The Southmoreland and Mount Pleasant varsity cheer squads came together on Jan. 26 to perform a halftime routine at the Southmoreland vs Mount Pleasant varsity boys basketball game.
“I was initially shocked,” said MP senior cheerleader Katie Prevenslik, “This was the first time our two schools, hometown ‘rivals,’ have proposed an idea like this.”
The two rivaling squads plan to come together again on Feb. 26 to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation at the 2nd annual Swishes For Wishes basketball game.
“I’m really looking forward to Swishes For Wishes this year,” said SHS senior cheerleader Kylee Tkacs, “It’s a great event for an even better cause.”
Swishes For Wishes began last year when a young lady from Mount Pleasant, Emily Rose, started the initiative. Her brother was diagnosed with Leukemia and she wanted to do something for the Make-A-Wish Foundation because of what the organization did for her brother.
“It’s an amazing feeling knowing that we are impacting someone’s life,” said SHS senior cheerleader Paige McLaughlin, “just by having fun and playing a basketball game.”
Swishes For Wishes is a basketball game played by the Southmoreland and Mount Pleasant varsity cheer squads. Money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation is raised through the admissions fee, refreshments, and a Chinese Auction. Approximately 600 people attended last year’s Swishes For Wishes event at Mount Pleasant High School.
“The event wasn’t so much of a competition but more of a bonding experience for the schools to unite and raise money for the community,” said MP senior cheerleader Holly Pravlik.
In addition to seeing the cheerleaders from both schools play basketball, people in attendance also get to watch the Southmoreland and Mount Pleasant Varsity boys basketball teams perform a halftime routine as cheerleaders, complete with uniforms.
“The routine was very challenging last year, but I’m looking forward to performing at home this year,” said Southmoreland sophomore John Leighty.
Members of the boys basketball team will coach the cheerleaders at the game. This year, senior Doug Leighty and junior Tommy Pisula will be coaching the Southmoreland cheerleaders.
“It’ll be a fun experience getting to coach with one of my best friends,” said Pisula.
Everyone involved in this event is looking forward to seeing the outcome of this years event. The efforts of everyone who participated in the event and attended it last year helped raise over $6,000. The cheerleaders were able to grant a wish to one little girl. This year’s goal is to raise $8,000 and to hopefully grant two wishes. This year’s Swishes For Wishes event will also be held at Southmoreland High School.
“I’m excited for Swishes For Wishes,” said Southmoreland senior cheerleader Sam Lauffer, “We’re gonna (win).”