CHEER LOS ANGELES Raising Spirits and Funds at Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride 2012

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When the fearless flyers of Cheer Los Angeles (Cheer LA) soar into the air atop basket tosses, pyramids, and stunts to kick off the Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride Parade on Sunday, May 20, they will be celebrating not only the annual affirmation of the local LGBT community, but also the beginning of a charitable summer pride season.

Since its inaugural 2001-02 season, Cheer LA has performed for the thousands of spectators lining Ocean Boulevard. In fact, Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride was the first festival where the team put its stunting, tumbling, and dancing on “parade”—starting its tradition of raising not only spirits, but also funds, at pride events throughout California. Along the parade route, the charitable cheerleaders have encouraged the enthusiastic crowds to donate for their Cheer For Life Fund beneficiaries into the squad’s signature Spirit Buckets, enabling them to raise approximately $10,000 for Long Beach charities.  This year, Cheer LA is once again collecting donations on behalf of the Comprehensive AIDS Resource and Education (CARE) Program at St. Mary Medical Center.

This commitment to support charities serving Long Beach residents reflects team members’ exceptionally close ties to the local community. Although the spirit squad’s name is “Cheer Los Angeles,” since its inception, its roster of dedicated adults has included not only Long Beach city residents, but also alumni of the cheerleading teams at Long Beach City College and California State University, Long Beach.

Cheer LA, along with its sister squads of the Pride Cheerleading Association (PCA) CHEER San Francisco, San Diego Cheer Elite, and Sacramento Sirens Cheer Elite, will have the distinct pleasure of kicking off parade festivities during Sunday’s “Kickoff at Parade Central” at Bixby Park at 9:30am before marching in the parade itself.

About Cheer Los Angeles:  Since 2001, Cheer Los Angeles has provided a philanthropic outlet for adult men and women interested in the sport of cheerleading. Cheer LA, as well as other squads in the Pride Cheerleading Association, is an active group of volunteers seeking to promote pride, spirit, and diversity in the gay community through dynamic cheer, dance, and stunt performances. At each performance, Cheer LA raises money for its CHEER FOR LIFE fund, which benefits local charities with an emphasis on those serving people affected by HIV/AIDS. To date, Cheer LA has raised over $100,000 for local organizations, and that amount continues to grow.  For more information about Cheer LA and its Cheer for Life Fund, please visit the team on Facebook (facebook.com/CheerLosAngeles) and their web site (www.CheerLA.org).

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