Celebrate Your Success Stories

Raise Your Megaphone!

If you have a cheerleading success story you want to share, please e-mail Jenny Crawford at jennycrawford1@msn.com.

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This is a long story with an awesome ending. I want to give a shout out to the South Hamilton Hawks and the Nevada Cubs Varsity Basketball Cheerleaders. These groups of young ladies worked with the Kid’s Cancer Squad in Jewell to put on an event to raise not only awareness for childhood cancers but to raise funds for an Ellsworth 8 month old that had been stricken with Rhabdomyosarcoma. In the planning stages, one of the South Hamilton cheerleaders worked with picking a theme and a date that had an opponent with the biggest fan base that could help them with the fight. She chose the Nevada Cubs They chose Super Hero’s. The Kid’s Cancer squad had set up a free will offering meal, auction items (donated cheer squads basket as well), special t-shirts (which both cheer squads wore) and entertainment for the night. One of the entertainments was going to be the award winning South Hamilton Gems dance team. The instructor for that team, a former cheer coach herself, decided to use the Super Hero theme and modify a dance that had been done for All State. She asked to include the SH cheer squad. One of the co-captains on the Hawk squad asked if we could include the opponents as well if their administration and team would be willing. Nevada was excited for the inclusion. SH Gems and cheer met right after the Christmas holidays to learn the routine. The co-captain who suggested the merge of squads for one night, recruited her brother to video tape the routine to be sent to the Cubs. The second practice was to be held two days later, but Iowa weather did not want to cooperate and the Gems had to cancel. Lexie Schwerin (co-captain) made her way to Nevada despite the weather to work with the Cubs squad. They had less than three days to get this perfect! She arrived to the girls already working on the routine and not just the parts that they were doing—they learned the entire routine! Several on the squad had gotten permission to use study hall to learn it! A phone call to the Gems and assurance that they knew it, garnered a YES to include them in the whole routine. We worked for a few hours, added the ending that was not on the video and planned for the opponent to travel the next day to a full “team” practice. South Hamilton Gems were amazed with how the dance came out. The stunting included both cheer squads working together. On January 10, 2016 the teams met for a final run through right after school. The cheer squads ate together, got ready together and laughed together. . They took the floor in matching super hero bows, held hands and stood united as a “team” for the National Anthem. They performed the dance routine together. And they conducted a full crowd (both teams) GO FIGHT WIN WILLOW cheer together. Over $11, 000 later, the Kid’s Cancer Squad, Nevada and South Hamilton Basketball cheer, South Hamilton Gems and both communities showed this little girl support like no one thought possible of opponents.  This showed TRUE community spirit!

Coaches vs. Cancer game: The Mason City HS cheerleaders held a clinic and donated $900 to the cause. The event raised a total of $7186.06.

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Northwood-Kensett High School held a Pink Out night January 31, 2013. They held a bake sale which raised $121.95 and a “46 second” fundraiser that raised $390.42 for a total of $512.37. Coach Cindy Pangburn said, “I am very proud of my cheerleaders!” Pictured left to right below are Kailey Eskildsen, Kayla Branstad, Abby Wahl, Bryce Pratt and Ashlyn Schaefer.

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The North Cedar Cheerleaders and Stunters teamed up with their Student Council for “Knock Out” Cancer Night during the February 1st North Cedar V. Tipton Basketball Games.

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Carlisle’s first Coaches vs. Cancer/Carlisle vs. Norwalk fundraiser for – The American Cancer Society. This game took place on December 1, 2012. Freshmen/JV/Varsity boys and girls played throughout the day.

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A great way to show support for other teams, the cheer teams in our area (Mississippi Athletic Conference) are all getting together before state to perform for each other. Family and friends are asked for a food donation for their admission.

Submitted by Courtney L. Stowe Assumption High School

The Tipton Cheerleaders performed and participated at the Relay for Life for Cedar County Iowa on June 15, 2012.

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So we must not grow weary in doing good, for in due time we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who belong to the family of faith. (Galatians 6:9-10)

Bishop Garrigan High School, on September 8th and 9th, was flooded with the color pink to promote and raise awareness about breast cancer. This pink “Cheer for a Cure” event was planned and led by the football cheerleaders, but the idea of giving spread quickly throughout the school, getting many students involved. The students took time to visit local businesses to inquire about possible donations that they could raffle off at both the volleyball and football games that week to raise extra funds. The support from the community and the local businesses was outstanding and more than the students imagined.

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Thursday at school, all of the student body supported the $1 Pink Out/ Jeans Day. In addition, the cheerleaders sold handmade pink breast cancer ribbons, during homeroom as one of the ways to help raise money. At the volleyball game that night, the cheerleaders sold $5 raffle tickets, with winners’ names drawn between matches.

