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Published on January 17th, 2014 | by Kim Conley

More to Cheer About

Performing at a high school football game is such an exciting experience—the fans, lights and energy are fantastic! Now, let’s amplify that and imagine how incredible it would be to perform at an NFL game! That electrifying experience became a reality for one of the 83 teams that raised funds through Cheer for Dana-Farber.

Through Cheer for Dana-Farber, cheer teams fundraised for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute throughout their fall football season. Squads that raised $1,000 and registered online were entered for a chance to cheer at the New England Patriot’s game on December 29, 2013. Out of the many teams that entered, Wachusett Regional High School was the squad selected to perform at Gillette Stadium, home to the Patriots. And despite the steady downpour of rain that day, the girls had a great time and did a fantastic job!

“We were excited to fundraise for something more meaningful than cheer mats or uniforms,” said co-captain Erin Flynn. “We never thought we’d actually win the chance to perform at Gillette Stadium, and it was so surreal being out on the field. It was a little scary looking up and seeing everyone in the stands, but it’s something my teammates and I will remember for the rest of our lives.”

“When the girls decided to include a charity in their cheerleading experience this season, we thought Cheer for Dana-Farber was the perfect fit,” said head coach Terri Speer. “They were excited and honored to represent their community and are especially proud to have been instrumental in the fight against cancer. And it’s certainly helped us celebrate the good that comes out of a cheerleading program, while defying stereotypes. The fact that the team was chosen to perform at Gillette is just the icing on the cake.”

In addition, the five teams that raised the most money got to attend a cheerleading class taught by the New England Patriots Cheerleaders! Those five teams were the Beverly Panthers-Titans, Wakefield High School Warriors, Wachusett Regional High School Mountaineers, Rhode Island Elite All Stars and Hull Youth Football Association B-Squad. Together, they raised more than $32,000!

Of course the prizes are great, but they’re not the biggest reason that so many squads raised TONS of money. These teams realize that they’re making a difference by helping the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute improve its cancer care and research. The Beverly Panthers-Titans put on a dance fundraiser in their community and raised $5,000 before the event even started! They wanted to support one of their cheerleaders, six-year-old Riley, who was diagnosed with a rare form of nasal cancer. Through all of the support, they were able to raise more than $7,000 in just a few hours!

Along with the Beverly cheerleaders, squads throughout the Northeast were busy this fall hosting car washes, bake sales and various other fundraisers to raise money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Having the chance to cheer on the New England Patriots and learn from their cheerleaders was just a bonus!

America needs cheerleaders like these to rally their communities and support an awesome cause! For more information on Cheer for Dana-Farber, visit http://www.dana-farber.org/How-to-Help/Cheer-for-Dana-Farber.aspx.

-Kim Conley

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About the Author

Managing Editor of American Cheerleader Magazine. Former cheerleader at The Ohio State University and UCA Staffer.



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