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Beline Obeid

Principal Sr. Kathy Avery takes part in a Rise Above BMX stunt.
June 20, 2013
For every series of stunts — the no-footers, the handlebar spins, the ETs, the other BMX tricks — Cory Yarbrough followed up with a brief but important and positive message for the students at St. Clare of Montefalco Catholic School.

Yarbrough is team manager of Rise Above BMX, part of Rise Above Entertainment, a company that coordinates extreme sports entertainment events with schools, fairs and special venues. He and three other riders — Tyler Fernengel, Mikey Tyra and Eric Trombley — performed their high-energy, choreographed BMX show June 5 for students at St. Clare.

“Us four riders out here decided to stay away from negative things like drugs and alcohol, put our time into something positive like bike riding. Now, I don’t encourage you guys to try this because it’s way too dangerous, but if there’s one thing I want to take away from this show is if you guys set goals for yourself, and work hard at them, there’s no telling what you guys can accomplish,” Yarbrough said, one of three main messages he delivered throughout the 45-plus-minute show. Other messages touched on bike and helmet safety and the importance of education.

“If it wasn’t for my education, I wouldn’t have learned how to build these ramps and put together a performance like this,” Yarbrough said.

The performance, which kept students excited and engaged throughout, consisted of BMX tricks and stunts like bike-jumping a line of students or ramping up and over St. Clare principal Sr. Kathy Avery. Riders also passed out posters and other collectibles to the loudest fan or for answering a question correctly.

Rise Above’s visit was courtesy of Doug Platonas, of Great American Opportunities, a national organization that helps schools and companies fundraise for the benefit of the children.

“I always try to go for things that kids will remember,” said Platonas. “Like, they’ll go home and talk about this with mom and dad. This is different than the 10-minute toys that kids get that break in 10 minutes. This is something they’ll remember for a while.”

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