Rhea Jaynes, 11, enters Tucumcari Middle School this year where she has already won a spot on the cheerleading squad. Jaynes recently was named to the Universal Cheerleaders Association’s New Mexico middle school all-star cheerleading team and will march in Houston’s Thanksgiving Day parade.
“I had to compete against 15 other cheerleaders to make the five-member all-star team,“ said Jaynes. “I now have to raise $2,000 for my airplane ticket, hotel room and expenses in Houston over Thanksgiving Day weekend.”
As of Tuesday, Jaynes had raised only $30 for her trip and a chance to march before thousands in Houston. She said she is busy with fundraising. “I will be in the Shipley Systems parking lot Saturday (today) selling donuts. I hope to raise about $300 by selling donuts,” said Jaynes. “Also my mom and I have sent letters to a lot of Tucumcari companies and businesses asking for their support. I haven’t heard back from any, but I think my mom has talked to some of them by phone.”
Jaynes also said that raffle tickets are available at Shipley Systems. “For one dollar people can buy a ticket for a chance to win a digital camera or a set of arts and crafts tools,” she said. “I’m hopeful I can raise the money. I’m supposed to be in Houston by Nov. 22. The cheerleaders will be visiting the Houston Space Center and the Houston Galleria mall also.”
Jaynes said she naturally took to cheerleading. “I’m not a sports kind of person, and I found that I was really good at cheerleading,” said Jaynes. “I’ve been cheerleading for the local pee-wee leagues.” Although Jaynes said she was not a competitive sports-minded person, she has learned a lot about sports. “To be a cheerleader you have to know things like when a team is on offense or on defense and other game situations in order to give the right cheer,” she said. “It’s always fun for the cheerleaders because even though our team might lose, cheerleaders never win or lose.”
Jaynes said she was hard-pressed to come up with a negative about cheerleading. “I guess that one negative could be that it can be physically exhausting, but I always get plenty of sleep.” Anyone wishing to donate to the cause may call Michelle Jaynes at Shipley Systems, 461-6448.