CHEERLEADING: Tea parties a unique FUN-raiser for GNTC Cheer Cats

The Georgia Northwestern Cheer Cats hosted several young princesses at the Rossville Athletic Center on Saturday in princess-themed tea parties. The tea parties served as a fund-raiser for the Cheer Cats for the upcoming season. / Scott Herpst

Fund-raisers are the lifeblood of just about any type of athletic team, no matter what level they are on.

There have been car washes and bake sales as long has there have been organized sports. Parents and coaches have pestered friends, family, co-workers and even total strangers to buy anything from treats like candy and cookie dough to household goods like laundry detergent and mattresses.

Some teams have even taken to setting up shop outside of department stores or standing at busy intersections armed with buckets and smiles and simply asking folks for money to fund new uniforms or travel expenses for tournaments.

But the Cheer Cats of Georgia Northwestern recently hit on an idea that’s rather unique in the world of raising money.

Just call it a FUN-raiser.

The cheerleading squad hosted groups of young girls at the Rossville Athletic Center this past Saturday for Disney Princess-themed “tea parties” in which the guests of honor and the cheerleaders themselves all dressed as their favorite characters.

“I guess it was my idea, but (assistant) Coach (Kristi) Thomas is the one with all the expertise,” said Cheer Cat head coach Karen Stoker (A.K.A. The Fairy Godmother), sporting her magic wand. "We got together and planned it all.”

Thomas portrayed Queen Elsa, while her sister, Rachel, played the part of Anna. The two have brought the main characters from the movie “Frozen” to life several times in the past, but this time they had help from the Cheer Cat squad, who brought favorites, such as Rapunzel, Pocahontas, Belle, Tiana, Snow White, Moana and others, to life, much to the delight of the youngsters in attendance.

The Rossville Athletic Center was transformed into a princess castle, complete with a banquet room and ball room as guests danced, sang and ate, while making memories with their “real-life” heroines.

The tea party menu even included Disney-themed snacks, like Alice’s Ham and Cheese Tea Sandwiches, Ratatouille’s Cheese Cubes, Rafiki’s Fruit Blessings, Olaf Noses (carrots) and Aurora’s Cupcakes, washed down with Fairy Fizzy Punch.

“We had story time, took pictures, played Pin the Nose on Olaf, painted fingernails and decorated treat cups for them to take home,” Stoker added. “Our (cheerleaders) came out on Friday and decorated. They did all of it themselves. We had 15 kids in the biggest of our three sessions and it was just a great time.”