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November 29, 2002 - Image 101

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-11-29

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Me At Trip!!

Left: Cheering for North Farmington
are Holly Wrenbeck, Erica Nedelman
and Rebecca Berger.

Below: Amanda Arden and Marissa Gerber
stir up the crowd at a football game.-

With a loud shout, North Farmington's
junior varsity cheerleaders
seek a way to Florida.

Special to the Jewish News


n August on the University of Michigan
campus, more than 300 high school girls
from around the state danced and cheered
competitively at a camp sponsored by the
Universal Cheerleader Association.
Nearly 50 of the girls came from one school —
10 on the freshman cheerleading team, 19 junior
varsity and 19 varsity cheerleaders. When the
camp concluded, one group was still cheering
louder than the others: the junior varsity 19 from
North Farmington High School (NFHS). They
won the opportunity to perform at the Capital
One Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla., on Jan. 1.
Winning the competition was only half .the bat-
tle for the 18 sophomOres and one junior who
make up the NFHS junior varsity. The girls had
to figure out a way to finance their trip, estimated
to cost $25,000.
"We have come up with all kinds of different -
ideas to raise the money," says sophomore Marissa
Gerber, 15. From selling blankets and poms at

football games to collecting soda cans, the girls
have worked tirelessly so that all 19 can go to
"We even held a cheerleading clinic for kids in
kindergarten through eighth grade," Gerber says.
The clinic netted the group more than $1,000.
Gerber had always dreamed of becoming a
cheerleader. She tried out for the squad when she
was in the eighth grade, and made the freshman
team.. Of the 19 girls on this year's junior varsity,
eight are Jewish. "I knew some of the girls from
Hebrew school [at Temple Israel]," Gerber says.
They are now very close, and everything they
have done has been as a cohesive group.
A program called Star Sponsor has been their
most successful fund-raiser. It offers a scratch-off
card to supporters. When the star is scratched, it
determines the amount of money the supporter
will donate, from $1 to $5. The girls have been
selling the cards at school, in their neighborhoods
and at local businesses.
Renita Derrick and Anna Kalaj took the cards
to their after-school jobs at a grocery store. One
customer was quite impressed by their enthusi-

asm. The woman was Carolyn Clifford, morning
anchor for WXYZ-TV 7. She gave the girls her
business card and not only donated to the cause,
but also had some of the team appear on televi-
sion to promote their efforts.
Many of the team's parents have taken the cause
to heart and assisted in the fund-raising efforts.
"Two fathers in particular have made it their per-
sonal goal to see that the girls succeed," says var-
sity cheerleading coach Alyssa Joslin. "Without
the help of the parents, we couldn't do this. We
get to take a lot of credit for their hard work."
North Farmington's varsity and freshman cheer-
leaders are also lending a hand in the fund-raising
efforts. Joslin, of Farmington, is a graduate of
North. Sara Driver coaches the junior varsity.
Joslin didn't think the JV squad would win the
top prize. It was Driver's first year coaching the
girls, and the school had never won a competi-
tion. "We weren't. concerned about winning, we
just wanted to show our spirit," she explains. In
addition to the JV victory, two of NFHS varsity
cheerleaders won individual competitions.
The trip to Orlando won't be all fun and
cheers. The team will have a busy schedule of
workshops, clinics and classes with winning high
school teams from around the country. They will
learn large-group routines, march in the Citrus
Bowl parade together and perform at the pre-
game program as one group.
The North Farmington girls have raised more



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