Portsmouth senior runs anti-bullying fundraiser; Cicilline helps collect names for Obama

Anti-bullying benefit tournament at Ernie's Karate
PHS senior Amanda McCabe kicks off anti-bullying fundraiser

This morning, Ernie's Karate in Portsmouth hosted PHS student Amanda McCabe's senior project, a benefit martial arts tournament which raised more than $500 for the RI Parent Information Network 2012 Anti-Bully Walk.

More than 100 students, parents, and friends packed the East Main Road studio as McCabe kicked off the event. "Close your eyes," she said. "Now raise your hand if you've been bullied, witnessed bullying, or even been involved in bullying yourself." She waited a moment. "Now open your eyes and look around," she said. A majority of those in the room had their hands up. "That's why we're here."

Participants donated $5 to compete in each event (forms, weapons, synchronized forms) and parents and friends stuffed a jar on the counter on the way in to support RIPIN's efforts. It was a a fun morning of wonderful karate demonstrations for a good cause.

Rep. David Cicilline talks with Len Katzman
Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) talks with Portsmouth's Len Katzman

This afternoon, Rep. David Cicilline was on hand at the People's Cafe on Thames Street in Newport to help volunteers collect the 1,000 signatures needed to get President Barack Obama's name on the April 24 primary ballot.

Local political figures who stopped by to help included State Sen. Lou DiPalma (D-12), RI Rep. Peter Martin (D-75), and Portsmouth's former Sen. Chuck Levesque and Democratic Party chair Len Katzman.

And, just a reminder. If you're a Democrat, and want to throw your hat in the ring as a delegate to the national convention in Charlotte, the RI Democratic Party will be hosting a workshop on running for delegate next Tuesday night in Bristol.

Full disclosure: Our son is a student at Ernie's (which is an awesome school) and I am an officer of the Portsmouth Democratic Town Committee who signed President Obama's nomination papers.