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Justin Fasano may be only 19, but he had six decades of family history on his side when he and his frog, Kermit, took first place in the Calaveras County Frog Jump championship on May 21. This was the 60th year that the Gustine Frog Team — started by Justin’s grandfather Gene Fasano and great uncle Frank Borrelli — has competed in the celebrated event. And the family team absolutely dominated this year: In addition to Justin’s championship, his aunt, Lisa Fasano, placed second; his dad, Bob Fasano, placed third; his brother, Joe Fasano, placed fifth; and his grandmother, Lillian Fasano, took seventh.
“I think it’s fantastic, the next generation coming on board,” said Bob Fasano, who won the championship in 1998 and 2004 before the family went on a 13-year title drought, “We live in Silicon Valley, this high-tech world, so it’s great to get a piece of Americana, It’s a family tradition that’s been going on for 60 years.”, Justin was raised in Willow Glen before his family moved to Morgan Hill last year, He graduated from Bellarmine elegance dance shoes california College Prep in 2016 and just finished his freshman year at San Diego State, but it’s fair to say he’s been getting an education as a “frog jockey” his entire life..
The Gustine team collected about 300 frogs from a secret spot in the Central Valley. That number’s narrowed down to about 80 and then the frogs with the best potential are determined during a training period the Fasanos call “croaker college.” After that, it’s up to the frog and its jockey. With Kermit — yeah, it’s a little on the nose — Justin Fasano said he knew from Day 1 the frog had the potential to be a champion. At the championships at Angels Camp, Kermit covered 18 feet, 4 inches in his three jumps, with Justin coaxing him from behind. Some jockeys talk to their frogs and some even yell at them, Fasano said.
“I don’t like to talk to him,” Justin said, “I just elegance dance shoes california drop him on the pad and blow on him.”, His championship secured, Kermit will be returned to the wild this weekend, And Justin will have bragging rights in the Fasano family — at least until next year, DANCERS IN THE SPOTLIGHT: There’s a million-dollar opportunity for the members of the Posse Dance Company from San Jose’s Nor-Cal Dance Arts studio, The team of eight girls — ages 12 to 15 — will be competing on “World of Dance,” Jennifer Lopez’s new NBC show which makes its premiere Tuesday night..
The girls — who hail from San Jose, Cupertino and Fremont — have been training together for years at Nor-Cal. Whether they win or not, it’ll be a big moment for them and Nor-Cal owner Tawnya Kuzio. She grew up in East San Jose, graduated from San Jose State and started a career in choreography in Hollywood before returning to her hometown to open her own studio in 2006. GRADS GET A BOOST: Rigo Chacon may be retired from broadcast journalism, but he’s working as hard as ever with Abrazos and Books, the scholarship program he started that’s now in its 27th year. Chacon says the nonprofit will again offer a minimum of 20 scholarships of up to $2,000 each to graduating high school seniors from Santa Clara County schools, both public and private.
And don’t worry if the graduating senior in your life has been too busy studying for finals or getting ready for prom, The application deadline has been extended to June 15, Chacon says details and requirements are available at www.abrazosandbooks.org, UPLIFTING EVENING: Nick Difu, the chef and owner of Nick’s Next Door in Los Gatos, has been a real friend to Uplift Family Services, the agency elegance dance shoes california formerly known as EMQ FamiliesFirst, Difu opened his restaurant to 76 guests last Sunday for a gourmet fundraising dinner, dubbed “Nick’s Summer Fund.”..
The dinner brought in more than $23,000, which will help at least 90 kids experience summer camp and other programs. The dinner was co-sponsored by the EMQ Auxiliary, which operates the Butter Paddle in downtown Los Gatos, with lots of help from Caryl Pozos, Sandi Kile and Doris Beccia. STAGE SHOWCASE: Young performers were in the spotlight Monday at the Rita Moreno California High School Musical Honors, which was co-presented by Broadway San Jose and Children’s Musical Theatre of San Jose at the Center for the Performing Arts. As usual, the audience was the biggest winner thanks to a performance showcase directed by CMTSJ Artistic Director Kevin Hauge.
The judging panel — casting director Michael Donovan; producer, director and choreographer Andy Ferrara; and actress Wendy Rosoff — deemed Novato High School’s “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” as the best overall production, while Archbishop Mitty’s “Les Miserables” got the fan favorite vote from the hometown crowd, Eric Gaydon from San Jose’s Valley Christian High walked away with the award for best lead actor for his role as Curly in “Oklahoma!”, and Natalie Bourgeois won best lead actress for her role as Jo in St, Francis High in Sacramento’s production of “Little Women.” Tyler Harding of Willow Glen High won best supporting actor for various roles in “Disaster!”, and Sana Aladin elegance dance shoes california got the nod for Best Supporting Actress in the Harker School’s production of “High School Musical.”..