Cheer team raising funds for national competitionPublished 8:55am Monday, June 16, 2014
A group of Niles athletes have earned a spot in a national competition in Las Vegas later next month.
All that stands in their way is money.
“We have worked really hard so I think it is important that we are able to go,” said Niles 15-year-old Heidi Haney, one of 25 members of the Niles Elite Shooting Stars Division 4 cheer squad. “My team has a lot of younger girls but they are really talented and know what they are doing. We all want to go.”
On June 7, the Shooting Stars scored enough points to place first at a state competition in Lansing and advance to a national cheer event in Las Vegas on July 26.
Not knowing they would make national event, the team was not financially prepared to get all 25 girls to most populous city in Nevada.
With about five weeks to go, cheer coach Bridgette Stone said the team is scrambling to come up with the approximately $750 per girl necessary to cover entry fees and travel expenses.
“A lot of these parents weren’t planning a spontaneous trip to Las Vegas,” Stone said. “They are depending on getting the majority of the funds raised so they don’t have to stress out while they are out there.”
With that in mind, Stone said the team would hold a variety of fundraisers over the next couple of weeks.
“Parents are coming up with a lot of ideas and we plan to work them out at a meeting on Tuesday,” she said. “We hope to release the details next week.”
The Niles Elite Shooting Stars Division 4 team is made up of girls ages 7 to 15 from various places in the Michiana area.
They practice weekly to prepare for regional and state competitions that take place twice a year as part of the Young Champions of America cheerleading organization. Teams that perform well enough earn a bid to a national competition that takes place once a year at a different city in the U.S.
The Niles Elite Shooting Stars Division 4 team last made nationals two years ago.
“These girls have improved tremendously in the past year and I believe they deserve the chance to show what they can do at nationals,” Stone said. “It’s an experience they can look back on and treasure.”
Those wanting to donate should contact Stone by phone at (269) 262-2468 or by email at email@example.com