Since at least the 1860s, cheerleaders have rallied for the home team in spectator sports, stirring fans to a shared fever pitch of spirit, excitement, and joy. For Lake Oconee Academy graduate cheerleaders Madison Cantrell and Olivia Lee, along with rising seniors Ella Darby and Katie Ciavola, sharing their love of cheering with younger girls was a mission they readily accepted.
In 2018, after learning that the Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club serving Greene County, Georgia welcomed additional after school programs for children, Cantrell knew she and her friends could make a difference by teaching young girls athletic discipline and teamwork. “I shared the idea of starting a cheer program with my teammates,” Cantrell recalls. “They loved the idea. We each contributed $10 to purchase a workout mat to use during the weekly program.”
“For the first few months, we used that mat to train girls aged 5-12,” she said. “The mat could hold about eight girls on it, and we had 15 enrolled in the class. We had a good problem! God blessed us with the right group of girls to kick off our program. Each week they come in ready to learn something new.”
Stacy McClendon, Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club director, shares his appreciation. “The cheerleading program has made a tremendous impact on our Club members that are involved.” McClendon praises these teen leaders. “They have inspired the Club members in many ways such as the skills set in cheerleading to a possible career path for them. They have gone above and beyond to serve our youth by finding creative ways and ideas to reach them and their potential.”
The Flip Out for Shades Raffle enabled future growth for the Club’s cheer program. “Our youth are obtaining a unique opportunity to be taught by some very energetic and skillful young ladies that have participated in numerous competitive championships at their school,” McClendon says. “Because of this, they have a wealth of knowledge to pass on to the next generation.”
The Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club
The Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club was formed in June 2011. The Club works hand-in-hand with the Greene County School System to touch the lives of every child in our community while making our club a safe place to learn and grow during non-school hours. Our club will continue to succeed because of our name sake, Pete Nance, whose family has started an endowment fund to ensure our financial future. The kids of Greene County, Georgia will be the beneficiaries of this club by learning to respect others and to excel in school, leading to life as successful adults.
“I became very passionately involved with the Club because I saw a great need for our youth to have strong leadership and direction. I also realize that God gave me a talent to help bring people together with my communication skills and desire to see our youth pursue greatness and capture their dreams and goals,” McClendon says. “I have a vision to cultivate and motivate to a higher purpose and fulfill their wishes for a great future. This work impacts me in ways that are hard to express but it drives me to optimistically work every day to inspire others.”
2019 PNBGC Youth Outcome Report
As COVID-19 continues to affect communities across the world, the Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club offers an array of virtual programming and other opportunities to continue serving youth and families.
Learn more about the annual impact of the Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club. Make your own impact today by becoming involved as a donor of volunteer. Though the Flip Out for Shades Fun Raiser may have ended, you can donate to the Cheer Program year round.