Girls helping themselves

Community can get involved too
By: Stephanie Dumm News Messenger Reporter
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Four Lincoln cheerleaders are learning the life lesson that, if you really want something, you?ve got to work hard to get it. Rylee Hofer, 11, Ariana Gonzales, 8, and sisters Alycia Morales, 11, and Alexis Nevarez, 6, are cheerleaders for Lincoln Junior Zebras Cheer and must raise $600 each by July 21 according to assistant cheer coordinator Kathryn Sanders. ?These girls stood out to me because they all have single moms, all have siblings and all want to do cheer so bad,? Sanders said. ?So their moms said, ?Alright, if you want to do it, you?ve got to raise the money.? They didn?t just say no, we can?t afford it but to look for other options.? The $600 per girl will cover new uniforms for this year, warm ups, practice gear, shoes and registration fees for the two competitions Lincoln Junior Zebras Cheer will participate in. ?This year, we are going to new uniforms, and because we?re going to brand new uniforms, everyone has to buy a new uniform,? Sanders said. ?All three moms were like, ?I will do anything. I don?t have the money but I?ll put the time and energy into it.?? The girls are raising the money by each selling 24 boxes containing 50 candy bars to meet their goal, Sanders said. ?Ariana started on April 18 selling candy. She sold all 24 boxes as of Monday, so in three weeks,? Sanders said. ?That is an accomplishment. She wanted something, and her mom said, ?You want it, you have to work for it.?? As of Friday, Rylee had sold 19 boxes of candy, and Alycia and Alexis each sold 11 boxes of candy. ?The people of Lincoln are so willing to help with any sport,? said Jamie Hofer, Rylee?s mother. The girls have a different tactic for selling the candy, according to their mothers. Elizabeth Morales, mother to Alycia and Alexis, said they?ve done door-to-door sales in Lincoln neighborhoods. Crystal Ruiz said she and Ariana sold at Little League baseball games, and Hofer said they?ve sold in front of Safeway, at Kim?s Country Kitchen?s Taco Tuesday and plan to sell during the upcoming downtown Farmer?s Market, which take place on Thursday evenings starting in June. ?We don?t go in each other?s territories,? Morales joked. All three mothers said they are proud of their daughters for stepping up to the challenge of raising money for cheer. ?I?ll be even more proud to see her up there cheering,? Hofer said. ?She just owns it and is a cheerleader at heart.? Ruiz was willing to provide transportation for Ariana to sell the candy. ?I told her, ?If you want to do it, you have to do the footwork,?? Ruiz said. ?It will teach her, if you want it, earn it. If you want something bad enough you?ll work to get it.? Hofer described Rylee as ?always being a go-getter,? and Morales said it taught her daughters ?you can?t just get money that easy.? ?I think it?s great,? Morales said. ?I?m glad they are doing it and not giving up. It?s teaching them to work for what they want and not give up.? Ariana said she plans to ?cheer for my brother,? who plays football. ?It was easy. It?s easy to ask people,? Ariana said when asked about selling 24 boxes of candy in three weeks. ?My mom, she just took me places and I would ask around.? Rylee said she is motivated to fundraise ?because I love cheer.? ?I?m cheering for something that I like,? Rylee said. Rylee said ?thank you? to her mom. ?She has helped me by driving me places and helping me sell them,? Rylee said. Alycia?s reason for selling candy was ?to cheer.? ?I like to be with friends and it keeps me busy,? Alycia said. ?It (selling candy) is worth it because it?s paying for me to do cheer.? Alycia also thanked her mom, saying she has ?encouraged and helped? her.