Lending a Helping Hand

Imagine this. You’re finally on your way to the National High School Cheerleading Championship, full of excitement and nerves. As you board and step off each flight, the emotions only build. Once you arrive in Orlando, you sprint to baggage claim, but your bag is nowhere to be found. This nightmare turned into a random act of kindness with the help of another squad and a group of Varsity Spirit employees.

DAR High School cheer coach, Kailee Stephens says the story began when an athlete, Mackenzie Pitt, was instructed to check her carry-on, packed with every cheerleader’s most important accessory: her uniform. Once the team arrived, they realized her bag was missing. Stephens promptly reached out to all coaches in the BAND app, and she received a response from the Warren Hills High School coach, Libby Horvath. She informed Stephens that they might have a similar uniform for her athlete to wear. “Our program is honored to have a coaching staff that knows what a powerful impact a coach has on athletes,” said Horvath.

While coaches exchanged information and a spare uniform, Horvath says the DAR High School athlete did not use their uniforms but was very thankful for the help. Meanwhile, Stephens received additional support from a group of Varsity Spirit Fashion Reps, who inquired about her athlete’s story and quickly began searching for another uniform. Their search resulted in a perfect replacement in DAR High School’s colors and official mascot. “I didn’t catch their names, but they were our heroes that day, and happy tears were shed,” says Stephens.

Warren Hills High School coaches, Kim Kavack, Kim Yapaola, and Libby Horvath say their goal is to instill positive values into the athletes of their program. DAR High School competed in Game Day for the first time in school history and say they are proud of what they accomplished and plan to begin working for next year very soon.