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Posted: October 2, 2009 12:30 a.m.

Cheer heroes

EHS varsity football cheerleaders raise money for breast cancer research

Brittany Thomas/

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's: The varsity cheerleaders at Eastside are adorned with pink capes and are doing everything they can to fight an insidious foe, breast cancer.

By day they are simple students but on Oct. 7 the Eastside High School varsity football cheerleaders will don their pink capes and become super heroes for breast cancer awareness.

The girls will be putting on a fashion show aptly called "Pretty in Pink" to raise money for breast cancer, the girls’ 2009 philanthropy project. The intermission performance will be given by DeMontè Polen and The Resurrection Dance Ministry of Springfield Baptist Church.

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women next to non-melanoma skin cancer, according to statistics from the Centers of Disease Control. It is the number one cause of cancer death in Hispanic women and the second most common in white, black, Asian/Pacific Islander and American Indian/Alaska native women.

According to the American Cancer Society, in 2009 713,220 women have been diagnosed with cancer and 27 percent of those have been diagnosed with breast cancer. In an estimate of 2009 cancer related deaths statistics show that of 269,800 women, 15 percent will die from breast cancer.

The EHS cheerleaders decided during Superhero Day at cheerleading camp over the summer that they would be breast cancer fighting heroes. The squad wore pink capes to symbolize breast cancer awareness.

"The survivors, victims, doctors and researchers are all major heroes in our eyes," explained Coach Cricket Butler.

During the fashion show, which will be held at 7 p.m. on Oct. 7 at the EHS auditorium, the cheerleaders will be modeling three outfits: one casual, one formal and one pink that will represent breast cancer awareness. Additionally, on Oct. 9 at the football game against Hart County (which has been designated the "Cheer for a Cure" game), cheerleaders will be collecting donations from the fans. They will also be selling a variety of items, including programs, and the proceeds from those will go to breast cancer research as well.

All of the money raised from the fashion show (admission is $3 for students and $5 for adults) and from the football game will travel with the girls to Athens on Oct. 17 when the squad will participate in the breast cancer walk and be donated there.

"Cheering through the breast cancer awareness month of October, it was decided to have an outreach benefit project for us to work on as a squad" said Butler. "We find fundraising an easy and effective way to make it possible to help others. Breast cancer has a serious impact on many people and we’re happy to give back as leaders of our school and community."

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