April 20, 2011

Off to see the Wizards

Muggle Quidditch Match will highlight Pinkerton fundraiser

Club adviser Meagan Moran checks out Platform 9 3/4, a pivotal prop inspired by the
Harry Potter book series that will become the entrance to Saturday’s first ever
Harry Potter Quidditch Club fundraiser at Pinkerton Academy.
 


Original logo T-shirts will be for sale, along with
Butterbeer, chocolate frogs and pumpkin pastries.
By CAROL ROBIDOUX
Union Leader Correspondent
Pinkerton Academy seniors Nate Johnston, left,
and Cody Sutton show off several of the one-of-a-kind
 wooden wands they’ve crafted in preparation
 for Saturday’s Harry Potter Quidditch Club fundraiser.
 
DERRY -- Whether you know what a “muggle” is (someone who isn’t a wizard) or understand just how difficult it is to catch a snitch (it’s really difficult), Saturday’s muggle quidditch match at Pinkerton Academy promises magical family fun.
Working knowledge of the wizarding world of Harry Potter is optional.

“The students have worked hard to make this happen,” said Meagan Moran, who is coadviser along with fellow special education teacher Jessica
 Peck for the school’s newest club, the Harry Potter Quidditch Club, which launched officially in January.

On Saturday the club will mount an ambitious first community event to help raise funds to support its own mission, which is to have fun while living by the club motto: “Teamwork, imagination and acceptance.”
Central to the event is a quidditch match, which will be played on the school’s football field. Although the team sport was the literary invention of “Harry Potter” author J.K.
Rowling, it has transcended its fictional roots. In 2005 it became a reality when college students at Vermont’s Middlebury College launched an intramural quidditch league, complete with rules. Today, the extreme contact sport has expanded into the International Quidditch Association, involving teams from more than 400 colleges and 300 high schools around the world.
Saturday’s event will highlight all the quaffle and blodger passing you can stomach, as chasers, beaters, keepers and seekers do their best to chase, beat, keep and seek the elusive snitch which, in the book, is a self-propelled golden ball with wings.
In muggle quidditch, there is a human snitch who is dressed in gold and uses every trick in the book to keep everyone from catching up with him and grabbing the flag-football style flag sticking out from the back of his pants.
While in pursuit of the elusive snitch, players must hold a broomstick between their legs at all times as they attempt to pass a quaffle ball through a hula hoop to score points.
Moran is totally committed to the event — and the club. A Harry Potter devotee herself, she understands that this is the kind of club that provides a perfect outlet for fans of the book series and movies — generally speaking, those who love a good story jam-packed with imaginative twists and turns, with a taste for
 butterbeer.
“I visited Universal Studios in Florida last year and saw the Harry Potter world, and got to talking with some of the students about how we might be able to replicate some of the elements for our fundraiser,” Moran said.
To that end, one of the club members was in charge of concocting butterbeer — another imaginary element of the book — that will come to life during Saturday’s event by way of a mixture of cream soda, whipped cream and caramel sauce. The drink, along with other treats including chocolate frogs and pumpkin pastries, will be sold from the Three Broomsticks Inn. Students have also been putting together costumes with some help from Mary’s Closet in
 Manchester and building props, including dozens of magic wands, which will be for sale during the fair.
“We made every wand slightly different, and they can customize them,” said senior Cody Sutton, who was still cranking out the wooden wands on a lathe during a free period in the school’s Design and Creation class yesterday. Although he’s not a club member, he was happy to fill an order for 70 magic wands.
“Actually, we already had one around here for some reason, so we used that as a template,” Sutton said, as he magically turned out another decorative wand from an otherwise unimpressive- looking wooden block.
Entry into the event will be made through a Platform 9

3
 ⁄ 4,
 which in the books is a train station platform with magical properties that leads to an alternate world, Hogwarts School. As of Tuesday, most of the construction and painting was completed, thanks to the efforts of student club members Megan Bushey, Brianna LaMonica, Emily McLeod and Jessica Patch.
Teacher and student volunteers will be in costume as strolling characters from the book, and there will be face-painting, potion and spell workshops, and an owl demonstration.
“It’s exciting to put something like this together,” said Moran.
Tickets for the event are $2 per person or $5 for a family of three or more. The quidditch match is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.

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