USA & Canada
Month 3 & 4. December 2010-January 2011. In Support of Midwest Cheer Elite.
"Times like these we can't replace, it's times like these we must embrace. Even though it's bittersweet and brings us to our knees, it makes us who we are, in times like these."-Kid Rock
The Morris and Blair families still need our help and prayers! Donations to support the families may be made at any 5/3 Bank. We recently auctioned a special edition Midwest Cheer Elite tribute quilt made from gym shirts donated by Cheer Extreme, Cheer Fusion Elite, East Coast Nitros, Gems Cheer Stars, High Voltage, Midwest Cheer Elite, Palm Beach Lightning, PLRYO, Titan Elite and Top Gun. This amazing quilt was handcrafted with love by Bobbi of T-Shirt Quilts and Crafty Creations by Barbara Jean. Special thanks to Just Cheer Bows for their assistance.
Special thanks to everyone that participated in our "not so silent" eBay auctions!
Thanks to the wonderful vendors and professionals who donated products and services.
· Australian Cheerleader Magazine
· Cheer Soxx
· College Cheer Guide
· Confident Cheerleading Center
· Crystal Couture
· Fancy Face Cosmetics
· Maddie Gardner, CEA
· Nfinity Shoes
· Nicole Khayat, Mrs. Illinois
· Pickles & Popcorn
· Platinum Cheer Gear
· Renee Andrews (Author Kelley, ACE)
· Royalty Bows
· Spirit Cheer
· Spiritville USA
· The Bling Guy
· The Sticker Shop
· TWIST: Canada's Cheerleading Magazine
Two of many videos on YouTube, the first is a personal message from Tanya Roesel, owner of Midwest Cheer Elite. The second is from within the MCE family. It's description states "This is video for all those involved in and affected by the Midwest Cheer Elite tragedy. Our prayers are with you."
Rayna Marques, of Canada's Cheersport Sharks and a Cheer for a Cause junior advisory board member, teamed up with Whitney Love of Kentucky Allstars to reach out to athletes to help the families of Midwest.
As reported by Cheer CINCY on November 21st, On Nov. 13, Lori Morris was driving two of her daughters, a friend, and her friend’s daughter, to compete with Midwest Cheer Elite at an Americheer competition in Columbus.
Near the Wards Corner exit of I-275, their van was struck head-on by another vehicle driving the wrong way on the highway. Morris was killed, and the rest of the passengers were hospitalized. Kenzy Blair, the 14-year-old daughter of Morris’ friend, remains in critical condition, although the most recent news is that she is expected to recover from her extensive injuries.
The all-star cheerleading community nationwide has rallied to support the families and the gym. “We’ve had so many gyms around the state — many states — call and ask what they can do. It really has been out of this world,” said Midwest Cheer Elite front desk manager Joyce Lee. Read the rest of Cheer CINCY's touching article.
December 27 updates:
Mitzi Garner Fox, a close gym friend of the Morris and Blair families, shared this heartfelt message.
"Ever since that tragic day on November 13 when we lost our dear friend, Lori Morris, my friends and I have commented so many times how Lori would just be thrilled with everything that has and is being done for her family! If this had happened to someone else Lori would be buying and doing anything and everything! She soooo loved cheering her own daughters and all of ours as well! She had a true cheerleader spirit!
We all love our Midwest Cheer gym and she was supportive of everyone and would send us text messages if she happened to be at the gym and we missed something great that our girls just did! The kids all loved her too! She wasn't just Brooke and Sarah's mom! I have thought of her soooo much over the Holidays and the struggle that her 4 kids and her husband endure every day. She was their rock and the glue that held them together. I can't say enough how much this family continues to need help and prayers!
Please let everyone know how much these efforts and prayers mean to not just the Morris and Blair families, but also to the Midwest Cheer Elite family as well. By the way, Brooke and Sarah are doing incredibly well physically, but still have a long road to complete recovery. Cindy and Kenzy Blair are also doing incredibly well. They, too, have a long journey ahead of them. The doctors and nurses call Kenzy, The Miracle Child, since at the scene the first responders didn't even get her out of the car because they thought she was gone! Again, everyone's love and support have meant sooo much!
May God bless each and everyone!"
Mike Stamper, the fiance of Cindy Blair and soon-to-be step dad of Kenzy, shared a very personal update and thank you with Cheer for a Cause.
"May I begin and say Thank You for all your prayers and helping us during this time of need. This has been a trying time, but Cindy and Kenzy are troopers. They have the true heart of an athlete, the training to keep pushing till you get it right and never quit – has driven them down the road to recovery. They have a positive attitude and a ‘can do’ way of looking at every phase of their recovery.
I have watched God’s Hand in this. The amount of prayers than have been said in honor of them have been many. So many. I have true faith that they have pushed them down that road of recovery. God is in their heart and they have faith He will bring them back to 100%.
The help you have given us and will give to others will Bless you more than you will ever know at first. But God will Bless your organization and the good works that will spring from your efforts will Bless many. This will also speak into the young lives in which you touch and into the hearts of the young lives that reach out to others through you.
After that day in November, that Saturday morning, I felt I would never see another Christmas with my girls. And now today I can say Thank You to God for being blessed with a present such as this! They are alive! They are making remarkable strides in recovery. Yet they are still in great pain. They are now brace, crutch, cast, collar and wheelchair free. They are standing. They have been Christmas shopping and they have experienced the love of God that all of the world has placed in their lives.
I thank you, God Bless."
Both families have facebook pages, where you may share messages and pictures and find updates. The Lori Morris Memorial Page (Lori is pictured above) says "Lori Buford Morris was an amazing wife, mother and friend. She was loved & admired by many. Her amazing spirit and zest for life is an inspiration to us all. We join together in memorial of this incredible woman & in support of the Morris Family." And The Blair Family Support Page "... is dedicated to the Blair Family. Cindy and Kenzie were injured in an automobile accident on Saturday morning."
Through this tragedy, a spirit of unity has come from the Cheer and Dance World like never before! A facebook event organized by Ashley Kotlenz and Keri-Leigh Russell, had over 7400 athletes, family and friends from across the country and around the world united by Wearing Blue to Support Midwest Cheer Elite on November 17th. Many shared pictures and video messages on the page! Countless facebook profile pictures changed and still wear blue ribbons. Everyone who had ever driven a van load of athletes to a competition or rode along with friends could relate to the sad accident of November 13th. Our hearts will forever wear blue in support of our Midwest Cheer Elite family.
Jim Lord, Executive Director of AACCA said it well in his facebook post, "A tragedy like this can happen to any of us at any time. Today we are all Midwest Elite. May God hold you in His hands during this difficult time."
Support has come from the heart of our industry, from the smallest to the largest, countless vendors produced and donated funds by selling tribute bows and shirts. Varsity All Star joined the cause through their HUGS for Midwest Cheer Elite campaign! Through the generosity of Varsity and the unity of support from each of you HUGS raised $36,475.23 to help the families of Midwest Cheer Elite!!!