Cheer funds expand with team effort


Kenzie Keyser, Maddie Schierholz, Ayla Moeller, and Karigan Kyle working concessions at an ISU basketball game

Evy York, Reporter

This year with the athletic programs having many expenses, fundraising has become the number one way that athletic teams generate money for their programs. 

Athletic Director Steve Evans helps overlook how money is distributed between all the athletic programs at the school. All programs have three spending accounts at their disposal. The first account is the equipment account which is “use it or lose it,” Evans said. The money in this account is provided by the athletic department. The second account is the foundations account which stores money that teams receive from donations and State Farm grants. The final account is the savings account. This account is important because it keeps the money that each team fundraises themselves. 

“It’s [new uniforms] not coming out of my budget,” Evans said. “It’s all about the motivation of the kids and the fundraising of the parents. A lot of schools don’t do that.”

The amount of fundraising each program does always depends on what goals each team has and what they want. Evans said that cheerleading has done the most fundraising out of all the athletic programs this school year. 

Delaney Boland, Noa Wheeler, Kenzie Keyser, Ayla Moeller, Kayla Fitzgerald, Coach Kaylynn Smith, and Coach Haley Hensen working concessions at an ISU basketball game

“If this was a race, cheerleading would be winning,” Evans said. 

With the head coaching transition, assistant coach Haley Hensen, who had previous coaching experience at Limestone Community High School stepped in to fill in the position for both the sideline and competition seasons.

“I couldn’t leave this team and program with nobody,” Hensen said.

This year specifically, the cheer program had two large aspirations for what needed to be purchased with this year’s fundraised money. One of the items on top of the list was 9 new mats for the team to practice on. These mats would come with brand new sets of tape and would be customized with the U-High “U”. The cheer program had not purchased new mats for 11 years before this season. 

“Competition is more skill-based for competitive cheer,”Hensen said. “So we needed those new mats for safety reasons for not only stunting but also tumbling and learning new skills.”

As well as new mats for competition season, the program has emphasized their need for new uniforms. 

“We didn’t have enough uniforms that fit everybody or enough to even match [across the] full program,” Hensen said. 

Although the varsity competition team did receive new uniforms last year, there were only 22 uniforms purchased which weren’t nearly enough for the full program. This year, however, 30 new uniforms in total were bought specifically for the JV competition and Varsity sideline teams.

“The uniforms we have are still in pretty good condition,” junior sideline and competitive cheerleader Kenzie Keyser said. “But we just needed something new to spice it up.”

The cheer program wanted to generate the most money as fast as possible through their fundraisers, so the team did most of its fundraising during the football sideline season which began in August. They are still continuing their fundraising as much as possible.

“We try to get things done before the actual sports season because sideline season is technically not a sport while competitive season or winter season is,” Hensen said.

Some of those fundraisers the cheer team did include selling mums [flowers], selling Nelson’s chicken dinners, and taking part in Ready Set Fund which is a way for people to donate money to the program that is similar to Go Fund Me. There was one fundraiser that the team found to be the most successful and that was selling concessions at ISU football and basketball games. 

“We got to be with our teammates the whole time and work together [during ISU concessions],” Keyser said. “And we got to see people from around town.” 

In the end, the fundraisers were very successful. Through just participating in ISU concessions, the program was able to raise $9,000. The team ended up fundraising just under $21,000 across all fundraisers so far this year. 

“It was important to get together and work as a team towards a goal that was outside of cheer,” Keyser said.