Cheerleaders fundraise for St. Jude

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Kevin Bluffestone

Junior Matthew Osler buys a $10 St. Jude t-shirt today during 5th period lunch.

Kevin Bluffestone, Staff Writer

The Mayfield cheerleaders have held a fundraiser this week for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The fundraiser has been organized by cheerleading coach Kristi Palmeri. She said, “The cheerleaders have been fundraising for St. Jude for several years now and it started through the company that we get our uniforms through, which is called Varsity. It is the Team Up for St. Jude, spirited by Varsity, and this year we just decided to add on to the fundraiser that we do during football season and do it during basketball season too.”

Haley Lackner is a football and basketball cheerleader who is contributing to the fundraiser. She said, “It’s really inspirational because we have been working hard to make a lot of money for the kids of St. Jude and it is also really exciting because we are in the top ten schools to raise money for St. Jude. We are really inspired to raise as much money as we can at the end of the school year.”

The fundraiser inspires cheerleader Aquira Myles, who said she’s learning more about the world by her involvement. She said, “It gives you a different perspective on situations and not to take things for granted, and also the community is coming together for these people and you are influencing them.”

The cheerleaders placed in the Top 10 in the nation for fundraising, which has made Coach Palmeri especially pleased. “I am really proud that we were able to raise enough money to get recognition and be in the Top 10 and it is an honor to be recognized and I just encourage the girls to try and raise money,” she said.

The fundraiser has become more meaningful after the loss of Kayla Hoover, Armani Mathis, and Devin Stokel. Palmeri said, “We know the struggle [the three students] went through and we do this in honor of them and that the more money they raise, the more they are making a difference using their spot as a cheerleader for more than just cheering for a game.”

Lackner considers her friendship with Stokel through her fundraising work. “Even though he has passed, I am still trying to carry on his legacy and remind people of those we have lost,” Lackner said.

The fundraiser also has a major impact on Myles. She said, “I have known people who have passed away from cancer and it is even harder when it is a kid who passes away. When you are able to finally do something instead of pondering what happened and physically doing the action, it makes all the difference.”

Senior Danielle Silver helped with the fundraiser during football season, and it’s made an impression on her life. She said, “It was cool getting to see how many people contributed to the organization and raising money for it.”

Silver did not stop helping when football season ended, as she’s decided to make it her capstone project in The Option. She said, “I contacted all the teachers in the school and my family, and I just told them what I was doing. So basically I was making personalized art for people and based on a bunch of standards, I price it, and all the money goes to St. Jude.”

The cheerleaders decided to make the basketball fundraiser Valentine’s-themed this week. Palmeri said, “That’s why we are calling it the ‘show your love for St. Jude’ fundraiser and made shirts that say ‘I love the kids of St. Jude’ and we are doing the event at the basketball game that is on Valentine’s Day.”

As of Friday morning, Palmeri said the fundraiser has made $1500. Students may wear their $10 St. Jude shirts tonight for free admission to the varsity boys basketball home game.