Cody Blanton may not consider herself athletic, but she sure is peppy and loves being the center of attention.
â€œI like to be on stage,â€ said the Lincolnton High School junior. â€œI like to entertain.â€
Itâ€™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.
â€œWe just donâ€™t have that kind of money to spend,â€ 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.
â€œPeople tell me they really enjoy watching her cheer,â€ Ann Blanton, Codyâ€™s grandmother, said. â€œIt makes my head big. It makes me very, very proud.â€
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 didnâ€™t seem logical in this case.
â€œSince Iâ€™m the only one going, thatâ€™s kind of pointless,â€ Cody said. â€œI could see me out there washing a bunch of cars.â€
She has until the start of April to pay off the cost. If she succeeds sheâ€™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, sheâ€™ll stick with cheering. Along with dancing, itâ€™s her passion, even if it occasionally results in a nasty fall.
â€œWe try new things all the time so a lot of the girls get hurt, but they get back up,â€ Cody said.
Her grandmother loves to watch the daring stunts. They make her a little nervous, but by now sheâ€™s used to it.
â€œSometimes I think â€˜Oops, sheâ€™s going to hit the rafters,â€™â€ Ann said.
by Sarah Grano