Marena Nelson, a junior and cheerleader at Elkin High School, was invited March 27 to attend a cheerleading invitational in Hawaii.
The CheerHawaii USA Invitational 2013 will be held from June 25 to July 2 on the island of O’ahu at the University of Hawaii’s campus.
Nelson was referred to the program by her varsity cheer coach at Elkin High, Kali Teague.
As part of the program, Nelson will work out at the university’s gym facilities and hear special speakers. In addition, she will canoe around at the Kailua Beach and visit the USS Arizona memorial.
Nelson will meet and train with college prep cheer coaches and stay in the college’s dorm. Dining is provided through the university’s cafeteria.
She will also learn what to expect from collegiate cheer tryouts and gain information about the scholarship opportunities she could pursue.
Now in her junior year, this would be Nelson’s last chance to attend the event as it is open only to sophomores and juniors.
While applicants usually have a year in advance to plan and raise the funds required for the trip – $2,500 – Nelson only had a few weeks of notice before her invitation was given.
Nelson’s mother has set up a GoFundMe account and it reportedly raising funds for her daughter’s trip. She is visiting local businesses to ask for donations toward Marena’s competition.
GoFundMe helps the public raise money by letting people donate to a cause via WePay accounts, similar to PayPal but unique to the website. Donors can then request a check or electronic money transfer when they reach their goal.
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