Over 52 teams and 5,000 people gathered at Genoa High School for one purpose on Saturday, Feb. 20 ¬– to raise money for the American Cancer Society, in honor of a beloved cheerleading coach who lost a battle with the disease.
When the final cheer was done and the counting completed, the Stella Bertz Memorial Cheer Committee announced that a record $31,000 was raised at the Sixth Annual Cheer-for-a-Cure Championship.
The annual cheerleading competition raises funds to support the ACS’ ongoing research for the treatment and prevention of cancer. In addition, $3,000 will be donated to the Stella Bertz Memorial Scholarship Fund and $3,000 will be given to the Genoa Comets Cheerleading Program.
Bertz, an enthusiastic Genoa Comet supporter, coached cheerleading in the district for over 10 years. She could be spotted at any Genoa sporting event, come rain or shine, no matter what the game, she just loved supporting the kids, her family said. She succumbed to cancer in February 2003.
“She continues to live in the hearts of many through her family and friends. Through this memorial scholarship Stella is continuing her unending support of Genoa students,” said Jennifer Bullock, vice president of the Cheer-for-a-Cure Association. “The spirit and commitment of this event grows stronger each year.”
“A big thank you to the sponsors, donors and fans that support our annual competition,” said Cheer-for-a-Cure President Maria Maluchnik. “Their efforts allow us to be a positive part of the youth in our communities. It is a very rewarding event.”
In the past six years, the Cheer-for-a-Cure Association has donated more than $58,000 to the American Cancer Society.
For more information about the organization, visit www.cheerforacure.com.
American Cancer Society representative Michelle Sprott, Valerie Widmer; Maria Maluchnik, president of Cheer-for-a-Cure; and Jen Bullock, the organization’s vice president celebrate after this year’s record-breaking event.