One 12-year-old Ossining cheerleader is so excited about her just-acquired National Championship jacket that she is practically sleeping in it, says her mom, Dori Acampora.
Francesca Acampora was one of sixteen girls from Westchester, Putnam and Fairfield counties who will be going to the Summit All-Star Cheerleading Championship in Orlando this spring.
Considered the “Super Bowl” of the cheer world, the event will be held at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Kristina Valente-Aiyegbo of Extreme Force Allstar Cheer, a Mahopac gym which has a cheerleading and tumbling program, said the Explosion team won the chance to compete at Summit after performing at a national competition in New Jersey.
This past weekend, the team won a First Place National Title in “Battle at the Capitol,” a cheer competition held in Washington D.C.
"It is the first time in X-Force cheerleading history that a team was invited to compete with other national champion teams at the Summit," said Acampora. “In the cheer world, even among first-place teams, the competition is fierce for a Summit bid.”
Other team members include: Mia Caldarella, Mahopac; Paige Cassidy, Mahopac; Jaime Foster, Mohegan Lake; Layla Holzer, Mohegan Lake; Rachel Lerman; Yorktown Heights; Kaitlyn Lopez, Yorktown; Isabel Mariella, Mahopac; Julia Martin, Yorktown Heights; Lucy Monness, Irvington; Jessica Pellegrino, Mahopac; Sofia Poandl, Putnam Valley; Isabella Russo, Danbury, Conn.; Meghan Stricker, Briarcliff; Daniella Verni, Yorktown; and Catherine Yost, Ossining.
The girls and their coaches worked “countless hours” in order to reach that goal, Acampora said.
“It’s something they will remember for the rest of their lives," Acampora said.
It costs about $1,000 per person to compete in the Florida event, which will take place Friday, May 5 through Sunday, May 7.
The Wild Card round will take place Friday. First- and second-place Wild Card teams will advance straight to Finals on Sunday and third-place Wild Card teams will move to Saturday competitions.
The team is now looking for sponsorships so all its members, regardless of their financial status, can take part in the contest.
On Feb. 18 from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., the team will be hosting a “Kids Night Out” at the gym, at 121 Stillwater Road, Unit 9. The fundraising event is aimed at children ages five and up.
The $25 admission will get them, and their parents, a movie, crafts, and games.
Business sponsorships are available starting from $25. As sponsors, businesses receive recognition and advertising. Individual donations are also being accepted.
For more information, contact the gym at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit its website at www.extremeforceallstars.com .