LAKEWOOD RANCH — Shannon Gill wasn’t entirely convinced she wanted to be a high school cheerleader.
But after four days of intense practice leading up to tryouts, the then-freshman quickly warmed up to the idea. And she hasn’t looked back since.
Now with her final tryout behind her, the Lakewood Ranch junior has turned her attention to a new task — preparing for this year’s silent auction.
The Lakewood cheerleading squad will hold its annual silent auction from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., April 17, in the school’s cafeteria, 5500 Lakewood Ranch Blvd. Parents, friends, faculty and the public are encouraged to attend the silent auction and peruse the wide variety of items that will be available for auction.
“The trick is to get here in time to peruse all of the items and then stock what you want,” Lakewood cheerleading coach Melissa Koehlinger said.
Some of the items that will available at this year’s silent auction include: gift baskets, teeth whitening, golf outings, paintings and gift certificates for nail salons, spas and restaurants, among others.
“There’s going to be a lot of good stuff there,” sophomore Kiana Broadbridge said. “I want a lot of the stuff that I got.”
Each of the 22 members on next year’s squad was asked to go into the community and collect donations from businesses. In addition, some of the girls have put together their own gift baskets for the auction.
All proceeds will benefit the Lakewood cheerleading squad with 50% going into the cheerleading fund with the remaining 50% going to each individual girl.
The money will be used to pay for each girl’s individual cheerleading costs, which include summer camp, outfits for summer camp, pompons and other cheerleading gear and equipment. On average, costs for a first-year cheerleader at Lakewood are about $600, Koehlinger said.
“I want to be in the hundreds because it (costs) a lot of money,” Gill said. “A lot of people end up making their entire funds. That’s what everyone kind of wants to do because it’s less money out of our pockets.”
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