Number of Participants: 10
Hours Donated: 5
Value of Time Served: $423
Event Type: Children & Youth
Date: September 19, 2021
Patten Road, Westford
I’m very proud of the WA cheerleaders. Every season we include “giving back projects” to do as a team. For me, giving the athletes the opportunity to experience what it feels like to make a difference in the lives of others is one of the most important, and rewarding, parts of coaching! Sometimes, we raise money to donate. Other times, we donate our time. But at the end of the day, everyone is smiling and so fulfilled.
This past Sunday, the girls volunteered from 11-4 at a fundraiser at Good Pickin’ Farm in Westford. The purpose of the fundraiser was to raise a down payment for a new handicap van for Matt Davidopoulos. Matt is 12 years old, a student at Blanchard Middle School here in Westford, loves Boston sports, and has Spinal Muscular Atrophy which requires use of a power wheelchair. In turn, a specially adapted van is required to transport him and to allow him access to the community and enjoying things he loves.
Although this was not initially a planned event for us, when I brought it up to the team at a practice they immediately were eager to help. 10 of our 13 girls were available to attend. The largest draw of the event was the Cow Poop Palooza. The girls painted the faces of many children, sold raffle tickets, and even helped to chase down Colby – the giant Texas longhorn – when he escaped his pen!
I can’t say for sure what got the girls so excited to help with this fundraiser in particular, except that they truly felt they could help. I think that having experienced the happiness that comes from giving back (last season they raised nearly $1500 for American Foundation for Suicide Prevention!) definitely played a role. And of course, being a local family, and ultimately wanting Matt to be able to get out and enjoy his life to the fullest!
Next Saturday, the team is volunteering all day (8 am – 7 pm) at a fundraising event for a local police officer who just had a second double lung transplant due to cystic fibrosis. The event will be held at Cow Pond Fields in Groton, which is right on the Westford line. They will be running the kids area, which will have face painting, a bounce house, an obstacle course and many games. In addition, they are donating money they earned doing a car wash to the cause.
I honestly couldn’t be more proud of this team. We have taken to calling ourselves the WA Support Squad and look forward to continuing to make a difference in the lives of others for many years to come.