Final Finalist Is Majorly Certifiably Cheermad!

Discussion in 'Cheer News' started by Lisa Welsh, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. Lisa Welsh

    Lisa Welsh Guest

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    By Lisa D. Welsh
    Shaeli and her Certifiably CHEERMaD Major Benjamin Smith at last weekend's competition.
    It’s been a joy and an honor to read all of the 1,000+ submissions for this season’s Certifiably CHEERMaD. Our sixth finalist is a mini-Level 2 athlete, Shaeli, 7, from Gulf Breeze Rage Allstars.
    [​IMG]Admittedly, Shaeli received some help from her mother Cassie who typed the submission, but as a former 7-year old who wrote extensively myself, I am confident of Shaeli’s entry’s authenticity.
    As a finalist, Shaeli has won a complete set of The CHEERMaD Collection jewelry; necklace, bracelet and earrings; a CHEERMaD tote and T-shirt. She is now eligible for the First Prize of one of three $250 Travel Vouchers; if chosen as one of the three First Prize winners, Shaeli is eligible for the Grand Prize of The Cheer Cruise and Beach Camp.
    As a host of the Cheer Parents Party from 8 to 11 p.m. April 27 at the conclusion of The Cheer and Dance Expo held at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, CHEERMaD will announce the Certifiably CHEERMaD contest’s Grand Prize winner. Read all six finalists Certifiably CHEERMaD contest submissions on CONTESTS page.
    Major Smith's tuck during his Parent Team performance last weekend.
    Shaeli’s winning entry is about her father Major Benjamin Smith of the 451st Air Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron who is returning tomorrow morning to his tour in Afghanistan. When CHEERMaD learned that he had been home to visit, we asked Shaeli to update her entry which she sent last Thursday:
    Right now it is March and my gym is getting ready for a really big competition. Especially my Dad. He came home for a 15 day vacation from Afghanistan. This time he traveled around the world to see my LAST competition before US Finals. The thing that makes this competition better than the first one is that my CheerMaD Dad is also going to compete!
    The Certifiably CHEERMaD Major is in center position of Rage's Parent Team last weekend.
    He didn’t know it, but we signed him up secretly to be on the Parent Exhibition Team.
    He was only able to go to two practices, but he learned the routine and is going to cheer this Saturday.
    This makes me feel very, very very proud and excited!
    Her original submission:
    Shaeli at her first competition last fall.
    My Dad was Certifiably CHEERMaD when he traveled over 7,000 miles to cheer for me at my first competition this season!
    My name is Shaeli and I am 7 years old. I cheer for Gulf Breeze Rage in Gulf Breeze, FL. I cheer on the Mini Level 2 team. I want to tell you why my Dad deserves to win this prize.
    My Dad is in the Air Force and had to leave for Afghanistan last summer. He will be gone for a whole year.
    He had to leave a couple of weeks after we moved, so it was hard not having him around to see me do well at my cheer practices and land my back handspring for the first time. My Dad used to be a gymnast and would spend a lot of time helping me with my tumbling lessons.
    I cried a lot when he first left but he calls me on the phone and sometimes we get to skype. He always knows what to say to make me feel better. He even gives me advice and help from so far away.
    [​IMG]Then November came and my gym was getting ready and practicing real hard for our first cheer competition of the season. I told my mom EVERY day how much I wished for my Dad to be able to go to my first competition. He has NEVER missed any of my cheer competitions or special events. NEVER EVER!
    My Mom had to remind me all the time how my Dad was doing his job helping other people and that there were many people counting on him. But still, my #1 wish was for him to see me compete.
    [​IMG]The Thursday before my first competition I went to school and I thought it was going to be like any other day. My mom came to my class to volunteer and listen to me read a poem that I wrote about my Dad. I read the poem to my class…
    I can brush my teeth
    I can do the dishes
    But I can’t stop wishing these wishes
    You are the best
    Come and rest
    From Afghanistan
    I will bring you a fan
    I know it’s hot
    But I love you a lot
    Then I heard a voice from the back of the room say, “Speak up, I can’t hear you!” IT WAS MY CHEERMaD DAD!
    I was so surprised and thrilled that I wanted to do 5,000 back handsprings but instead I just fell on the floor. Then I stood up and gave my Dad a super big hug. I cried a lot but this time it was because I was so happy.
    My Dad traveled over 7,000 miles for three days to come home for a short surprise visit just in time to see my first cheer competition. He comes home finally for good in June and I can’t wait! My CHEERMaD Dad is my HERO and deserves to win a vacation.
    Shaeli Rose McCroskey