Chazy Central Rural School's varsity cheerleading team is in need of funding, according to coach Chantal DuBrey, who is hoping to be awarded funding through Clorox’s “Power a Bright Future Program.”
The cheerleaders at Chazy Central Rural School are hoping Clorox will give them M-O-N-E-Y. What does that spell? It could be their future.
Chantal DuBrey, coach of the school’s varsity cheerleading program, is hoping to be awarded funding through Clorox’s “Power a Bright Future Program.” The program awards thousands of dollars in grants to competing projects and causes and, this year, will award four $25,000 grants and one $50,000 grant “to help fund important programs in schools that are vital for educational development.”
DuBrey said she came across the program when searching the Internet for grants made available to schools.
“I knew we would need financial assistance this season, so I decided to look into grants and the Clorox one appeared,” she said.
The school’s varsity cheerleading program — which cheers for the boys varsity basketball team — has been in dire financial straits for some time now, said DuBrey. The problem dates back at least a decade, Dubrey continued, noting that funding was an issue when she was on the team as a student from 2000 to 2005.
“I think because cheerleading is not viewed as a sport it gets, for lack of a better word, put on the back burner for funds in comparison to your typical high school sports like soccer, basketball, baseball, et cetera,” said DuBrey.
When filling out a description of the Chazy cheerleading program on Clorox’s website, DuBrey said the program is “slowly fading away.”
“Year after year the program seems to be getting less important to the school and unnoticed,” said the coach. “When I cheered it was a fairly big sport. We had a modified, JV and varsity team.”
That wasn’t the case when she returned to Chazy and applied for the team’s coaching position, said DuBrey.
“I found out that cheering was dropped down from a sport to a club and away games were no longer allowed because there were no funds to supply transportation,” said DuBrey. “This year the program was almost cut in its entirety because a lack of funding.”
DuBrey’s dream is to have funding for the program restored, but admits it will be an uphill battle given the financial challenges facing school districts like Chazy. However, Dubrey said she doesn’t want to lose the progress the program has made since she took over at its helm.
“I have found that technically and physically the team has improved,” she said. “We are now doing stunts, hard choreography, and even strength and conditioning skills. The girls now actually seem proud to be on the team and the atmosphere feels more like a team rather than individuals like it was the first year I coached.”
And, to continue to improve, it’s going to take money.
“Although the team has improved I do feel as if the program itself is declining do to a lack of funds,” said DuBrey. “We can’t travel, we don’t have matching uniforms, we don’t have a place to practice other than the hallway, and we can’t join other competitions because we don’t have the money to enter.”
“We have tried our own fundraising like Little Caesar’s pizza kits, bottle drives, and brochure fundraising, but none has acquired the amount of money we need to revamp the program,” she added.
That’s why it’s important to pursue financial support through avenues like the Clorox grant program, she said. The alternative might be a school without a cheerleading squad, she noted.
“I would be very upset if the program did not exist and I know my team would, too,” said DuBrey. “It allows them to feel like a part of the school and gives them a chance to show their school spirit.”
“If we do not get these funds our team, I believe, will be in jeopardy,” she added.