Cousino cheerleading gives back to homeless needy animals

By: Sue Teggart | Warren Weekly | Published January 13, 2011

 The Warren Cousino competitive cheer team shows its spirit while performing during the Dec. 18 Cheer for Charity event. The squad raised $3,000 in donations for the Michigan Humane Society.

The Warren Cousino competitive cheer team shows its spirit while performing during the Dec. 18 Cheer for Charity event. The squad raised $3,000 in donations for the Michigan Humane Society.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

The Warren Cousino competitive cheer team got into the spirit of giving this past holiday season by helping homeless pets and needy four-legged friends.

Through the Patriots’ second annual Cheer for Charity, an invitational held Dec. 18, cheerleaders from across metro Detroit got a chance support animals at the Michigan Humane Society.

The humanitarian effort raised an estimated $3,000 to benefit MHS through team entry fees, spectator admissions, T-shirt sales and a percentage of concessions.

The Patriots partnered with the Alphi Phi Omega fraternity from the University of Detroit Mercy in their effort to promote the rescue and care for animals.

Cousino coach Lisa Brown said it was a rewarding experience.

“It really just gives our kids the opportunity to give back to the community,” Brown said. “They work so hard throughout the year as athletes, but they tend to forget about their surroundings. So doing this event just keeps them in touch with that and is a great way for them to realize there is more to being just an athlete.”

“It was really good to actually put our talent and what we work for to a good cause,” senior Christina Busquaert said. “It was nice to do something that was local. It made all the effort worth it just doing that to help our own community.”

Brown said each year the team decides on a new charity to support.

“There are so many local charities that are in need,” Brown said. “I’m a nurse, so a lot of times we deal with the medical aspect, like cancer research. But I always say our four-legged friends are often forgotten about.”

Cousino welcomed six cheer teams from across metro Detroit — including Utica Eisenhower, Roseville High and Warren Mott — to compete.

Brown said the competitive side of the event was a great warm-up to the season and a way to bring teams together for a good cause.

“Everybody likes to warm-up and see who’s out there, so it was a full-on competition, but we tried to promote the fact that it was more of a casual atmosphere and about the spirit of the event,” Brown said.

Brown said in lieu of trophies, teams received handmade ornaments with a paw print that the Patriots created with the help of Brown’s pet dogs.

After this year’s success, Brown hopes the charity will grown and expand in future years.

“The more teams we have participating, the more money we can donate to the charity of choice,” Brown said. “I hope it does grow in the future to where we can involve middle school teams. The fact that we were able to give $3,000 with just 19 teams was gratifying.”