City Council recognizes nationally honored Oak Lane Youth Association cheerleading teams

Ninth District City Councilwoman Marian Tasco honored the Oak Lane Youth Association at Thursday’s meeting for “their outstanding achievements in the 2012 Pop Warner Super Bowl and National Cheer and Dance Championships (PDF).

In December, four dance teams with the West Oak Lane-based community group placed in the national competitions held at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla.

Two of those teams — the Pee Wee and junior-midget squads — took top honors while the midget team placed second and the junior pee wees came in fifth.

Tasco’s resolution was presented to several team members and coaches at the first Council meeting of the year.

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It noted that the teams “completed their quest and vision to be the best. … We congratulate the entire Oak Lane Youth Association on these impressive accomplishments and for serving as outstanding ambassadors for the City of Philadelphia and being a source of pride for all of its citizens.”

She noted to a packed council chambers that the West Oak Lane-based organization helps youths between the ages of 5 and 16 in Northwest Philadelphia “avoid negative behaviors by offering effective alternatives to drugs, violence and crime.”

Dawn Heath Gardner, of the OLYA, said they would not have been able to take 60 youths to Florida if not for the support of the community, particularly from a fundraising perspective. She also noted that girls on the team are committed to excelling in the classroom as well.

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