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Cheerleader dreams of Hawaii

Cody Blanton may not consider herself athletic, but she sure is peppy and loves being the center of attention.
“I like to be on stage,” said the Lincolnton High School junior. “I like to entertain.”
It’s her showmanship and ability to do impressive jumps that earned Cody a spot at the CheerHawaii USA Invitational, a prestigious week-long camp for high school cheerleaders.
She was nominated to the invitation-only camp by her cheerleading coach. Since being accepted, the only problem is the nearly $3,000 fee.
“We just don’t have that kind of money to spend,” Cody said.
Despite this, Cody is dead set on going, and she has the full support of her grandmother, who raised her since the age of 4.
“People tell me they really enjoy watching her cheer,” Ann Blanton, Cody’s grandmother, said. “It makes my head big. It makes me very, very proud.”
The pair has been visiting area businesses asking for donations. Car washes may be a more traditional way for a cheerleader to raise money, but they didn’t seem logical in this case.
“Since I’m the only one going, that’s kind of pointless,” Cody said. “I could see me out there washing a bunch of cars.”
She has until the start of April to pay off the cost. If she succeeds she’ll have the opportunity to not only work on her cheering, but also visit popular tourist spots in Hawaii.
Whether she makes it to the camp or not, however, she’ll stick with cheering. Along with dancing, it’s her passion, even if it occasionally results in a nasty fall.
“We try new things all the time so a lot of the girls get hurt, but they get back up,” Cody said.
Her grandmother loves to watch the daring stunts. They make her a little nervous, but by now she’s used to it.
“Sometimes I think ‘Oops, she’s going to hit the rafters,’” Ann said.
by Sarah Grano

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