This week, staff writer Laura Rysz talks with Lynnette Lepre-Van Deusen about the upcoming Lynnette’s Twirlerettes recitals raising money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Family: Husband, Jesse Van Deusen, and daughter, Vanessa Van Deusen
Professional background: Licensed baton twirling teacher and judge and registered radiology and mammography technologist
Title: Owner and director of Lynnette’s Twirlerettes baton twirling group
Q: How many years has this recital been a tradition?
A: This is our 38th twirling season and our 35th recital. Our annual recital has changed (this year) to two smaller recitals rather than one big one. This will enable more social distancing for families attending, fewer twirlers performing together and a shorter time in general for each show. The last lift of some restrictions by the state was what made this possible. I, on the other hand, have double work — preparing everything twice. But I want this for our twirlers, their families and St. Jude Children’s (Research) Hospital. People have been very appreciative through it all.
Q: What are some other events Lynnette’s Twirlerettes have participated in previously?
A: We’ve held twirling benefits benefiting Griffin Pond Animal Shelter, Children’s Advocacy Center, Prayers for Carson and … one of our twirlers, who was diagnosed with leukemia. We also have twirled at countless community parades (and) held performances at church picnics and city festivals all as a community service.
Q: How will proceeds be used?
A: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital can use our donation in whatever way they feel fit to fight childhood cancers.
Q: What is unique about this event?
A: Twirlers are 3 years old and up, both boys and girls. We have special light baton routines where we shut the lights off and batons glow in the dark. We have special twirling routines that fathers of twirlers perform in. This has been a tradition since our very first recital, and they are an audience favorite every year. Along with the dads we’ll have a group of brothers who twirl in the show, too. It’s just a feel-good family atmosphere and tradition we’ve done for over three decades, all while giving our profit to those who can use it the most. Baton twirling offers so much to so many.
Laura Rysz is the features copy editor and calendar editor at The Times-Tribune and runs the Talk of the Times column, which focuses on local fundraisers and other events. She also writes Chef’s Table that profiles restaurants around the region. Additionally, Laura curates events online on AccessNEPA.com. Laura is involved in the special Mother’s Day edition and curates occasional features Marry Memories and Times Travelers. She is a graduate of Haddonfield Memorial High School, New Jersey, and earned an English professional writing degree with a minor in mass communications from King’s College, Wilkes-Barre. She also earned a certificate in Social Media Marketing from Rutgers Business School. Contact: email@example.com; 570-348-9100 x5228.