‘What we had to do’
Davy coaches cheering for the Beverly Gladiators of the Northeastern Conference Youth Football League; that’s how she met Riley and her older sister Meghan, cheerleaders for the Beverly Titans (grades 1 and 2), football team. The Titans raised close to $18,000 for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and that’s where Davy got an idea: she could do something similar in her high school cheering competitions as a way to introduce the Riley Rocks campaign and raise money for it.
The first one was held at the Beverly Invitational back on Oct. 20. “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,” said Davy. Hoping to raise $500 that day, they ended up gathering over $700.
“After our competition, Riley told her mom she can’t wait to be a Beverly varsity cheerleader. That made me feel so good,” said Davy. “She’s six and changes my perspective on things with how amazing she is.”
Word started to spread from that point on. Other schools contacted Davy to see how they could also hold fundraisers at their own cheering invitationals. Ipswich High donated $2,000 from its ‘Cheer for a Cure’ competition; Marblehead and Lynnfield both held bake sales during their football games to raise money; and other area high schools such as Danvers, Hamilton-Wenham and Masconomet also donated money to Riley Rocks, totalling $11,000.
“There was a dad from Masconomet who won the 50/50 from our Invitational and donated it back,” said Davy. “Then at the Masconomet Invitational, he won the 50/50 again — and donated it back to Riley Rocks again.”
Each year, Marescalchi has a group of her students do a community service campaign called ‘BHS DECA Cares.’ It’s how Davy, Morency and Kozlowski began their project on Riley.