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Franklin High School Cheerleaders Looking For Help To Get To Florida Championships

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Caylia Wallace speaks to the Board of Education about the Franklin High School cheerleaders’ upcoming trip to Florida.

UPDATE: The cheerleaders’ fundraiser at Appleby’s has been changed to 8-10 a.m. Feb. 2.

The Franklin High School cheerleaders won’t be getting any official help from the Board of Education in their effort to raise money to attend a national championship in Florida next month.

The squad needs to raise about $12,000 in two weeks.

So, the squad has to focus on three upcoming fundraisers to get the money it needs.

Addressing the issue during his regular report at the Jan. 23 school board meeting, Schools Superintendent Edward Seto told a small contingent of cheerleaders and their parents that the district cannot pay for the squad’s trip.

The district is not allowed to pay for non-academic functions such as the competition, he said.

The cheerleaders in November won the Large Varsity Non-Tumble Division at the Universal Cheering Association’ regional competition in Toms River.

That gave them the right to compete in the UCA’s High School National Championships, set for Feb. 7 to 9, 2014 at Walt Disney World’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Center in Florida.

This is the first time in the school’s history that its cheerleading squad has qualified to compete in a national championship tournament.

The board was asked at its last meeting if it could fund the trip, and somehow the impression was given that the board would do so, Seto said after the meeting.

“There was unclear communication,” Seto said.

“The bottom line is, non-academic events are not funded by the district,” he said.

Caylia Wallace, a senior and squad member, asked the board members for their individual help.

“There are girls on the team who really want to go, but need financial help,” she said.

Barbara Palmer, a mother of one of the squad members, asked the board to clarify the funding process for next year, “because I know they are going to place again.”

“We’re so proud of you and your accomplishments,” board president Julia Presley told the cheerleaders. “We are looking forward to you going to Florida and bringing home that trophy.”

The cheerleaders need to raise $12,000 in two weeks, said their coach, Katie Van Why. Helping in that effort are three upcoming events: A “Dining to Donate” event from 4-10 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Stage House Tavern on Amwell Road, a pancake breakfast benefit from 8-10 a.m. Feb. 2 at Applebee’s in Piscataway, and a grocery bagging fundraiser at the Stop & Shop in Rutgers Plaza, Easton Avenue, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Feb. 2.

The team also has a campaign at GoFundMe.com.

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