Cheering for a Cause

Cheerleaders pose with socks
The varsity cheerleaders have become the cheering section for an important cause that has hit them personally. The team worked together to raise awareness for childhood cancer during September, in support of their teammate Gianna LoRusso and her sister Sabrina who lost their 12-year-old sister, Olivia, to leukemia in 2017. 

For the entire month of September, which is designated Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, the team wore black socks with large gold ribbons, the color that represents childhood cancer. Additionally, the girls placed gold ribbons throughout town to raise awareness. The socks came from the Olivia Hope Foundation, an organization started by the LoRusso family to raise awareness and funds to find a cure for childhood cancers.

Gianna, a junior at Locust Valley High School, said that it means a lot to her that her team recognized the importance of spreading awareness. “This is happening and it’s a big deal,” she said of childhood cancers. “It was Olivia’s hope that other children wouldn’t have to suffer, and we are going to help make her wish come true.” Gianna said that raising awareness is important because people don’t realize how many children are diagnosed with cancer. 

Gianna attended the high school’s grade-level assemblies at the start of the school year to discuss this topic and share with her peers ways in which they could help. 

Varsity cheerleading coach Carole Hellyer said she was proud of the team for taking on such an important cause and for recognizing that one of their teammates needed support.