Cheerleaders run cellphone drive

After six weeks of collecting cell phones from students, parents, and staff, the cheer squad has won the first annual 102.5’s Cell Phones For Students contest. Over the duration of the contest, the cheer team collected over 370 cell phones, earning 2500 dollars for their program and a free dance DJ’d by radio station host Sugabear. The prizes were sponsored by Metro PCS and KSFM 102.5.

The free tickets will be handed out during finals week at the Betty Miller Theatre Box Office for a limited time. The dance will be held on Jan. 13 from 8 to 11 p.m. You will need a ticket and your student I.D. to be admitted to the dance. No guest passes will be allowed.

During the first week of October, Rio was contacted by KSFM 102.5 and was entered into the contest against nine other schools. After the first couple weeks of the contest, Rio took a large lead over the other schools, with an over 100 cell phone lead.

“A lot of people were able to make it successful,” said senior cheerleader Lauren Dupuis.

For the remainder of the competition, Rio maintained a strong lead, and finished the contest with 379 cell phones collected, more than 130 cell phones than the closest competition, Highland High School.

“Winning the cell phone contest was one of the most exciting things that I’ve accomplished at Rio,” senior varsity cheer captain Andrea Cracchiolo. “The feeling of winning a dance back for our school was very rewarding.”

From the beginning of the year, cheer has focused specifically on raising school spirit and morale. They have made it a goal to be more present at Rio and in the Rio community.

The cheer squads can be seen supporting Rio at most athletic events. They have also committed to being present at more sporting events than before, adding sports like softball to their schedules.

Cheer also devotes time to the community, especially for major community events like the Relay For Life Fundraiser, for which Rio cheer has earned over eighty-thousand dollars over the past 12 years. They also dedicate time to Big Sis-Little Sis Summer Programs and put on a camp to teach younger girls how to cheer.

However, with increasing efforts to be involved in the Rio community, additional costs present themselves to the team. With more and more money being cut from athletic programs, cheer has had increase its to fundraising efforts to make up for the money that they are no longer being provided.

Cheer regularly holds car washes, babysitting nights, and sells coffee, blankets, tshirts, and cookbooks in order raise money each year in order to help offset their yearly expenses.

With the 2500 dollar prize earned from the contest, the team plans to pay its freshman and junior varsity coaches.

“Every club and athletic program has to fundraise,” cheer coach Demeris Athey said. “The administration won’t just hand money to you.”

However, the cell phone drive has not been the only major contribution

The winter dance has been a back and forth ask and no-answer conversation since the beginning of the year. Student government had to decrease school events including this year’s winter dance. But yes, we will have a Winter Dance this year.

So what makes this dance so special? KSFM 102.5 and Metro PCS held a cell phone drive competition between ten high schools. Whichever high school won got a free dance. Our school managed to bring in 375 phones and dominated the competition.

Quote via… Andrea Cracchiolo….. “Winning the cell phone contest was one of the most exciting things that I’ve accomplished at Rio. The feeling of winning a dance back for our school was very rewarding. .

“A lot of people were able to make it successful,” said senior cheerleader Lauren Dupius.

The cheerleading coach Demeris Athey thought it would help athletic boosters.

“Every club and athletic program has to fundraise because the administration won’t just hand money to you,” said Athey.

The idea was to make a few bucks from the dance (three dollar entry fee) so the cheerleading team could pay assistant coaches. 102.5 KSFM congratulated the cheerleading team with a check for $2500 for fundraising the event and would also provide all of the necessities for our free winter dance: food, beverages (soda), a DJ (Suga Bear), lights, decorations, and a sound system.

The cheer team has previously raised funds for many organizations. They helped the American Cancer Society raise $80,000 in 12 years. Cheer has sold coffee, cookbooks, blankets, and t-shirts. They regularly have car washes and babysitting nights.

The team occasionally has bonding parties where they play Laser Tag or watch movies. Cheer doesn’t only raise funds for their own team. They give cookies to help support teams like Golf and Wrestling. Cheer also works at Parent Info Night, Back to School Night, and Open House. In addition to the Winter Dance, the cheer team has made many contributions to the school.

Many students feel like this dance will be ‘another boring dance,’ but this year is different, because the dance will be held in the large gym.

”I’m excited, and it’s a real DJ so it’s going to be more fun,” said freshman Dagney Garcia.

Free tickets will be given out during finals week for a limited time at the Betty Miller Theatre box office, so act fast! The Winter Dance will be Jan 13 at the end of finals week from 8-11 p.m. You will need your school ID and ticket to get in.
-Jarrett H