Bringing Spirit Beyond Campus: Cheer Supports Community Cause

As the iridescent pom-poms catch light under the sun and the drum cadence from marching band providing a tempo, the entirety of the cheer team sports their usual sparkly bows, mid-ponytails and purple-and-white uniforms for what they do best: bring spirit — but this time, off-campus. 

The unfamiliar purple scene that represented the color for the national Alzheimer’s Association presented bustling music and jumping puppies with purple bandanas at the Great Park on the morning of Oct. 2. The Orange County branch of the national association hosted The Walk to End Alzheimer’s and featured supporters, activists and volunteers. 

After various figures related to the organization gave their speeches, participants walked for a total distance of 1 mile to not only advocate for the disease, but also promote raising funds for Alzheimer’s research and support groups hosted by the organization. As walkers stepped foot onto the starting line with family and friends, the cheer team performed air-bending stunts for walkers and greeted them with excited cheers at the finish line.

“That’s really why I had all of them come out, to make a presence here to show that we are supporting our community, especially in events like this where we can really support a cause,” head cheer coach Allie Mackey said. “And just having a presence here, if that’s what they want and that’s all they really want from us, why can’t we do that for them? We can absolutely bring all of them out here and support in that way.”

This was the first public community event that cheer participated in following the pandemic, according to varsity backspot and senior Kimberly Aguilar.

“It’s really nice to finally experience and go back to the great fun you have with your teammates and with the public as well,” Aguilar said. “I hope we brought some spirit to the public and raised even more awareness for Alzheimer’s today. Getting to see everyone walk through the finish line with the flowers and seeing how happy they looked and being able to walk for someone was my favorite moment of today.”

The cheer team and marching band alike advocated for a shared cause in the community and represented the school.

“I think that’s my favorite part of the walk is the community here. We are bringing together people who care so intensely, and it just feels like a family here,” volunteer advocate Matt Katawicz said. “This is one of my favorite things of the year because everyone is so loving and excited to be here for a good cause, and we get to make a difference together.”