Thanks to last-minute donations, all of Polytechnic High School’s cheerleaders can perform in this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
“I’m speechless,” said their coach, Rayneta Dotson. “I don’t know what to say.”
The school district announced the good news Thursday afternoon via a press release: “Earlier today it had been announced that only seven seniors from the group would attend because students and supporters had raised only about half of the funds required. But, after this news was publicized, an additional $20,000 poured in.”
The squad is made up of 14 cheerleaders, two managers and two mascots. All 14 cheerleaders plan to travel to New York City, she said. The cheerleaders were in class when the district announced the news, so Dotson planned to let them know the good news after school.
Poly alumni and local businesses pledged support, as did a few contributors who wished to remain anonymous, Dotson said. The team began raising funds for the trip during the summer. Their original fundraising goal was $37,000, but earlier in the week it looked like they were about $17,000 short, so they had planned to send only the seven seniors on the cheer squad to New York.
Poly’s fundraising efforts included a crowdfunding site, which as of Thursday afternoon had collected $9,450.
“It brought us to the finishing point,” Dotson said, adding that donations were still coming in Thursday afternoon.