Cheer Competition Raises Funds For Scholarships

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, March 23, 2022

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The Harlan County Middle School Cheerleading Championships fired up the crowds Friday at Harlan County High School’s gym — go team, go!

Seventh and eighth grade squads competed with James A. Cawood Elementary at first, Wallins Elementary at second and Evarts Elementary with third place honors.

When the fifth and sixth grade squads competed Monday, Wallins captured first; Cumberland with second and Rosspoint as third

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The event serves as a revenue source for various academic programs such as county spelling bees, student hall of fame and college scholarships. More than $2,700 was raised by this year’s cheer competition.

“When Lisa (Lewis) and I were approached five years ago to organize this competition, we were both thrilled! It is a great opportunity for the cheerleaders to showcase their talent and have an event that is solely dedicated to them,” said Tabatha Johnson, a key organizer of the event alongside Lisa Lewis. “They work hard all year long and are very deserving of this time. The fact that the competition gives back to the students of Harlan County is an added bonus!”

Fifth/Sixth grades cheer coach Ashley Anglin added, “Other then be being proud of bringing home a first and second place trophies this year My girls worked super hard this year and I’m proud.”

Harlan County Schools Superintendent Brent Roark said when when the schools started doing the elementary and middle school cheer competitions, there were two purposes — to pay tribute to the cheerleaders and to raise money for scholarships. Roark said this year, the popular event raised $2,700 from the two cheer competitions which will fund scholarships for students selected for the Hall of Fame.

“One being to showcase the hard work and dedication of our cheerleaders and their coaches on an afternoon dedicated solely to cheerleading and the other being to raise money to fund the Hall of Fame,” he said. “The Frank Brittain Hall of Fame had become impossible to fund through public donations and our board can’t subsidize the Hall of Fame since it includes student scholarships. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the cheer competitions go directly toward the purchase of the Hall of Fame plaques and the $500 per student scholarship.”

Roark offered a word of praise for Lewis and Johnson of the schools’ central office for their dedication to duty and service to the community.
“Lisa Lewis and Tabatha Johnson take the lead on the cheer competition and take care of all of the set-up and organization of the event,” he said. “If It weren’t for these two ladies the cheer competition and the funding it generates for the Hall of Fame would not be possible.”