Suburban cheerleaders at risk of competing for national glory - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Suburban cheerleaders at risk of competing for national glory

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A cheer squad ranked third in the nation is in need of some school spirit.

The tough economic times have put the suburban cheerleaders at risk of competing for national glory.

The Lady Lightning of Calumet City want to attend a national cheerleading championship in Florida but they're thousands of dollars short.

Part of the challenge? Some of the girls' parents lost their jobs this past year but the team refuses to leave anyone behind.

"Hi, hi. We are Lady Lightning from Calumet City Chargers. Who are we? Lady lightning. Who are we? Lady Lightning."

And they are on a mission to raise nearly $6,000 in two weeks.

"We need a lot and we're trying our best to get there. We are so excited, we would love to go there, we're trying to claim our title," said Kayla Broady.

The 14-year-old captain of the Lady Lightning cheerleading squad from Calumet City will lead the team in its title defense in Tampa, Florida.

"Last year it was really fun, we came in third place ranked out of the whole midwest. Cheerleading is a sport. It's more dangerous than football. Cheerleading is everything to us - we love cheerleading," Broady said.

"Our girls have the heart of a village and they will not compete if all of their squad mates cannot attend. We've cut down our rooms, we're staying all together and it's a lot and we've raised a lot of money we will lose on deposits and travel if we don't obtain the rest of the money," said Cheer Director Monet Forte-Wilson.

The young ladies are part of the United Youth Football and Cheer League.

Their proud parents stood by watching them prepare for the big day.

"It takes ten to fifteen thousand to take one squad because we're there for a week in Tampa and we are short exactly $5,760," said Forte-Wilson.

"Some girls can't pay but nobody is left behind, nobody, we're not leaving anybody behind," said Destiny Williams.

They've launched an aggressive campaign on their Facebook page and their website.

"Visit our website at www.calumetcitychargers.com, thank you, woo."

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