Hula-Hoop-A-Looza shakes up some fun

Makhi Cotes, 9, a second grade student at Sandy Hook Elementary, spins his fitness ring during their Friday morning Hula-Hoop-A-Looza. Ferguson, a plumbing supply manufacturer, made the fitness hoops out of recycled plastic tubing and donated one to each student. Rich Cooley/Daily

STRASBURG – Sandy Hook Elementary School was full of energy Friday morning as kids received hula hoops from Ferguson Enterprises for a Hula-Hoop-A-Looza.

Principal Robin Shrum said around 900 kids and 150 adults spread out on the school’s front lawn testing out their new hula hoops.

“It’s kinda fun,” she said as the kids erupted into organized chaos. School staff wore purple T-shirts advertising the event and some students grade-specific T-shirts.

She said she had received an email from Ferguson, a plumbing supply manufacturer in Winchester, about the school being chosen as this year’s community outreach.

As the truck carrying the hula hoops arrived at the school, the kids jumped and cheered as the truck horn went off.

Braeden Martinez, 6, a first grade student at Sandy Hook Elementary School, spins his fitness ring Friday morning at the school. Rich Cooley/Daily

Paul DeJong, operations manager at the Front Royal distribution center for Ferguson, said this is their 5th annual community event for the company.

He said they had a lot of unusable pex pipe and decided to create hula hoops for the kids and then created a two-hour event at the school as part of the Ferguson Fitness concept. A deejay played music while the kids tried out their new hula hoops and enjoyed healthy snacks, which included apple slices and bottled water. The students also got to take their new hula hoops home.

“For us it’s a great opportunity to put in a little bit of time and has a huge impact on a group of children like this with very little effort on our part, and we are then able to make this very fun event and serve the community as people should,” he said.

For the students, it was a chance to spend time outside of the classroom.

Eric Miller, 7, of Toms Brook, is blind, but with the help of the school’s technology teacher, Heather Ashley, he was able to hula hoop with the rest of the school.

Audrina Hillyard, 6, a kindergarten student at Sandy Hook Elementary School, spins her fitness ring outside the school on Friday. Rich Cooley/Daily

Hayden Bennett, 6, of Strasburg, said he was having a lot of fun at Friday’s event and was “going to do the hula hoop at home.”

Connor Tierpack, 6, of Toms Brook, even planned to hula hoop to some music once he got home.

“I’m going to put it on really loud,” he said.

Contact staff writer Kaley Toy at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or

Renee Reeder, 7, a second grade student at Sandy Hook Elementary School, spins her fitness tube during the Hula-Hoop-A-Looza event Friday at the school playground. Rich Cooley/Daily

Aiden Peacemaker, 5, leads a train of children with fitness hoops down the hill at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday morning. Rich Cooley/Daily