Ride to Give - Cheer for the Ice Angels

Ride to Give - Cheer for the Ice Angels

From Sandra Ditto

A while back we were contacted by a mom of three special needs children who were all on a very special cheerleading team. She was looking for help sending them to the UCA International All Star Championship competitio...

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A while back we were contacted by a mom of three special needs children who were all on a very special cheerleading team. She was looking for help sending them to the UCA International All Star Championship competition in Orlando. She explained, "There are 15 awesome kids with differing diagnosises and abilities on this team. There are kids with service dogs, wheelchairs, feeding tubes, and other medical devices. The best part is that all are a part of the team and pushed to do their best."

As I read her words, it struck me that we are an ARMY, and I wondered aloud to Dave, “How about we try to send the whole team?” 

Gina Nicholas is the owner of Legion of Allstars gymnastic and cheer school in Griffin, Georgia.  From the beginning, Gina wanted to find a way to give back to her community and she has done so in a big way. Among her many students, 15 stand out as exceptional athletes not only for their dedication but for having overcome emotional and physical obstacles.  These 12 female and 3 male athletes aged 9 to early adulthood have all faced challenges ranging from developmental delays to cerebral palsy to Down’s syndrome and other chromosomal disorders.  

They are the amazing members of the Ice Angels Cheer Squad.

Gina formed the Ice Angels three and a half years ago. Her biggest goal for the team has been to provide these athletes and their families with a place of refuge. Gina has never charged these special needs families for their participation in the Ice Angels cheer program. She feels with all the financial responsibilities each family faces, there should be a place where their children can forget about their problems and simply enjoy life without adding stress to their family’s budget. Anything to do with this team is gifted directly to these athletes and families. From hoodies, T-shirts, shoes, etc. to tickets to local cheer events, Gina’s goal is to improve the quality of the lives of these children.

For the 2015-2016 season, the Ice Angels have been invited to attend this cheer competition in March in Orlando. Gina wants to provide each of the squad members with a new custom fit cheer uniform and a full scholarship. This is a daunting task when you think about the cost of all 15 squad members and their families making the trip. But Gina is passionate about the Ice Angels and so are we.

It would be a dream come true for these families to watch their athletes perform in Orlando. So much time, money, and effort is given by these parents simply maintaining their child’s health that most of them never get to enjoy the experiences the rest of us do. Because of medical expenses and therapies, finances are tight. Many squad members are in and out of hospitals every few weeks. This trip to Orlando would be the calumniation of months of hard work. Each member of the squad deserves the chance to perform for a wider audience, hear the roar of the crowd, and experience the pride that comes from participating in a real cheer competition.

Over the next six weeks we will be introducing you to this amazing group of young athletes, one every other day. Please make sure to check back to our page so you don’t miss a single one. Each has an incredible, inspiring story, and we hope you will be moved to donate toward helping us make the Ice Angels dream come true. - Kaete

Please follow the team’s progress on our page at Ride to Give, or at Ice Angels Dream on Facebook. 

Contributions are solicited with the understanding that the donee organization (Ride to Give) has complete discretion and control over the use of all donated funds. Questions about how your donation is used can be answered by clicking here.

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