Westshore Rebels Cheerleaders are proving for the second year just how far a bottle drive can go.
On Sunday, team members and parents collected empty bottles from neighbourhoods and local businesses to send 14 athletes to next month’s National Cheerleaders Association cheer camp in Olympia, Washington.
Donations on a drive three weeks ago totalled more than $1,800, said Melanie Halliman, a board member for the team, and parents and athletes have continued to make stops across West Shore communities.
Typically, a full bag of beer cans is worth $28 while a similar sized bag of soda cans yields around $14, Halliman added. By the late afternoon on Sunday, they had sorted and gathered more than 30 bags full. However, “we won’t bring in $1,,860 today,” she said.
Many of the Rebels cheerleaders are also part of competitive squads. The team has two groups ranging from six to 17 years old, Halliman said. The ‘red’ juniors do halftime routines while the senior, or ‘black’ team, does sideline cheers as well.
The trip costs $550 per athlete, which means the team will have to raise almost $8,000. The bottle drive last years helped raise $4,000, Halliman said, whose two daughters Tatianna, 13, and Tonique, 9, have been part of the team for more than three years.
Trista Stevens, 14, said on the trip last year she learned new stunts, chants, and dances. “It was really fun. You get to meet new teams from different places.” A senior member of her team, Stevens said she wanted to try cheerleading after seeing an ad printed in the Goldstream News Gazette.
Isabelle Piel, 13, has been part of the squad for two years. This year she will get to go to the camp for the first time. “It’s kind of a big thing. It’s just good to go,” she noted.