By Alice Kenny
Synchronizing flying Dutchmen’s with back flips and shouts, cheerleaders raised spirits and funds for a good cause at the 2013 Cheerleading Competition held on Saturday, March 2, at the largest youth sporting event staged every year on Staten Island.
This year marked the 57th annual Cheerleading Competition held by Catholic Charities Catholic Youth Organization, CYO, in Staten Island. But in the wake of Hurricane Sandy that destroyed the homes and businesses of families and friends throughout much of this borough, the cheerleaders decided to do something different. Instead of competing, high school cheerleaders performed in a Cheer for Sandy exhibition that donated proceeds to benefit victims of the storm.
Nearly one thousand parents, grandparents and friends filled the stands at the College of Staten Island’s Sports and Recreation Center in Willowbrook.
“This is like the Super Bowl, the World Series for Staten Island,” said Kristine Romano, cheerleading coach with our Lady of Queen Peace.
Elementary-aged cheerleaders held their regular annual competition earlier in the day. Winning teams – including Our Lady Star of the Sea that placed first for both the Elementary Varsity and Deb Regular competitions – then performed their routines with high school cheerleaders during the afternoon Cheer for Sandy performance.
“We try to teach our kids that there is a connection; that it’s not just sports,” said Joe Panepinto, executive director of Staten Island Catholic Charities. “And they’ve been wonderful.”
Click here if you missed the competition but still want to help
Watch the video on NY1.
Read more in the Staten Island Advance.