day. I brush my teeth. I eat a good breakfast. I lay off the sweets. Apples, bananas, oranges and grapes. Peaches and pears and pineapple, too.”

By now, everyone in the lunch room was on their feet, laughing and clapping, dancing and rapping.

It was a lively lunch hour and one that Dole Fruit Flash Mob Video Contest judges ruled as the best in the country.

Dole Fruit representatives March 8 awarded Epiphany School the grand prize award of $1,000 and 360 Dole Fruit Bowls.

Epiphany entered the nationwide Dole Fruit Flash Mob Video Contest on a whim, according to associate music director Liz Grefsheim, co-director of the flash mob cast.

“We did it because it sounded like something fun, something cool – and something that we could do for community building within the school and church,” Grefsheim said.

“We never expected to win. That was like icing on the cake.”

Epiphany’s flash mob performance will be posted on the Dole Fruit website (www.Dole.com) and used to encourage children to eat more fruit and practice healthy eating, said Gary Schrank, general manager of Advantage Waypoint, broker for Minnesota Dole.

Schrank and Kitty DeMorett, Dole Fruit school specialist, stopped by Epiphany March 8 to award flash mobbers their grand prize.

“We were really impressed by your enthusiasm. The rap was great. The message came across. Everyone was having so much fun. We just really liked it,” said Schrank.

The goals were to include youth through adults to show the diversity of the school, Grefsheim said, describing the casting of the flash mob.

“To experience an authentic reaction from the students, staff and lunch workers in the cafeteria, we filmed this during a normal day at lunch,” she said.

The flash mob performance was filmed using phone cameras and handheld video cameras, Grefsheim said.

“We just used what we had. Just amateur equipment, nothing fancy, just what we had,” she said.

Molly Kavanaugh, co-director with Grefsheim of the flash mob, said they added Spanish text to the video because all Epiphany students begin learning Spanish in kindergarten.

“It’s becoming a close second to English and we wanted to show that we do more that just the basics here,” Grefsheim said.

“Apples, bananas, oranges and grapes. Peaches and pears and pineapple, too.”

To prepare for the Dole Fruit Flash Mob Video Contest, Grefsheim and Kavanaugh looked up different types of Dole Fruit, choosing the most popular fruit and then adding the healthy lifestyle pieces in the middle of the flash mob performance.

By using a rap format for the song and dance, Grefsheim said, everyone could easily participate in a short amount of time.

Add to that, pots and pans-turned-percussion instruments, and you have an authentically energetic, lunch room-staged flash mob.

“This was just the most fun,” said Kavanaugh. “The best part was watching the faces – there was so much excitement because it was so unexpected.”

“One little boy said to me, ‘I must be dreaming. I saw everyone start dancing and then I started dancing, too,’ This was just really fun. Everyone had such a good time.”

Although Epiphany School’s Dole Fruit Flash Mob video has not yet been posted on the Dole Fruit website, it is available for viewing on Epiphany’s website at www.EpiphanySchoolMN.org.

“Apples, bananas, oranges and grapes. Peaches and pears and pineapple, too – Epiphany Catholic School loves Dole Fruit Bowls,” enthusiastic Epiphany Catholic School students sang as they thanked Schrank for presenting the Dole Fruit Flash Mob Video Contest grand prize.

Sue Austreng is at sue.austreng@ecm-inc.com


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