Varsity cheerleaders prepare for annual St. Jude fundraiser


Erin Sipos

The varsity cheerleaders sell St. Jude t-shirts after school.

Hannah Birnbaum, Staff Writer

In preparation of tonight’s varsity football game vs Chardon, the varsity cheerleaders have been working hard for the annual St. Jude fundraiser.

This fundraiser is an event that the cheerleaders put on every year to raise money for St. Jude, whose mission is to find cures for children’s cancer. At the football game, shirts and treats are sold, as well as raffle tickets for baskets, with all of the proceeds going to benefit St. Jude.

Varsity cheerleading coach Gabby Velotta said her girls do a lot of work to make the fundraiser happen, including making signs to hang at the game. “Plus, they all signed up to sell shirts – make sure you get yours before the game – and that is our biggest money maker for this fundraiser. The most important thing the cheerleaders are doing is spreading the word to buy shirts, to come to the game, and buy raffle tickets,” she said.

Velotta admits there are challenges to organizing the fundraiser, including the new rule to be cashless because of the coronavirus pandemic. She said, “Due to the Mayfield now being cashless we are selling the shirts after school at the Alumni Pavilion – that’s probably the biggest difference.”

Adriana Valletta, a senior cheering on varsity, is grateful to be a part of the fundraiser because of Mayfield’s history with St. Jude. “This has made it even more personal for all of us to try and make a huge difference in Cancer research so that we don’t have to lose anymore students to this horrible disease,” she said.

Junior Payton Brown, a varsity cheerleader, loves that the fundraiser is an annual occurrence for Mayfield. She said, “The most rewarding part of this fundraiser is just knowing that all of the money is going to support St. Jude. Families all over the country have to deal with their children having cancer, so it feels nice to know that the proceeds we make are helping them.”

Velotta is appreciative of all the help with the fundraiser and preparations from the cheer parents. She said, “The cheer moms and all the cheer parents have donated and gathered donations for the raffle baskets, many donated time in putting baskets together or helping to sell shirts. I can’t thank the parents enough for all their help this year.”

Different from past years, all of the proceeds from the shirts will go to St. Jude, since LaVera Party Center donated the shirts. “Every penny from the $10 per shirt sold goes to St. Jude, which is so awesome,” Velotta said.

Valletta is thankful for the community coming together to help such a great cause and admits the fundraiser would be impossible without outside support. She said, “Countless hours have been put into making this event amazing. From our squads bonding time over poster decorating, to our parents reaching out to family, friends, and members of our community for donations, and to all the moms that spent hours grouping together and wrapping all of our baskets for the raffle.”

Brown admires the Chardon cheerleaders, who also purchased shirts to support St Jude. “I think it will be really great to see so many people supporting such a great cause,” she said.

Despite the competition of tonight’s game against Chardon, Velotta is impressed by the sportsmanship of the two schools working together. She said, “The game may be a competition but the fundraiser is not. So be supportive of the cheerleaders – and fans – who are supporting us!”

The game tonight starts at 7pm at Wildcat Stadium. People who purchased St. Jude shirts get free admission.