The Lehighton Park was a busy place Friday night when Mountain Karate Academy celebrated its 20th Anniversary with demonstrations by Mountain Karate Academy, Tumble with Denise, and Dance with Kim.

The karate kids presented demonstrations and dancers danced at the bandshell, while the tumblers set up a presentation area on the grassy area in the park.

Mountain Karate Academy offers classes to adults and students at their studio at the Lehighton Annex building, Third Street, Lehighton.

Lehighton Police Department presented a children's bicycle safety presentation and there was good music by Bill Murray and the Crossover Band, plus there were local crafters, vendors and refreshments.

Proceeds from the event will benefit local kids through Kids4Kids United scholarships.

Rich Maglionico was pleased that so many people came out to see the good things children in the Lehighton area do to stay active.

"We have a crisis in America as far as overweight kids," said Maglionico. "Getting your children involved in karate, dance or tumbling will have a good effect on them."

Maglionico said that one of his students has benefitted from Kids4Kids scholarships and he wanted to give back to the organization that has helped his student.

Maglionico said that Kids4KidsUnited is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that was created to serve children and adolescents in the Lehigh Valley and surrounding areas who have a desire to train in the discipline of the martial arts but lack the means to do so. Kids4KidsUnited has donated scholarships to over 35 students. Kids4KidsUnited has also benefited children across the country and around the world with generous annual monetary donations to charities including St. Jude's Children's Hospital and orphans in Sri Lanka who were victims of the 2005 Tsunami.

Kids4KidsUnited was created in 2004 in memory of the 1995 death of Lehigh Valley karate student Eddie Yurickones, Jr. It was just months after Eddie won his battle with a form of cancer called Hodgkin's disease that Eddie was shot and killed by a teenage neighbor. The mission of Kids4KidsUnited is to assist at-risk children and adolescents so that they may learn to make better choices in their lives and their futures so that tragedies like this one might be averted.

In the last 6 years, Kids4KidsUnited has donated over 35 scholarships to local martial arts students in the Lehigh Valley and surrounding areas, most recently adding Mountain Karate Academy of Lehighton to its list of carefully selected participating schools.

Mountain Karate Academy and its owners Paul Maglionico and Sharyl Maglionico have embraced the Kids4Kids mission and program. Several other students at Mountain Karate have submitted applications for review to the Kids4Kids board.

It takes a little less than $1,000 for Kids4KidsUnited to fund 1 year of training for a local martial arts child or adolescent.

All donations to Kids4KidsUnited are tax-deductible. Contact Kids4Kids United at (610) 366-4121 or Info@kids4kidsunited.org. The address is Kids4Kids United, P.O. Box 304, Fogelsville, PA 18051. See the website at www.kids4kidsunited.org. Director of development is Steve Weisberg at sweisberg@crestcarpet.com.