Cheer Squad For Special Needs Kids Hosting Benefit - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Cheer Squad For Special Needs Kids Hosting Benefit

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By Emily Luxen

GALLATIN, Tenn. - A special cheerleading squad in Sumner County is spreading spirit and inspiring others.

The Destiny Dream Makers Cheer Team was created especially for area special needs kids.  It is open to any individual of any age with Down Syndrome, Autism, or other learning or social disabilities.

Participants practice weekly, learn new routines, and travel to competitions all free of charge.  Coach Randy James started the program about a year ago, and said the results have been amazing.

"We saw them start where they couldn't be controlled," said James. "Now they are focused and really into it."

James said the program has helped participants improve  both motor and social skills.

"Before they were timid," said James.  "Now they run up to us and hug us.  They aren't shy at all."

The Dream Makers team often steals the spotlight in the crowded gym, and other kids stop and cheer them on.

"Watching these kids just puts a smile on your face," said parent Jason Crabb. "It's a great way for the gym to give back."

To help ensure the program remains free to participants, Crabb is helping out with an upcoming fundraiser.  The gospel singer will be performing at the Epic Center in Gallatin, Friday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5. All the money from ticket sales, and additional donations will go directly to the program.

James said he hopes with the community's support, the program will continue to grow and reach out to more kids.

"It's so gratifying to watch," said James.  "It is hard to describe.  I love them all."

Email: eluxen@newschannel5.com
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