With over 300 special needs teams in the U.S.A. and no organized summer cheer camp program, Cheer for a Cause is taking the lead to make dreams come true for our very special athletes! The camps will be in memory of Cheer Florida’s Alina Maria Brady, a 12-year old athlete and buddy to a special needs cheerleader.
Lake Mary, Florida, May 13, 2011 – Cheer for a Cause is raising funds and seeking partners for their 1Love Camps campaign, a project to offer summer cheer camps for our special needs athletes. Nfinity, the first women’s performance team sport company, has joined as a partner.
Cheer for a Cause had planned a cause to raise awareness for our special athletes this spring. Then the unexpected loss of 12-year old Alina Maria Brady on February 8th, who was a buddy to a special needs athlete, hit Florida’s cheer family hard. That is when the idea came to Cheer for a Cause founder, Julie Bolton, and Melissa Kaplan-Jablonski, head coach of Spirit of Cheer Florida, to create and an opportunity for our special needs athletes to go to cheer camp – just like all the other cheerleaders – and do it in Alina’s memory.
Alina’s heart stopped unexpectedly at school, just a few weeks before her 13th birthday. Alina’s family, her classmates at St. Joan of Arc Catholic School and her Cheer Florida family were devastated. Her Jr. Coed 3 team struggled at NCA in Dallas, coming in last place, and again at UCA in Orlando, taking 4th. Their season-ending win at NCA in Daytona Beach was bittersweet.
The impact was especially hard on Katie Collins, the special athlete that depended on Alina to be her “buddy”. Katie is autistic. After Alina was gone, Katie did not want to cheer any more. This past weekend, while filming her spot on Cheer for a Cause’s “1Love” video, Katie said, “I think she (Alina) wants us to cheer for our hearts. We’ll do it for Alina.”
Cheer for a Cause produced the video “1Love” that can be viewed on their YouTube Channel at http://youtu.be/Vzli_xvklL0. It includes photos and inspiring personal interviews with our very special athletes at CHEERSPORT Nationals, NCA in Daytona and Cheer Florida.
Alina’s memory can live in the hearts of each special athlete that attends a 1Love Camp. The Rasta-color theme comes from Alina. “She loved Bob Marley,” said Ashley Jablonski, a good friend and Spirit of Cheer Florida’s head teen coach. “With your support we can honor my friend Alina and make many dreams come true!”
Alex Fernandez, owner/partner at Miami Elite Training Center and owner of EZ Designs personally created and donated the 1Love shirt and campaign design. To support this cause, visit www.cheerforacause.org and purchase a shirt, bow or make a donation to sponsor an athlete. To partner or for information, email [email protected]
The goal is to hold several camps this summer and many more next year. The first camps will be held at Cheer Florida in Coconut Creek and Premier Athletics’ Kentucky Allstars gym in Lexington, Kentucky. Alina’s mother will be at Cheer Florida for a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the first 1Love Camp.
Cheer for a Cause is a nonprofit corporation. Their mission is to unite the giving and giving back in the cheer and dance world, celebrate efforts to help others, unify support for athletes and teams experiencing tragedy and raise awareness and funds for causes. Find Cheer for a Cause at www.cheerforacause.org, on Facebook and twitter.