Generations of local cheerleaders cheer for a cure

For years, the Wissahickon Braves cheerleaders have cheered, flipped and chanted in support of sports teams on Arrow Field in Roxborough. 

This weekend, they took to the field for a different cause. 

In light of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, alumnae cheerleaders made the Wissahickon Braves’ victories on the gridiron even more special by participating in the day-long “Cheer for a Cure” fundraising event on Saturday. 

Alumnae cheerleaders spanning four decades joined “minis’ as young as 3-years-old in a choreographed performance at mid-field. The group, which included cheerleaders from the early 1970s, performed a series of stunts and pyramids for a good cause. 

Sporting pink pom-poms, the group smiled while cheering for the supportive fans on the sideline. Among the crowd were breast cancer survivors and Braves moms Eileen Davies and Rita White.

Jessica Markey and her daughter, Aly, cheered in support of Aly’s grandmother, Karen Markey, who died of ovarian cancer at 54-years-old.

Also participating in the event was Wissahickon Athletic Association President Debbie Gratzinger-Martelon who, at age 44, thrilled the crowd with a series of somersaults. Her brother, Joe Gratzinger Jr., is past president and coach of the undefeated Braves team. 

Players from all five Braves teams, some from Roxborough and East Falls, wore pink bands around their thigh pads to raise awareness for breast cancer. 

Profits from pink ribbon, cookie and t-shirt sales raised more than $500 for breast cancer research.  

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.