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Do you believe in magic?

Second grade student Lily Stewart makes a balloon dog with magician Garry Boothe during a performance at Burlington Elementary School on Thursday.

Second grade student Lily Stewart makes a balloon dog with magician Garry Boothe during a performance at Burlington Elementary School on Thursday.

Show teaches students about qualities of character

BURLINGTON — Students at Burlington Elementary learned that character counts on Thursday.

Visiting magician Garry Boothe performed for the children in the school’s gymnasium, giving a lesson on the qualities of good character.

Boothe’s tricks were each themed to lessons on respect, responsibility, caring, citizenship, trustworthiness and fairness and involved the participation of student and faculty volunteers.

Boothe performed twice for the school, with a show each geared for the younger and older grades.

Lily Stewart, of second grade, got to learn how to make balloon animals, while kindergartener Marley Jones was brought up for a trick where Boothe made a dove appear from a set of handkerchiefs, and then the dove was turned into a rabbit.

The lessons also taught the children about following rules, the dangers of smoking and drugs and how to stop bullying.

Boothe, of Wayne, West Virginia, who operates under the name Magic & Balloons 4-U, specializes in balloon sculpture and ventriloquism and performs at schools, birthday parties and other family functions. He has visited Burlington Elementary numerous times, assistant principal Michael Clay said.

Boothe said he has been performing for about 20 years and does about 50 to 60 shows a year. Though, in the past, he has done as many as 160 a year.

“I’ve performed for about a quarter of a million kids and I’ve walked in the front door of 2,400 schools,” he said.