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Cheerleaders deliver holiday message to seniors

Cheerleaders at Beaty-Warren Middle School delivered some cheer to area senior living facilities.

It started when a friend of the team’s coach, Diane Johnson, told her she wouldn’t be able to bring her mother home for Christmas due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This made me sad as I know what it is like to have someone in a nursing home that can’t come home,” Johnson said. “I knew that I had to do something for these residents, I decided to reach out to my cheerleaders and their families to see if they wanted to help spread some Christmas cheer.”

She said the response was “overwhelming. Everyone wanted to help.”

As a result, the team purchased items and made gift bags.

Deliveries were then made to the Warren Manor and Watson home.

The significance of what they were doing wasn’t lost on the cheerleaders themselves.

“I feel that it is important to help those that cannot spend Christmas with their families,” Shaina Critzer said. “Delivering gifts to the elderly can really make their day… just knowing someone cares for them during these hard times.”

“It makes me feel good to give back to my community,” Sara Richard added. “My heart aches for these residents because they are unable to see or be with their families. My hope is that our gifts will lift their spirits and help make this holiday a little brighter.”

Kaylie Lauffenberger said her great-grandfather was in a nursing home last winter.

“I know how things like this meant a lot to him,” she said. “They need things to make them smile and lift their spirits when they can’t see their families.”

Katharine Smith added that she hopes the goodies “help them feel like they received a big hug in person.

“I am glad we were able to make holiday bags for the residents.”

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