For The Madera Tribune
A group of TEC Gymnastics gymnasts hold up posters they made in support of the Madera Police Department.
After supporting other entities in town, TEC Gymnastics gave back to the Madera Police Department with gift cards and an outdoor party.
“I try to give back to the community all the time,” said Tammi Britton, TEC Gymnastics owner.
In the past, she has supported the fire department and other essential businesses and said it was the police department’s turn.
“Over COVID, we took dinners to the fire department,” she said. “We also served some essential businesses. We just donated stuff for Sugar Pine Smokehouse for the evacuees. We hadn’t hit the police department, yet. We did a lunch for a group that was training everybody in first aid and CPR.”
On Thursday, Britton, along with parents and gymnasts that go her gym, presented 69 $10 gift cards to every Madera Police officer.
The gymnasts presented each of the officers their gift and thanked them for what they did.
“It was so much fun when we presented it to them,” Britton said. “The kids made cards and wanted to thank each of them. A bunch of girls made cookies. We weren’t expecting that. It was super fun. The kids tumbled for them.”
In fact, the officers enjoyed their time with the gymnasts that when it came time for a group picture, Britton told her girls to do a handstand and one of the officers joined in.
“I told them that I wanted to take a picture of all of them,” Britton said. “One of the officers said they could do a handstand and I put him in the middle. It was so awesome. That was best thing ever. It was a really good thing for the kids, for sure.”
In addition, Britton has also done a couple of other activities to help out the community. One of the things she is the head of is a tree sapling drive to help replant the Sierra National Forest after the Creek Fire.
“We just launched it (the sapling drive) district-wide Friday morning,” she said. “I’m already getting a lot of responses. There’s a pizza place that will give the staff a pizza part for the school that raises the most money. People are asking to go help plant the trees. However, usually the forest service plants the trees. We’re going to ask if we can go up and plant some. I want the kids to do that. The athletes are also going to scatter wildflower seeds. That won’t be until early spring. The fire has to get over and get past the winter. It’s a way down the road. We had to do it because it’s on people’s mind. We’re putting up another banner at Lowe’s.”
Another thing that Britton kick started was a “Tootsie Roll Challenge,” in which her physical education department at Madera South High School posted a video to social media to challenge other departments to have fun while making a music video.
“Morale is so bad because everything is online,” Britton said. “I was going absolutely nuts. I’m not a tech person. We didn’t ever have to do it in PE. When it came time for doing all this stuff, I was losing it. I thought, let’s do something fun for morale. We came up with our video. We’re challenging everybody. Now people are doing it. They told us this was the first time they’ve laughed since school started. It was so much fun. We’re already planning a second one.”
Matilda Torres High School’s physical education department posted their own video in response. Madera South’s history department posted their music video and Britton also knew Pershing Elementary was doing one, as well as Madera South’s English department.
“Our video has been seen from Chicago and Washington,” she said. “It’s been fun. We’ve asked our administration to do one.”
She even went over to Torres to thank them for doing a video, although the Torres teachers had other thoughts.
“We went over to Torres after they put theirs up to give them a bag of Tootsie Rolls and a thank you card because they responded,” she said. “They wouldn’t come outside because they thought we were going to get them with Silly String.”
“There’s so much going on, I’m going crazy,” Britton said.