Bouncing Bulldogs Remember Kenzie Ruston

When Bouncing Bulldogs founder Ray Fredrick remembers Kenzie Ruston, one thing in particular comes to his mind.

“The first thing I think about is discipline,” he said. “She used the rope to become the best. At the present time I would say she’s probably thought of as the best all around jumper in the world.”

Ruston was a senior at East Chapel Hill High School. On January 4, the day before her 18th birthday, she died in a plane crash in Wyoming, along with the pilot of the plane.

“She used her craft to connect with people all around the world to make this world a better place, change people’s lives for the better and that’s what I’ll always hold on to.” Fredrick said.

Ruston started jumping rope when she was four years old and was a member of the Bouncing Bulldogs for 13 years, something Fredrick said has only been done by one other person in the 28 years his program has existed.

She was a 7-time Grand National Jump Rope Champion and a 5-time World Jump Rope Champion.

A GoFundMe page has been set up by Ruston’s family members in her honor, which will support the Bouncing Bulldogs.

In six days the page has raised nearly $56,000.

“The thing that I personally didn’t realize was the global impact that she had,” Fredrick said. “That has played out in the numerous emails that I’ve gotten from every corner of the world.”

He said one of the leaders of jump rope in Europe came from France to pay his respects.

“She was very big on community service and giving back,” Fredrick said. “That’s what I hope the young people in this community hold on to.”

A service was held for Ruston earlier this week.

University Mall Hosts Back To School Events

CHAPEL HILL -As your students get ready to go back to school, University Mall is holding a back to school day on August 24.

The event gives families an opportunity to visit with PTA members and other organizations, and will have a number of free activities for kids to take part in.  Community Director for University Mall, Jeanette Gulledge says the program was inspired by the people in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro City School district.

“They came to us many years ago and wanted an opportunity to gather together the PTA organizations and some of the school representatives to meet the parents and the community, and get a lot questions answered before the school starts” Gulledge said.

Some of the activities that will be taking place at the event include make and take art with Kidzu, creating personalized trail mix recipes, personalizing binders with the scrap exchange, and demonstrations by the bouncing bulldogs and other groups.  Gullege says that the community has helped the event to grow.

“The community is very supportive of the event and different organizations wanted to take part, so every year we get a lot of after school programs like Boy Scouts, and Girl Scout, the Bouncing Bulldogs will be performing” Gullegde commented.

Performance Auto Mall has partnered with University Mall to hold a School Supply drive through the end of the month; the goal is to fill a Subaru Outback with school supplies that are donated.

Around University Mall there are red bins that you can put school supplies into to donate to the drive.  Several of the stores in the U-Mall will give discounts or free items if you donate from the list of supplies.  Marketing Director of Performance Auto Mall, Jill McCullough, says they partnered to make the School Drive better than last year.

“Performance Subaru, we held our own school supply drive last year, and we thought this year if we combine our efforts with University mall we can make it bigger and better and really yield a great result” said McCullough.

These events are among the several that are going on in the area to help raise school supplies for teachers and students.  Additionally on August 24 there will be drawing for a $500 shopping spree at Dillard’s.

For a list of acceptable supplies for the school drive click here.

The event will start at 10 a.m and will continue until 2 p.m

Southern Cricket Frog Population Declining; Gates Foundation Gives $8 Million to Motherhood Initiative; Bouncing Bulldogs Championship

North Carolina’s Southern Cricket Frog population is on the decline.

Jonathan Perry Micancin, recent Ph.D. graduate from UNC’s Biology Department, has been researching the Northern Cricket Frog and the Southern Cricket Frog. Both species inhabit North Carolina’s upper Coastal Plain.

After comparing data from the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences recorded in the 1960s, the Southern Cricket Frog species no longer exists between the Chowan and Cape Fear Rivers, but the Northern Cricket Frog holds a steady presence in the area.

Micancin does not have a definite reason for the disappearance. Possibilities include the Northern Cricket Frog overtaking the area, human activity, and climate change.

The decreasing number of Southern Cricket Frogs reflects a nationwide trend in reduced populations of amphibians, which could have a significant impact on the food chain.


The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation gave a five-year, $8 million grant to support the President’s Maternal Health and Safe Motherhood Initiative in Malawi.

The grant will go towards many initiatives in Malawi. Among them, UNC will work to create model maternity homes, built to educate pregnant women and new mothers about health and services.

Money will also support training of newborn and maternal health care providers and institution of the first residency program for obstetricians and gynecologists in Malawi.

Malawi’s high infant and maternal mortality rates prompted UNC to provide aid to the country. UNC Project-Malawi unites the UNC Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases with Malawi Ministry of Health to enhance the health the Malawi people. Initially created twenty years ago to alleviate Malawai’s HIV/AIDS epidemic, the program now encompasses on a broad array of health concerns including malaria, tuberculosis, cancer, and emergency obstetrics

UNC currently has seven faculty members stationed in Malawi and Zambia, making UNC the largest global OB-GYN provider in the United States.


On July 8, Chapel Hill’s Bouncing Bulldogs Jump Rope Team traveled to the University of Central Florida to compete in the Third Annual World Jump Rope Championships and Camp.

14 countries and 15 states were represented in the 18 different events, ranging from speed to freestyle to Double Dutch. The Bouncing Bulldogs won a total of 301 medals between the Junior and Senior divisions.

Athletes 14 years or younger competed in the Junior World Championship division. Athletes of any age exhibited their talents in the Senior World Championship division. The Bouncing Bulldogs team is compromised of jumpers ranging ages 5 to 26. Many of the younger jumpers won awards above older competitors.

Coach Ray Frederick feels that this year’s team has performed the best he has ever seen in his 29 years of coaching.