The Palatine Park District gymnastics program will host the annual Mari-Rae Sopper Gymnastics Show over two days, May 18 and 19. The show features several levels of performances including preschool, recreational classes, and competitive teams. Admission is $3 per person, free for children under three years old. This show is open to the public and will begin at 1:00pm on both Saturday and Sunday.
The gymnastics program in Palatine began in 1977 with classes being taught at both Fremd and Palatine High Schools. From its beginning, it has been a developmental program offering preschool programs through competitive team programs. The annual Mari-Rae Sopper Show is the only time that the recreational and competitive gymnastics programs come together for one great performance. The show is dedicated to Mari-Rae Sopper, a former gymnast at Fremd High School, and a former club gymnast and instructor at Palatine Gymnastics Club. On September 11, 2001, Mari-Rae boarded American Airlines Flight 77 to embark on a new stage of her career, taking a break from her practice of law to coach college gymnastics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Although Mari-Rae died on the plane when it crashed into the Pentagon, her spirit lives on through this gymnastics show.
For more information, contact Gymnastics Coordinator Barbara Dunne at 847.496.6245 or visit palatinegymnastics.org.