NEWBURYPORT — The good news is that Newburyport Youth Football Cheerleaders won a berth at the National Cheerleading Competition at Disney World in February.
But the attending costs is at least $1,000 per competitor, and the squad of 30 Newburyport cheerleaders need to raise the money for airfare, hotels, and all other expenses by Jan. 8 to be able to attend the meet.
So, the young athletes are asking for the community's help to raise the necessary funds.
"Not everyone can attend due to the financial cost of the trip," said Hollis Caswell, director of Newburyport Youth Cheerleading. "We raise money for all the girls in the hopes they will change their minds if we are able to lower the costs. (W)e know it is a difficult time. With airfare, food, room and out-of-pocket expenses, it ranges from $1,000 to 1,200 per cheerleader and that does not include parents or family members. Still, we hate to leave anyone behind."
There are different ways to help, Caswell said. Cash donations would be most welcome, and checks can be made payable to Newburyport Youth Football and Cheerleading, Inc., and mailed to 43 Francis Drive, in Newburyport, 01950. Donations can also be made online at www.GoFundMe.com/Disney-Bound.
For $500, donors get their names on the sponsor T-shirts, as well as the banner that the girls will carry at the Yankee Homecoming Parade next summer. A donation of $50 earns a signed team photo; for $100 sponsors names go on the practice T-shirts the squad will wear at Disney World. And, of course, there's a "shout-out level" at $25, for after all, these are cheerleaders.
The squad is also soliciting raffle items for its Dec. 13 silent auction and band concert featuring "Don't Call Me Shirley."
According to Caswell, Newburyport Youth Football and Cheerleading is a non-profit that can provide a tax ID number for donors.