Recreation and Parks - May 22, 2014
The cheerleading squad for the Piedmont Plus Senior Games is proof that you’re never too old to cheer – and they’ll be proving it at the N.C. Senior Games later this year.
Called the Piedmont Cheering Hearts, the squad has 12 members age 69 to 85. Jane Bodenhamer organized it when she was looking over the application for the Piedmont Plus Senior Games during a lunch for seniors in March.
“I noticed the last category – Cheerleading,” Bodenhamer said. “I asked if there were any former cheerleaders, and several hands went up. Then I asked how many of them would like to be part of a squad to participate in the Piedmont Plus Senior Games. All the hands went up again.”
A month later, the Piedmont Cheering Hearts made their debut at the Piedmont Plus Senior Games Performing Arts presentation. “We loved the element of surprise when we told our families we were on a cheerleading squad,” Bodenhamer said. “What responses we received!”
That performance earned them a trip to the N.C. Senior Games, which will be held in Cary and Raleigh in late September.
Since then, the group has also performed at the opening ceremonies of the Piedmont Plus Senior Games and at the Stokes Family YMCA. Next week they will make three appearances, Monday at the meeting of Parkinson’s Forward (a support group for people with Parkinson’s Disease) at Horizons Park; Tuesday during Lunch in the Square at Winston-Square Park; and Saturday, May 31, at the Rural Hall 40th Anniversary Celebration.
“Our passion for entertaining our audiences has grown with each performance,” Bodenhamer said. “We tweak our cheers to fit the event, which makes it even more fun….The last two months has given us smiles, laughter, joy and a feeling of purpose.”