The volleyball game was also filled with pink. The volleyball players wore pink ribbon socks, pink ribbons in their hair, and played with a pink ball. The crowd followed suit wearing their pink attire, filling Friedmann Auditorium with a sea of pink to support breast cancer awareness.

Friday at the game the football players stormed the field wearing their hot pink socks. The coaches all had pink ribbons, and the crowd got very involved by giving donations and buying raffle tickets. The cheerleaders all wore pink “Cheer for a Cure” t- shirts and pink bows in their hair. During halftime, the cheerleaders held up the hoop they made that stated, “Feed Your Faith and Let your Fears Starve to Death,” with a huge pink ribbon.

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The reason for these donations for breast cancer awareness is clear. Statistics show that 1 in 8 people in the United States will be at risk for developing breast cancer. The Bishop Garrigan school system too has not gone unaffected by this disease. Students’ parents have battled or are currently battling as well as BGHS staff members. This topic of breast cancer hits home for many and the need to find a cure is present. Even if a student has not been directly affected by this disease, it is important for students to show support for a good cause.

Overall, Cheer for a Cure was a huge success at Garrigan by raising $1,291 to go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. All of the money donated to this foundation goes to cancer research and to early detection of breast cancer through mammograms and others breast screenings. The Susan G. Komen Foundation states, “Our mission is to help save lives by increasing screening rates among all populations of women across the U.S. and around the world. Under no circumstances are Komen funds used to fund abortions or other non-breast services.”

Thank you to everyone who supported this pink out effort at BGHS. If you are interested in making your own donation to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, you may send a check to:

Susan G. Komen for a Cure
PO Box 650309
Dallas, TX 75265-0309

North Cedar’s Basketball Cheerleaders pumped things up during the Hoops For Hope, Rivals Rally For a Cure annual fundraiser game. The game is sponsored by North Cedar’s National Honor Society. The Knights took on the Tigers and raised money through T-shirt sales to fill the stands with pink. They also sold pink ribbons and had baked items for sale. Proceeds from the game went to Breast Cancer research.

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June 26th, 2010. North Iowa High School and Forest City High School cheerleaders were honored to lead the survivors onto the track and lead the survivor lap of the Winnebago County Relay for Life! The event is held in Forest City annually and the girls are shown with the survivors and with the honorary committee members who are also survivors themselves. Face painting, volleyball, fundraising tents and lots of fun was had by all in attendance!

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2010-2011 South Hamilton Wrestling Cheerleading squad brought their enthusiasm, energy and smiles to Des Moines Heartwalk on June 19th 2010. Each girl on the squad knew at least one person in their lives that is/was effected with Heart disease so being involved in this event meant a great deal for them. South Hamilton Wrestling Cheerleader were honored to cheer at 2010 Heartwalk!

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MAC schools held a fundraiser to increase awareness of breast cancer. These pink shirts were sold throughout all of the MAC schools. Cheerleaders wore them at games and the boys’ basketball team wore them during warm-ups. It was a great event!

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BCLUW, Cedar Falls & Nashua-Plainfield cheerleaders joined together to become “sister squads” and walk the Relay for Life. We picked a central location (Black Hawk County) and then contacted the American Cancer Society to register. As coaches, we wanted to promote friendship and sportsmanship while working for a great cause. Each squad was responsible for their own fundraising. BCLUW did fund raisers for a month before the Relays. Each BCLUW cheerleader had a goal of reaching $100 in donations with 12 cheerleaders participating. Our overall goal was a lofty $2500. With the support of our families, friends, and community, BCLUW was fortunate enough to turn in $2850.93 – truly something to celebrate. The schools met on June 19th at Hawkeye Community College, the site of Black Hawk County’s Relays. The cheerleaders from the three schools walked together in the opening ceremonies by taking part of the Team Lap. They also had two cancer survivors (chaperones) who were a part of the Survivor Walk. During the Relay, the cheerleaders walked many laps, always having someone from their school on the track. They did take time out to do a human spell out of “HOPE” & “CURE”. The friendships and memories that were formed will be carried far past the evening. Plans are already processing for next years’ Relay for Life and bringing in more “sister” squads. This was a very rewarding experience for everyone and something all Iowa cheer coaches should consider having their cheerleaders become involved with. Probably most importantly, money was raised for the American Cancer Society. Cancer touches everyone’s lives. Whether it is personally, a relative, or friend, it seems this horrible disease continues to change our lives. The Relay for Life CELEBRATES the survivors of cancer, REMEMBERS its victims, and wants everyone to FIGHT BACK to eliminate cancer from our lives. In doing so, we have HOPE for a CURE. Congratulations to the cheerleaders from Cedar Falls, Nashua-Plainfield, and BCLUW for joining the fight against cancer and creating a sisterhood while doing it.

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