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Coach raises money for special needs cheer squad for nationals

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A special needs cheerleading squad is looking for help to get to their national competition next month.

The Whitley County Dazzlers plan to attend the competition April 21 in Orlando, Florida.

“I’m so excited because I get to go swimming,” Samantha Ball said.

“I’m really excited to go to Florida because I’ve never been there,” Carry Boggs said.

The group started seven years ago in Whitley County but grew to have members from all over northeast Indiana. Their abilities range and so do their ages — from 6 to 24 years old. This trip will mean a lot of quality time together.

“That’s probably the best part, spending so much time with the team, because we’re all so close like a family,” Alisha Kimmel said.

And they get to showcase all of their hard work. “I think it’d be really fun because it’s just a chance where we can show off our talents,” Samara Pfeiffer said.

The coach got the team a grant to help with some of the cost, but it will be costly to cover the trip for all the members. So she’s trying to take away some of the stress.

“Families with special needs children, a lot of time, don’t get to go on vacation, so I try to make sure I can cover their hotel cost,” Vanessa Bills said.

Bills and everyone else involved work with the group as volunteers, so donations will go toward to hotel and travel costs.

The teammates’s chief concerns are experiencing Florida and competing together.

“I think it’d be really fun to be with the squad and hang out with them,” Jyl Riemersma said

“I have two things. One: I want to find a shark tooth. Two: I want to win the competition,” Aidan Tucker said.

Click here if you want to help the Dazzlers get to Florida.