SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

March 14, 2014

Our view: Cheers and jeers

CHEERS to Beverly High School student-athletes Kendel Davy, Jack Morency and Joey Kozlowski for showing leadership on and off the field.

The trio — Davy is a junior cheerleader and hurdler, Morency plays football and hockey, and Kozlowski plays football and baseball — are part of Beverly’s DECA program. DECA (short for Distributive Education Clubs of America) is a business-oriented program that, its website says, “aims to prepare emerging leaders for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.”

The Beverly students wowed the crowd at the statewide DECA competition in Boston last weekend with a presentation on their Rock for Riley fundraising efforts.

Riley Fessenden is a first-grader at Ayers Ryal Side Elementary School. She was diagnosed with esthesioneuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer, last spring. Friends, neighbors and strangers have rallied to her side.

Davy met Riley through cheerleading — the younger girl cheers for the Beverly Titans (grades 1 and 2) football team. Davy figured she could use her high school cheerleading competitions to raise money for the Riley Rocks campaign, which helps offset the family’s medical bills.

At the Beverly Invitational last Oct. 20, Davy said, “I basically walked out and gave an announcement to the crowd that we were doing this, challenging coaches and other cheering captains to raise money for Riley’s family.”

That was more than $10,000 ago.

“It’s taken a over a large part of our lives,” Morency said. “It’s really been unexpected; not only have we been able to raise money and awareness for the family, but we’ve become very close with them, too.”

The judges last weekend were impressed, as well. The Beverly trio finished in first place in their division and will be headed to the national competition in Atlanta next month.

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