Vincent cheerleaders to perform in OrlandoPublished 3:08pm Monday, September 3, 2012
By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer
VINCENT –Vincent High School’s varsity cheerleaders had something new to cheer about during the school’s pep rally Aug. 31.
The squad was presented with a grant for $13,000 from Watermark for Kids Foundation to participate in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Fla. on New Year’s Day.
Jennifer Supri, head cheerleading coach, said the squad won eight blue superior ribbons, the superior trophy, overall best week, two Universal Cheerleaders Association All-Americans and an invitation to perform in the Capital One Bowl.
Supri said of the 12 students on the squad, eight were freshmen who had never experienced camp before. In order to perfect their performance at camp, Supri asked the cheerleaders if they could skip the camp luau to practice.
“Do you think a trip to Disney makes up for missing the luau?” Supri said, smiling. “There are just so many businesses in this community. They’re great about giving, but they have 500 students to give to, and this only affects 12.”
Watermark for Kids is a “pay-it-forward-type arrangement,” Supri said.
“If they make your dreams come true, they ask you to help make younger kids’ dreams come true,” she said.
The squad has adopted Vincent’s new peewee cheerleaders to teach them cheers and invite them to participate in the high school’s homecoming parade.
Logan Spradley, the squad’s captain, said he is honored to be a Watermark kid.
“I’m very proud, proud of all of us,” he said. “(The squad) has really exceeded my expectations.”
According to Supri, the squad has to raise more funding and plans to leave on Dec. 28.
“They went to camp and won all of these wonderful awards, but they were not super excited because they never thought they’d be able to raise that kind of money,” said Hope Reynolds-Cooper, regional director of human resources at Watermark Retirement Communities. Reynolds-Cooper was a cheerleader at VHS, and her daughter, Chaney, is on the squad currently.
“The charity funds extraordinary experiences,” she said. “It’s awesome things they wouldn’t be able to do otherwise.”
Reynolds-Cooper said the squad received the full amount requested.
“I just didn’t want all they accomplished to go unrewarded,” Reynolds-Cooper said. “They overcame what seemed like insurmountable odds, and the only thing was the money. I’m so honored to help them celebrate their success.”