Gandule rice and chicken help get Menehune to cheer camp

KEKAHA — Several of the blue-shirted cheerleaders were on the side of the road fronting Syngenta Seeds, yesterday

“They sold a couple of plates,” said Harvette Acosta, one of the coaches for the Waimea High School cheer squad. “One person didn’t buy any plate lunches, but stopped to give a donation.”

The Waimea High School cheerleaders were beneficiaries of the proceed from a Syngenta Seeds’ chicken plate fundraiser. Employees of the seed company made the plates and sold them with the money going to a local community organization.

“We think we made about $600,” said Cynthia Owen, a Syngenta Seeds employee as well as one of two team mothers for the cheer squad. “Syngenta will match the amount, so it was a worthwhile effort.”

Earlier in the summer, Syngenta hosted a similar lunch which benefited the Westside Falcon soccer program on the eve of the team’s departure for an off-island tournament.

Similarly, the Waimea cheerleaders will be leaving for the All Attitude Athletic Cheer Camp which will be held at Moanalua High School from tomorrow through Monday.

The fundraiser was based on the success Syngenta Seeds enjoyed when it inaugurated the plate lunch special for the American Cancer Society’s “Relay for Life” earlier in the year. Following that successful venture, the Syngenta Seeds employees agreed to host other lunch sales to benefit West Kaua‘i organizations.

That resulted in the lunch for the Westside Falcons, another one from a National Truck Safety clinic followed by the one to benefit the Waimea cheer team.

Owen, who has been involved in each of the Syngenta lunches, said in addition to the chicken plate lunches, the cheerleaders extended the effort to include a gandule rice breakfast which only helped to sweeten the overall effort.

Funds from the Syngenta Seeds fundraiser will be used in part for this annual cheer camp as well as carried over to help the team at the Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation cheer competition on Oct. 18.

Waimea High School is the three-time defending KIF cheer champions and will be seeking its fourth consecutive title with three new members joining the squad this year, Acosta said.

Kawehi Ephan, Omi Gaspar and Aleina Emayo, honored by the Kaua‘i County Council as one of the all-American Pop Warner standouts in the spring, are the three new additions to the sqaud which is captained by Nelson Acosta, one of two male cheer members.

Donte Martin is the other male cheer member and is a co-captain of the team along with Cassandra Owen who started her Waimea cheer career as a freshman last year.

Additionally, Sunni Acosta and Nikki Ishibashi, both graduates of Waimea High School and former cheer squad members, will join head coach Roxanne Cardejon as student coaches this year.

Returning cheer members include Cassandra Owen, Rosie Palma, Tasha Okamoto, Noelani Works, Bronte Acosta, Kristen Garma and Seanne Andrade.

Team mothers are Cynthia Owen and Jane Garma.

Owen said the first time people of Kaua‘i can see the cheerleaders in action will be at the first Waimea High School pre-season home football game during the final week of August.

From there, the cheerleaders will be in action throughout the school year at the Waimea High School events.

“The program didn’t even stop when school finished,” Cassandra Owen said. “And now, it starts all over, again.”

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