The West Feliciana High School cheerleading and dance squads got together for a friendly powder puff flag football game on March 7, for the benefit of a charity that is helping one local family.
The score of the game, played between the blue team and the black team, wasn’t as important as the fact that it raised nearly $350 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.
The cheer and dance groups were evenly divided with football players volunteering as coaches: R.C. Carmenia and Chris Taylor for the black team and Ricky Chatman and Derrick Turner for the blue squad.
Travis Norsworthy, a kindergartner at Bains Lower Elementary School, was the guest of honor and tossed the coin before the game began. He is being treated at St. Jude for acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Travis was diagnosed Nov.8, and his parents, Jamey and Renee, have been taking him to Memphis and the hospital’s local affiliate in Baton Rouge for treatment.
Renee said they realized something was wrong with Travis when he had a low-grade fever that wouldn’t go away and he complained his abdomen hurt and he had trouble walking. When he was diagnosed, they were referred to St. Jude.
“To me, it (St. Jude) means lots of things: hope, love, family, friends, courage, bravery and sadness,” said Renee. “It’s a great place to be in a bad situation. St. Jude is a promise for a bright future.”
Travis’ regimen is three years of treatment, including chemotherapy, and when the family travels to Memphis, they stay at the Ronald McDonald House.
“I could never imagine going through something like this, but there is no better place to be,” said Renee.
Added Jamey “It’s hard for me to describe what it’s meant to us. If I could do anything for the hospital, I would.”
Anna Pate Garmon, one of the sponsors for the cheer and dance teams and a teacher at Bains Lower, said the event raised funds through ticket sales, T-shirt sales and concessions. The game was originally scheduled for the fall but was postponed due to bad weather.
“This event was organized by the dance and cheer teams but was open to other high school girls wanting to participate,” said Garmon. “They wanted to do something positive for charity and have fun, and I think we did that.”
To learn more about St. Jude, visit stjude.org.