Three Cheers for WalkAbout!
WalkAbout is nearly here! Learn more about one of the many teams walking and rolling with us – Randy and the RIT Cheerleading Team.
RIT Assistant Coach Combines Camp, Cheerleading
to Help Kids and Adults of All Abilities
For the last two years, Randy Havens, a member of the Al Sigl Council, a YP group, has raised funds at the Al Sigl Community WalkAbout for Epilepsy-Pralid’s Camp EAGR, a week-long residential camp for young people who have epilepsy and their siblings. Randy, who attended the camp for years, now serves as a counselor. “Camp EAGR had a big impact on my life, even though I didn’t realize it at the time.” Randy says, “You get to see kids accomplish things they didn’t know they could do, like rock climbing, canoeing, archery, horseback riding, and more.”
Camp EAGR is one of dozens of programs and services that benefit from the Al Sigl Community WalkAbout, coming up Sunday, October 30th inside Eastview Mall. Funds raised at WalkAbout benefit Al Sigl’s Member Agencies: CP Rochester; Epilepsy-Pralid, Inc.; Medical Motor Service; National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Upstate New York Chapter; Rochester Hearing & Speech Center; and Rochester Rehabilitation.
Randy, who was one of the top individual fundraisers at last year’s WalkAbout, reached out to the usual list of family and friends for support. He also asked the cheerleading team that he helps coach if they wanted to get involved. “There’s a lot to like about cheering. It’s a lot different than other sports. You get to know everyone on the team really well,” Randy says. “I was a weightlifter in high school; that’s actually how I got into it. With cheering, I’m lifting people, not weights, but it’s still basically a trip to the gym.”
A member of the cheer team at Greece Arcadia High School, Randy joined the Rochester Institute of Technology cheerleading team during his time as a student there, traveling to meets and competitions around the state. After graduating from RIT in 2010, he stayed on to serve as Assistant Coach. The team practices for two and a half hours several nights a week, highlighting both the dedication and athleticism of its members. Many have backgrounds in cheering, dance, or gymnastics. Trust is essential; stunts often vault team members high into the air, falling as far as 20 feet into the arms of their squad.
In an effort to raise awareness about the team on- and off-campus, last year Randy suggested the squad volunteer to raise funds for a nonprofit that personally impacted his life as part of the Al Sigl Community WalkAbout. Coach Katie Post, also an RIT alum, agreed, saying, “Randy shared with the team how Epilepsy-Pralid and Camp EAGR had helped him over the years and his cause became our cause.”
“WalkAbout is an easy event for people to get involved in,” Randy says, “It feels good to know you’ve done something worthwhile for programs helping so many in our community.”
To learn how you can get involved and make a gift in support of Randy’s team, or start a team of your own, please visit the WalkAbout event page.
Members of the RIT Cheerleading Team at the 2015 WalkAbout