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Cliffside Park HS Cheerleaders Rooting For Revenue

May Anthony and Chanel Castro solicit funds for their team at the high school. Photo Credit: Melissa Heule
Andrew Amigo drives by the car wash and gives a donation to the cheerleading team. Photo Credit: Melissa Heule

CLIFFSIDE PARK, NJ -- Cheerleaders for the Cliffside Park High School Raiders are doing their part to keep themselves as competitive as the teams they root for.

Half of each bill at Chipotle in Edgewater on Oct. 14 will go toward raising money for a choreographer, warmup suits, girls' jackets and other equipment for the squad.

This past Saturday, the cheerleaders and other volunteers were elbow deep in soap suds as they washed, hosed down and dried cars for cash by dancing to music that included OMI's "Cheerleader" outside the school.

"We're a very successful team," said Coach Cristina Lofaro, an alumnus who's been working with students for the past 14 years. "We go to major competitions and regularly receive high scores. We want to continue that tradition."

Stephanie Schmitt, who has been working with the cheerleaders the past five years, said the squad hopes to attract more boys, who often serve key support roles on the team as bases and assist with tosses, basket catches and other stunts.

"We have two guys now," Schmitt said, "but for competition season we're going to need six or seven to do well."

Borough resident Ahmet Donmez drove through the car wash with his daughter, Melissa, to support his other daughter Miray, a sophomore on the squad.

"She's the one into cheerleading. Me? Not so much," said Melissa.

"I don't need a car wash, but I donate because these kids work so hard," said Andrew Amigo, owner of Fast Healing in Fort Lee. "I work with young people that have a lot of medical issues, so I always like to give back."

"Last year we had someone put in $100," said Rafael Martori, a senior, one of two current male members on the team. "The girls want new shoes this year, so to look professional, we have to do this," he said.

"We're both freshman so we're very excited and we try to get people in here," said May Anthony holding signs and waving down cards on Palisade Avenue with Chanel Castro.

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